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Geoffrey Lee (1929-2005)

Information about the typeface designer Geoffrey Lee and his fonts.

Born in Wimbledon, UK, Geoffrey Lee did his National Service with the RAF. He also took a correspondence course in advertising during his service. After he was demobbed, in 1950, he started work as a checking clerk for an advertising agency.

He worked for various agencies, before settling with Pembertons in London as its type director and head of the graphic design unit. Whilst at Pembertons, he designed Impact for the British foundry Stephenson Blake. It has since become one of Microsoft's core fonts. His work wasn't limited to typefaces; he also created corporate identities and symbol designs for companies such as the Polycell Group, DER television, and Berlitz Interlingua. One of his ornamental designs was even recreated on linen sold by Heals.

He worked as a design consultant for Nickeloid Typesetting, redesigning their metal and photosetting specimen books. For Arnold Cook, Stempel UK's agent, he wrote and designed leaflets about Helvetica and the Univers font family.

In 1970 he set up his own design and typesetting business. Subsequently he sold it to Diagraphic Typesetters in 1975, and joined the company as a typographic specialist, becoming the company's technical director in 1980. In this position he researched and developed typographic systems for Linotron 202, Monotype, Linotype, and the Macintosh. Alongside his commercial work he also taught at Manchester College of Art and the London College of Printing.

During his retirement he continued to design type, producing both Camden and Impact Wide. He died in 2005.

[LC, November 2009]

Fonts designed by Geoffrey Lee:

Camden
Impact
Impact (URW)
Impact Bold
Impact Bold Condensed
Impact Wide

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