Type Network


Font Bureau leader lifts the curtain on OpenType Variations Font for Google

Pioneering GX variations developer David Berlow says: “Far beyond sliders and movies, there is an expanse yet to be discovered.”


About Font BureauCreating custom type since 1989

Font Bureau is a digital type studio and one of the leading foundries for typeface design. For 25 years Font Bureau has designed custom typefaces for almost every major American publication, and its retail library includes some of the most celebrated fonts on the market.

Responding to advancing technologies and the changing needs of our clients, Font Bureau has been instrumental in launching three new ventures. Font Bureau co-founded Webtype in 2010 to provide high-end fonts for online typography (including a new series of Reading Edge fonts specifically designed for text on the screen). We also co-created Ready-Media, offering word-class design in media templates for both print and web. Lastly, we supported the development of Fonts In Use, an independent site which examines fonts in the real world. While font technologies continue to evolve, the core principles and skills required to design high quality, worthwhile typefaces have changed little. The decisions about what designs to produce and how to craft them draw upon a base of typographic knowledge built firmly on hundreds of years of tradition. This remains the essence of what Font Bureau does and why we are successful. Font Bureau was founded in 1989 by publication designer and media strategist Roger Black, and internationally known type designer David Berlow, initially to serve the emerging needs of microcomputer-based magazine and newspaper publishers seeking unique typographic identities. The company remains small and privately held, with independent designers providing infusions of creativity. Full-time staff and designers direct the studio operations in Boston, which serves as the company’s headquarters. Font Bureau’s staff and type board includes: David Berlow & Roger Black Founders, Sam Berlow General Manager.

David Berlow

David Berlow entered the type industry in 1978 as a letter designer for the respected Mergenthaler, Linotype, Stempel, and Haas typefoundries. He joined the newly formed digital type supplier, Bitstream, Inc. in 1982. After Berlow left Bitstream in 1989, he founded The Font Bureau, Inc. with Roger Black.

Font Bureau has developed more than 300 new and revised type designs for the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Hewlett Packard and others, with OEM work for Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corporation. Font Bureau’s Retail Library consists mostly of original designs and now includes over 500 typefaces. Berlow is a member of the New York Type Directors Club (TDC) and the Association Typographique International (ATypI), and remains active in typeface design.



Jill Pichotta

Jill Pichotta began working for Font Bureau as an apprentice with David Berlow in 1991, work that included projects for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Condé Nast Traveller, The New York Times, and Apple Computer. She has managed the production of retail releases since May 1993, and has made several contributions herself, including her first original typeface, Hip Hop. She continues to divide her time between various Retail, Custom and OEM projects. Since 1992 Ms. Pichotta has worked out of her home studio and enjoys living in a small New England seaside town north of Boston.

Dyana Weissman

In retrospect, Dyana sees that she was destined to be a typeface designer. Since she was old enough to read, she would find letters among the tiles in bathroom floors. She went on to major in Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design, where one teacher told her “the type bug bit [her] the worst.” She is one of the few type designers who actually likes kerning. She has been a presenter at ATypI, TypeCon, and TypeCamp, but also enjoys sharing her expertise locally with college students, wizard rock bands, and astrophysicists. When she is not thinking about type, she is napping, breakdancing, or debating her coworkers about the existence of free will.

Kent Lew

Kent Lew began a career in graphic design back in the 1980s while supporting himself through college. After completing his studies in painting and art history, he continued to practice design on and off. In between, there were stints as an art store manager, a baker, a product development director, and even some time spent living in an ashram, before he returned to the work he enjoys most.

Now, Kent is a freelance book designer, type designer, and would-be type historian, working out of his home in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Coming from a family of writers and editors, it seems inevitable that he would gravitate toward the design of words and text. His primary interest lies in text typeface design, drawing heavily on his own experience specifying and setting type, and he is greatly influenced by the work of mid-20th century designers like Dwiggins, Ruzicka, and Blumenthal.

Kent’s first full typeface design, Whitman, was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design and a Judge’s Choice by the Type Directors Club in 2002.