“Screw legibility! Screw readability! Make it beautiful.”
“No one seems to design with letterforms anymore. No one seems to really draw with their heart.”
(While ranting about people who send emails with Comic Sans or Papyrus) “‘Oh, can you come over for dinner?’ You sent it in Comic Sans? Can’t come over!”
“What’s graphic design? It’s placing things in their proper order so they’re pleasing to the eye.”
“Where do I get concepts from? I rip ‘em off. I take ‘em from people that have died. I take ‘em from … churches. I take ‘em from bad neighborhoods in Mexico.”
“We had a racket going.” (Regarding his times with Herb Lubalin, Tom Carnase, and Tony Dispigna)
I love Ed. These are some of the things he said that I frantically scrawled in my notebook during his Photo-Lettering talk on 24 October, as part of the Type@Cooper Lubalin Lecture Series. It was like being back in his Making Type Talk continuing ed class at SVA, which is my favorite class I’ve ever taken in graphic design, if not of all. Ed Benguiat might not enjoy as universal an adoration as people like Milton Glaser, but he is, in my opinion, the best at what he does, and full of such love and obsession for his craft, that he is bursting to share his knowledge at any moment of the day. I don’t know if I enjoyed learning his typographic tricks or hearing his tangential/completely off-topic stories more. In any case, when Ed Benguiat speaks, you sit and listen in awe, and hope that you have enough sense to be writing some of it down, because his irreverence and cursing cast only a thin veil over his immense wisdom.