Carol Twombly: Prominent FEMALE Typographer of the 20th Century

Carol Twombly: Prominent FEMALE Typographer of the 20th Century

Carol Twombly, born in 1959 in Concord Massachusetts, started her artistic endeavors as a sculpture artist at Rhode Island School of Design. After seeing the practical appeal of the field of graphic design, she switched from sculpture to graphic design.

Rhode Island School of Design
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"I discovered that communicating through graphics - by placing black shapes on a white page - offered a welcome balance between freedom and structure," she said in response to her decision to make the switch.

Carol worked for many years as a graphic designer. She took part in a digital typography program at Stanford University which allowed her to study for a Master of Science degree. From there she won the Morisawa gold prize for her Latin typographic design.

She began working or Adobe Systems in 1988 and designed a number of fonts that Adobe is known for; including Adobe Caslon, Chaparral, Charlemagne, Lithos, Myriad, Nueva, Trajan, Trajan Sans, and Viva.

Carol Twombly's Fonts

Then in 1994 she won the Prix Charles Peignot award for excellence in type design. She was the first woman and only the 2nd American to receive the award.

With all of this recognition, you may think that Carol was proud and enjoyed the public attention she received, but that could not be further from the truth. She was uncomfortable with the attention. She was also dissatisfied with her evolving role at Adobe and in 1999 she left both the company and her graphic design career.

Carol’s career shows her commitment to pursuing her artistic dreams. While it may have shifted from sculpture to graphic design in the beginning, that didn’t mean that she had to give up her other interests and endeavors.

Since retiring from typography design in 1999, Carol has moved on to express her many other artistic interests including jewelry making, basket weaving, practicing Qi Gong and Afrocuban drumming, and hiking. This just goes to show, just because you do something for a season, this doesn’t mean that it has to be your forever. Tomorrow is a new day, a new start, and maybe, a new dream.

basket weaving
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