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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
Putin backs away from Iraq zeal; Bush, vexed, jogs.
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside
Stateside Stateside

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4 font styles from $45.00
Fixing the razor, J.S. Bach vowed to primp quickly.
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix
Graffix Graffix

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2 font styles from $45.00
Typophiles weave dreams of quoins, kerning and juggling complex beziers.
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron
Dynatron Dynatron

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6 font styles from $45.00
Astronaut Quincy B. Zack defies gravity with six jet fuel pumps.
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top
Red Top Red Top

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Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim.
4square 4square
4square 4square

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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.
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina
Stamina Stamina

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The job of waxing linoleum frequently peeves chintzy kids.
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion
Marazion Marazion

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Sexy diva Jennifer Lopez wasn’t baking me quiche.
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff Rough Stuff

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A quick movement of the enemy will jeopardize six gunboats.
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway
Castaway Castaway

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

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Watch all five questions asked by experts amaze the judge.
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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Two hardy boxing kangaroos jet from Sydney to Zanzibar on quicksilver pinions.
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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Fred specialized in the job of making very quaint wax toys.
Soft Rock Soft Rock
Soft Rock Soft Rock
Soft Rock Soft Rock

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

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6 font styles from $35.00
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™
Oscar Bravo™ Oscar Bravo™

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Questions of a zealous nature have become by degrees petty waxen jokes.
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge
Oxbridge Oxbridge

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Crazy Fredericka bought many very exquisite opal jewels.
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko
Chenko Chenko

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

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

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Watch all five questions asked by experts amaze the judge.
Cambourne Cambourne

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

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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.
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica
Exotica Exotica

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Wham! Volcano erupts fiery liquid death onto ex-jazzbo Kenny G.
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost
Signpost Signpost

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6 font styles from $45.00
Seiji Ozawa quit, vexing rabid symphonic folk.
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas
Gravitas Gravitas

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1 font style from $45.00
Beloved Groucho joked with a mix of zany quips.
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills
Hollywood Hills Hollywood Hills

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Quincy Jones vowed to fix the bleak jazz program.
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro
Paris Metro Paris Metro

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Blowzy red vixens fight for a quick jump.
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere
Belvedere Belvedere

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We have just quoted on nine dozen boxes of gray lamp wicks.
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz
Showbiz Showbiz

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Packing five dozen waxy liquor jugs? Must be a typophile.
Jazz Age Jazz Age
Jazz Age Jazz Age

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

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

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

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My expensive quartz watch once belonged to JFK.
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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Queen Elizabeth’s proxy waved off Mick Jagger.
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab
Skeleton Slab Skeleton Slab

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

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Dumpy kibitzer jingles as exchequer overflows.
Communiqué Communiqué
Communiqué Communiqué

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We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize.
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond
Vagabond Vagabond

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2 font styles from $45.00
We have just quoted on nine dozen boxes of gray lamp wicks.
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety
Variety Variety

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4 font styles from $45.00
Watch all five questions asked by experts amaze the judge.
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda
Pagoda Pagoda

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6 font styles from $45.00
Putin backs away from Iraq zeal; Bush, vexed, jogs.
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula
Bebopalula Bebopalula

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The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy
Barrowboy Barrowboy

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

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John Quincy Adams grew vexed by talk of puzzles.
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face
Rock Face Rock Face

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

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The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan
Capstan Capstan

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Packing five dozen waxy liquor jugs? Must be a typophile.
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut
Cybernaut Cybernaut