Thomas Phinney

ARCHIVE: This session was presented at CreativePro Week 2019 in Seattle.

The Font Detective

Thursday, 10:15 am – 11:00 am

We all use fonts every day, but we rarely think how they place and date us. But fonts leave tell-tale clues, and those clues can unravel mysteries (or create new ones)! But here’s one person who is paying attention—a Sherlock Holmes of Typography: Thomas Phinney, Font Detective.

In this short adventure, Thomas opens our eyes to thinking about fonts in a different way, presenting his clues and fascinating conclusions from several of his cases:

  • the Case of the Concealed Credits (2017) (featuring Justin Timberlake and!)
  • the Secret of the Special Sack (ca. 1870)
  • the Quarterback Conundrum (2009)
  • the Misleading Mortgage (2004)
  • and this year’s headline-grabbing case of a Canadian businessman and bogus, backdated trust documents. (Come up with the best snazzy nickname and win a prize!)

Of course, it’s not CreativePro Week without some “how to,” so Thomas will show you how to use his Adobe-patented (!) font ID approach, and handy online tools for font identification.