Ed Benguiat 1927-2020

by Dan Margulis on November 1, 2020

On October 15 we lost the most prolific type designer of the second half of the twentieth century, Ed Benguiat, after 92 years of enjoying life. Having designed hundreds of faces, he was well adapted to any style. Most of his works were in the style of the 70s and 80s, which is not popular today. So we rarely see his ITC Souvenir or ITC Tiffany or ITC Bookman, which were ubiquitous in print advertising 40 years ago.

But that flexibility served him well as a general designer, which is why he has relevance to anyone involved in the graphic arts. He was a creator of corporate logos, for example, second only in prominence to the legendary Paul Rand. And, in one noted case, his adaptability enabled him to outdo Rand himself. It came when Rand was hired to retool the logo for Ford Motor Co. in the 1970s. His effort was (justifiably) rejected by the company, which then hired Ed Benguiat to design the logo that still graces Ford vehicles today.

I did not know Ed particularly well, but had great respect for his work, and wanted to post something. Since I needed to feature his typefaces, and also show several versions of the Ford logo, it wouldn’t work to post the material in this blog. Instead, I refer you to a PDF of what I had to say. Here’s my Ed Benguiat obituary.

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