Chank Diesel was born in Canada and raised in Florida. In 1986, he came to the Twin Cities to study fine art at Macalester College. During his college years, he designed and edited the college paper and also established an alternative music magazine called Cake. While creative director at Cake, Chank learned to create his own typefaces on the Macintosh. As fresh faced and experimental as the internet itself in 1995, Chank.com became the vehicle for Chank to distribute his fonts throughout the world.
Chank's fonts were featured in the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum as a notable example of contemporary typography in 1996. In 1997 he was profiled in The Wall Street Journal, complete with etched portrait. He incorporated his business in 1997, forming The Chank Company with local arts leader Heidi Andermack as his business manager.
The Chank Company creates custom fonts for companies who want exclusive rights and a specific design for a typeface. Clients who have used Chank's custom font services include 2 Grrrls, Cartoon Network, Cold Spring Granite, Magnetic Poetry, Medtronic, Mervyn's California, Multitech, Ocean Spray, P. Puff Industries, and Target.
Chank's worldwide fame for the alphabet doesn't end with fonts. Since 1995, the Minneapolis designer has been churning out quirky alphabetic illustrations and paintings - including his interpretation of Gainsborough's Blue Boy - with a hope to beat Picasso's Guinness Book record by creating more than a million pieces in his lifetime. As of June 2003, Chank's pieces number more than 11,177.
Chank creates his art and fonts in a scenic warehouse studio in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. He displays and distributes his work through Chank.com. His first font, Mister Frisky, remains his most popular.
[Chank Diesel, July 2003]