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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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49 font families by Keith Tricker

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2 font styles from $45.00
A mad boxer shot a quick, gloved jab to the jaw of his dizzy opponent.
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina

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4 font styles from $45.00
Questions of a zealous nature have become by degrees petty waxen jokes.
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix

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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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Prized waxy jonquils choke big farm vats.
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway

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Jeez, by TV film Schwarzkopf expunged Iraq.
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety

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King Alexander was just partly overcome after quizzing Diogenes in his tub.
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff

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6 font styles from $45.00
Was there a quorum of able whizzkids gravely exciting the jaded fish at ATypI?
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top

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Typophiles weave dreams of quoins, kerning and juggling complex beziers.
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron

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May Jo equals the fine record by solving six puzzles a week.
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando
Brando Brando

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8 font styles from $45.00
The vixen jumped quickly on her foes barking with zeal.
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency
Regency Regency

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

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Cozy sphinx waves quart jug of bad milk.
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra
Aspidistra Aspidistra

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Pier Arcade Pier Arcade
Pier Arcade Pier Arcade

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Prized waxy jonquils choke big farm vats.
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro

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Just keep examining every low bid quoted for zinc etchings.
Calypso Calypso
Calypso Calypso
Calypso Calypso

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

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Sexy diva Jennifer Lopez wasn’t baking me quiche.
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas

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Alfredo just must bring very exciting news to the plaza quickly.
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond

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Back in my quaint garden jaunty zinnias vie with flaunting phlox.
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside

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

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Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward.
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills

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Mozart’s jawing quickly vexed a fat bishop.
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda

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All questions asked by five watch experts amazed the judge.
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown
Home Grown Home Grown

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A quick movement of the enemy will jeopardize six gunboats.
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab

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When we go back to Juarez, Mexico, do we fly over picturesque Arizona?
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid
Mechanoid Mechanoid

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6 font styles from $45.00
Cozy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen.
Joe Cool Joe Cool
Joe Cool Joe Cool
Joe Cool Joe Cool

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Jimmy and Zack, the police explained, were last seen diving into a field of buttered quahogs.
Tea Dance Tea Dance
Tea Dance Tea Dance

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The sex life of the woodchuck is a provocative question for most vertebrate zoology majors.
Communiqué Communiqué
Communiqué Communiqué

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Lazy movers quit hard-packing of papier-mache jewelry boxes.
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face

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Five wine experts jokingly quizzed chablis sample.
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost

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Six big devils from Japan quickly forgot how to waltz.
Export Drive Export Drive
Export Drive Export Drive

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Anvil Anvil
Anvil Anvil
Anvil Anvil

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Blowzy night-frumps vex’d Jack Q.
Jazz Age Jazz Age
Jazz Age Jazz Age

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Cozy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen.
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy

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

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The exodus of jazzy pigeons is craved by squeamish walkers.
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge

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Five big quacking zephyrs jolt my wax bed.
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan

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

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Bad Joaquin Phoenix wrecks zingy TV film.
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut

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My expensive quartz watch once belonged to JFK.
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion

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Six big juicy steaks sizzled in a pan as five workmen left the quarry.
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko

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The exodus of jazzy pigeons is craved by squeamish walkers.
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica

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Astronaut Quincy B. Zack defies gravity with six jet fuel pumps.
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza
Cadenza Cadenza

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Grumpy wizards make toxic brew for the evil Queen and Jack.
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta
Charta Charta

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Many big jackdaws quickly zipped over the fox pen.
4square 4square
4square 4square

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8 font styles from $45.00 60% off
New job: fix Mr. Gluck’s hazy TV, PDQ.
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere

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6 font styles from $45.00 60% off
Fixing the razor, J.S. Bach vowed to primp quickly.
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula

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2 font styles from $45.00 60% off
Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward.
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife
Nightlife Nightlife

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2 font styles from $45.00 60% off
Five or six big jet planes zoomed quickly by the tower.
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin
Alonquin Alonquin