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Keith Tricker

KEITH TRICKER. A TYPOGRAPHER’S TALE

My first introduction to typography, barring a kid’s set of ABC building blocks, was the pocket money purchase of a John Bull Printing Outfit, a sort of do-it-yourself rubber stamp kit with rubber characters, tweezers and an ink pad. I used it to create a business card which proclaimed me as leader of our neighbourhood gang, and learned my first lesson in the authority of type: people will believe anything they see in print!

At school I won a competition sponsored by RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) with a spiky hand-lettered poster and a headline that proclaimed “Carpets can cripple – fit them properly”, which looking back was probably the genesis of my future career as a copywriter and typographer. Although at the time I wouldn’t have known Bodini from Bog Standard, the letter style was rather reminiscent of Latin Wide.

At art college I was introduced to letterpress proper in the form of beautifully made boxwood block letters and a cast iron flat bed press, which was love at first sight, and I have since been fortunate enough to acquire a collection of block letter fonts of my own. I’ve yet to find room in my house for a press of any description (with the possible exception of an Adana), but maybe when I retire I’ll build an extension and reinvent myself as a latter day Caxton.

My first professional involvement with type (although professional is putting it a bit strongly!) was working as a paste-up artist on a freesheet newspaper which was one of the first to be produced using the web offset process. On the day we ‘put the paper to bed’ as they say in the trade, we worked late into the night in a freezing asbestos-roofed shed that served as a studio, putting the thing together with Letraset, Cow gum and an IBM golf ball typewriter. This presented some interesting creative challenges when the Letraset sheet you were working from ran out of vowels or some other critical character!

When I joined an ad agency some years later, hot metal and Letraset had given way to photosetting, which was a blessed relief, although it was still in the Late Stone Age compared with today’s technology: the Linotype machine we had filled a room, and issued its product on a paper strip that still had to be pasted up!

There followed a depressing interlude when I felt, in typographic terms, too old to rock and roll, but too young to die. I was saved by yet another revolution in typographic technology that made it possible for me to create fonts, install and print them on my own PC. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive!

Predictably, everyone at the agency mocked my early efforts – a prophet is never accepted in his home country – and on seeing my first font my boss opined that “Arnold Bocklin could sleep safe in his bed”, and that I should “stick to the day job”.

Well, gentle reader, here I am. Not yet a typo superstar (although you can help in that direction by buying my fonts!) but at least able to hold up my head in circles where fellow aficionados gather. God bless you all!

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Personal details

  • From: United Kingdom
  • Born: London, 1949
  • What he does: Type Design
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48 font families by Keith Tricker

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2 font styles from $45.00
Suez sailor vomits jauntily abaft while waxing parquet decks.
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside

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4 font styles from $45.00
Turgid saxophones blew over Mick’s jazzy quiff.
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix

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2 font styles from $45.00
When we go back to Juarez, Mexico, do we fly over picturesque Arizona?
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron

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6 font styles from $45.00
Watch all five questions asked by experts amaze the judge.
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top

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All questions asked by five watch experts amazed the judge.
4square 4square
4square 4square

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Viewing quizzical abstracts mixed up hefty jocks.
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion

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A good quick jab of a pen may vex Will Shortz.
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff

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Schwarzkopf vexed Iraq big-time in July.
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway

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6 font styles from $45.00
Schwarzkopf vexed Iraq big-time in July.
Joe Cool Joe Cool
Joe Cool Joe Cool
Joe Cool Joe Cool

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Hark! Toxic jungle water vipers quietly drop on zebras for meals!
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando

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5 font styles from $45.00
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Alma Mater Alma Mater
Alma Mater Alma Mater
Alma Mater Alma Mater
Alma Mater Alma Mater
Alma Mater Alma Mater

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How razorback-jumping frogs level six piqued gymnasts!
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Anvil Anvil
Anvil Anvil
Anvil Anvil

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Gen. Schwarzkopf’s job quietly vexed him.
Soft Rock Soft Rock
Soft Rock Soft Rock
Soft Rock Soft Rock

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A mad boxer shot a quick, gloved jab to the jaw of his dizzy opponent.
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™

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Jump by vow of quick, lazy strength in Oxford.
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge

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Foxy but quick John Leguizamo ponders view.
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko

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How quickly daft jumping zebras vex.
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta

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Now is the time for all quick brown dogs to jump over the lazy lynx.
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra

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New job: fix Mr. Gluck’s hazy TV, PDQ.
Cambourne Cambourne
Cambourne Cambourne
Cambourne Cambourne
Cambourne Cambourne
Cambourne Cambourne

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Queen Elizabeth’s proxy waved off Mick Jagger.
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency

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Just work for improved basic techniques to maximize your typing skill.
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica

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My help squeezed back in again and joined the weavers after six.
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost

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Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas

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1 font style from $45.00
King Alexander was just partly overcome after quizzing Diogenes in his tub.
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills

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4 font styles from $45.00
Jump by vow of quick, lazy strength in Oxford.
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro

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8 font styles from $45.00
Viewing quizzical abstracts mixed up hefty jocks.
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere

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4 font styles from $45.00
Suez sailor vomits jauntily abaft while waxing parquet decks.
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz

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Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
Jazz Age Jazz Age
Jazz Age Jazz Age

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Quickly Shortz dreams up a few vexing jumbles.
Calypso Calypso
Calypso Calypso
Calypso Calypso

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Prized waxy jonquils choke big farm vats.
Tea Dance Tea Dance
Tea Dance Tea Dance

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Six quite crazy kings vowed to abolish my pitiful jousts.
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid

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My help squeezed back in again and joined the weavers after six.
Export Drive Export Drive
Export Drive Export Drive

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Pier Arcade Pier Arcade
Pier Arcade Pier Arcade

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Mix Zapf with Veljovic and get quirky Beziers.
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab

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Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim.
Canterbury Canterbury
Canterbury Canterbury
Canterbury Canterbury

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Jelly-like above the high wire, six quaking pachyderms kept the climax of the extravaganza in a dazzling state of flux.
Communiqué Communiqué
Communiqué Communiqué

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Puzzled women bequeath jerks very exotic gifts.
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond

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Will Major Douglas be expected to take this true-false quiz very soon?
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety

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2 font styles from $45.00 50% off
Five or six big jet planes zoomed quickly by the tower.
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut

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The big plump jowls of zany Dick Nixon quiver.
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda

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6 font styles from $45.00
Watch “Jeopardy!” Alex Trebek’s fun TV quiz game.
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula

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Two hardy boxing kangaroos jet from Sydney to Zanzibar on quicksilver pinions.
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy

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1 font style from $45.00
My grandfather picks up quartz and valuable onyx jewels.
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown

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The vixen jumped quickly on her foes barking with zeal.
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face

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Was there a quorum of able whizzkids gravely exciting the jaded fish at ATypI?
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife

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2 font styles from $45.00
The July sun caused a fragment of pine wax to ooze on the black velvet quilt.
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan