Designer Nick Curtis can fix the precise moment when his love affair with typefaces began. One fateful afternoon in 1962 - the day before trash pick-up day - he was cruising the alleys in his neighborhood in East Dallas in search of tossed treasures. This particular day Curtis hit the mother lode: hundreds and hundreds of glass mosaic tiles in various shades of blue, and a big fat green binder from JCS Typographers of Dallas. Inside the binder were FONTS!!! - more than he had ever seen or knew existed. From that day on, his fate was sealed (by the way, the tiles eventually became a tabletop).
Curtis eventually pursued a career in graphic design: at a college, doing freelance concert poster lettering in the late 60s, at a computer company, at an audiovisual production company, at an NBC affiliate television station and at a prepress shop, along the way. All during that time, he kept his interest and fascination with fonts alive. He began his career as an electronic fontmaker in 1997 when a friend, frustrated with trying to learn Fontographer, sold Curtis his copy of the program.
The first few years were a learning experience, producing a lot of fonts with admittedly "ragged edges"; but time, experience and the expert counsel of industry professionals have polished those edges. In 2000-2001, Curtis licensed several of his designs with mass-audience appeal to Agfa-Monotype, Bitstream, and ITC Fonts. Also in 2001, Curtis was honored by the Type Directors Club, which chose two of his designs - ITC Jeepers and Woodley Park (Agfa-Monotype) - as among the best new type designs of the year.
Nick Curtis began Nick's Fonts as a part-time business in April of 2001, as a modest foundry dedicated to the preservation of our rich typographic heritage.
"One of the biggest advantages of living so close to Washington, DC, is access to the largest library in the world. Even six weeks or so, I conduct a typographic archaeological 'dig' at the Library of Congress, and come away with more than enough material to keep me busy until my next visit," Curtis says. Besides being a Registered Researcher at the Library of Congress, Nick is also a Resident Associate of the Smithsonian Institution and a charter member of the Internet Type Designers Association.
[Nick Curtis, May 2002]