The Secret History of Fonts You May Not Know Before


Do you know that the world-famous Helvetica was based on a late 19th century typeface model? That Arial is Helvetica’s bastard child, commissioned to avoid paying licensing fees? That John Baskerville, whose typeface our founding father, Benjamin Franklin adores, kept a lifelong mistress? That the designer of Gill Sans has a life of wild debauchery? That Times New Roman, now considered boring, was born out of a desire to typographically be more advanced? And that The Times newspaper doesn’t use Times New Roman anymore, notwithstanding the name?

Join me as I take you through the interesting minutiae behind fonts we love, fonts we love to hate, and the man and woman who stood behind their design.

Bram Pitoyo


I’m an independent brand developer, typography/readability consultant and social media strategist who wants to meet every single person on the Portland Twitter, creative and technology community and hear his/her story.