John Benson is a calligrapher, stonecarver, and designer of monumental inscriptions. For twenty-five years he owned and operated the historic John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island. This shop, now being run by Benson's son Nicholas, has carved monuments and lettering in stone without interruption since its founding in 1705.
Best known for his work on such commissions as the Kennedy Memorial at Arlington, Benson has had a lifelong interest in type design. In the seventies he produced photographic typefaces for his own use in architectural graphics. In 1981 he consulted with Maya Lin on the typography of the Viet Nam Memorial. In 1987 he began a series of experiments in digital type design which led to a contract with the Originals Group at Adobe Systems. He has incorporated digital font design with his architectural carving work on such projects as the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama and the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
[Font Bureau, October 2003]