“A font is so much more than just beautiful letters,” Letterhead’s founder and president Chuck Davis says. “Those letters must work together harmoniously to add something to your design.”
“Letterhead Fonts began quite by accident,” Chuck says. Having worked as a sign painter for many years, he switched gears in 1998 and began working as a graphic designer for Boeing. “One day I noticed one of the employees cleaning out a storage room and throwing old software into a large trash bin. I couldn't help but notice one of the floppy disks said “FontMonger”. Since I'd been interested in creating a font for some time, I rescued the disk from the trash and put it into my Mac in the office. The program was crude, but perfect for a novice user because of it’s simplicity. I imported letters that I had drawn by hand and soon had created my first font: CD Esoteric. I had already started a website to offer ready-to-cut custom designs to the sign industry, but that wasn't going anywhere. So I proceeded to create 4 fonts and sold them on a subdomain of the site called “Letterhead Fonts” – the term “Letterhead” referring to a skilled sign craftsmen.”
Although they are headquartered in Reno, NV, the foundry collaborates with incredible designers from all over the world. “Over the years, I've had the good fortune to work with many talented artists and Letterhead Fonts wouldn't be what it is today without their help.” Sign artist John Studden was one of the first designers to join Chuck’s foundry: he’s been on board ever since and has had a hand in creating most of the fonts on the website. “Our own Dave Correll is also a very talented designer. I think he’s one of the best font designers in the world today. He gives very special attention to balancing the letters with each other and spacing them carefully.” Letterhead Fonts has also collaborated with designers like Arthur Vanson and Charles Borges de Oliveira. “Each of our contributors bring something unique to Letterhead Fonts. But we all share a common goal: to make beautiful fonts that serve a purpose.”
Chuck has outlined 3 basic criteria for determining if a font will be sold through Letterhead Fonts: (1) It must be useful and serve a purpose. (2) It must be of good quality. No bad points or twisted paths. Curves must be smooth and drawn correctly. Letters must be balanced and work well together. (3) It must be unique. It must be something that hasn't been done before, or at least not as well.