Jesse Ragan & Carol Wahler

In their conversation, Jesse Ragan (XYZ Type) and Carol Wahler (Type Directors Club) speak about how they each got into type, where the name for Ragan and Ben Kiel's foundry comes from, the importance of community within the type world, and more.

I was fascinated by fonts at a young age. Before I knew anything about graphic design, I was really drawn to fonts.

– Jesse Ragan on his earliest experiences with type.

Type is everywhere: If you open your eyes, the world opens up.

– Carol Wahler on what she tells strangers who have never considered the type around them.

It takes a certain kind of mindset to have the commitment to make a typeface, which is not the most lucrative or rewarding process in many ways. It’s a great community of people. We have to be in it together and have this sense of camaraderie because we’ve all decided to do this thing that’s maybe a little ridiculous.

– Jesse Ragan on the odd cohesion of the type design world.

People say to me, ‘when are you retiring?’ Why in the world would I do that? I mean, it’s just so much fun.

– Carol Wahler on her future in the business.

Naming things is really hard. Naming typefaces is really hard. Choosing a name for our business was very hard. But we were thinking about a lot of different names that somehow express the dedication that we bring to the craft and a willingness to see things through to the end.

– Jesse Ragan on the name for his and Ben Kiel’s foundry, XYZ Type.

Nina Stössinger and Andrea Leksen
January 17, 2023 · Video

In their conversation, Nina Stössinger (Frere-Jones Type) and Andrea Leksen (Leksen Design) connect over their teaching experiences, how digging through fonts by other designers taught them even more about type design, and how custom font work offers a different perspective than retail design.

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XYZ Type

Ben Kiel and Jesse Ragan make useful, quietly offbeat fonts at their independent digital foundry, XYZ Type, which operates in the interwebs between St. Louis and New York.

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