In the early hours of the morning, he sits behind the desk in his office and holds court for a small gathering of hangers-on: plastic-rimmed glasses perched casually on his forehead, a bottle of San Pellegrino resting close at hand, pontificating on every topic imaginable. The relevance of reverse-stress typefaces. The tendency of some people to use too many prepositions. The significance of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake: "He just fucked with language so hard he made room for new things to happen."

Next year, Griffith pronounces, instead of holding a huge party for the print sale, "It is going to be a complete tea service." It's in jest, but he might not have time for anything much larger, considering the rest of his plans for 2011: expanding the SPELLRIGHT program; taking another road trip to Gordo, Alabama, to acquire a 2,200-pound offset printing press from Kennedy Jr., with whom Griffith has launched a tongue-in-cheek organization, the Amalgamated Coloured Printers Association; exploring the history of stenciled types, Griffith's latest typographic obsession.

At one point in the rambling conversation, Griffith brings up one of his latest — and most unusual — pieces of work: a baby announcement he designed and wrote for family friends.

Eric Magnussen
MATTER art director Jeremy Peterson is in it for the love, helping to create works like Rick Griffith's typographic  experiments.
Eric Magnussen
MATTER art director Jeremy Peterson is in it for the love, helping to create works like Rick Griffith's typographic experiments.

Welcoming a child into the world through type: That was just Griffith's sort of assignment (if he'd deign to use the word "just"). He chose plain and simple Helvetica Bold for the job, to let the words themselves deliver the message. The child, Griffith noted with his typical mix of propriety and playfulness, "would appear at a lengthy first glance to be an ideal 20-inch-long, brown-haired, 7-pound,-11-ounce baby boy, born with the Hebrew name Lazer (Short for Ellezer) on the Isle of Manhattan during Friday, November twelve at four twenty in the morning in the year twenty ten in the common era."

The announcement went on to note, "His parents would like to teach him to know a good idea when he sees it. And to be sensitive and appreciative in thought and deed for his talents and privileges."

Then it ended with a phrase that Griffith has been repeating more and more these days: "Everyone is fortunate."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...