At the age of 14 I was given this Letraset catalogue, circa 1980, by my dad. Until the age of 17 this was my favourite book – I would leaf through, studying fonts for hours, drawing those that appealed to me most. I was a geek of the highest order, fascinated by typography long before I knew what it was, and this was my bible.
The subtle nuances of the Helveticas and Frutigers passed me by. I was more interested in the extrovert, the show-offs – Chromium One, Sinaloa, Cabaret and Buster did it for me. And the adolescent changing of Bembo to Bimbo still raises a laugh.
Years later I was fortunate enough to work on a job with Freda Sack, designer of some of the typefaces from that catalogue. My 14-year-old self was so excited, I felt like I had made it.
I have since learnt a great deal, of course – to appreciate type for more than decoration and understand how to use it well – and there is still much to learn. My love for it, however, can almost certainly be traced back to this catalogue; a splash of Braggadocio or a pinch of Fat Face could brighten many a dull moment. And luckily for me, it still does.