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Occupant Fonts

The faces of Cyrus Highsmith

A former student and protégé reflects on seeing her mentor accept the prestigious Gerrit Noordzij Prize.

About Occupant FontsA Latin type foundry with connections in Asia

Occupant Fonts is a division of Morisawa, Inc.

Cyrus Highsmith founded Occupant Fonts in 2015 and serves as its creative director. The foundry’s library includes dozens of his typefaces for print and screen.

Many of the designs were developed while Highsmith was senior designer at Font Bureau. The Occupant Fonts library represents nearly two decades of experience drawing type for newspapers, magazines, websites, and brands of all kinds.

Highsmith has been called one of the truly original voices in American type design. His work has received awards from the Type Directors Club and AIGA, and has won international competitions. Designers at Ford Motor Company, Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, El Universal, Martha Stewart Living, and starwars.com, among others, have all used Highsmith’s typefaces.

In 2017, the Japanese type company Morisawa acquired Occupant Fonts. Both companies were looking for ways to expand their horizons. Despite specializing in two very different writing systems, they found common ground in their commitment to making high-quality, original typefaces.

Subsequently, Occupant Fonts and Morisawa established the Providence Drawing Office. Highsmith works there alongside fellow type designers June Shin and Cem Eskinazi. Together, the trio is expanding and deepening the Occupant Fonts library with both the East and West in mind.

Cyrus Highsmith

Cyrus Highsmith is a letter drawer, teacher, author, and graphic artist. His type foundry, Occupant Fonts, offers dozens of his original typefaces. He teaches type design at Rhode Island School of Design. He wrote and illustrated the acclaimed primer Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals. In 2015, he received the Gerrit Noordzij Prize for extraordinary contributions to the fields of type design, typography, and type education. In 2017, he became Creative Director for Latin Type Development at Morisawa USA.

Twitter
@cyrushighsmith
Website
cyrushighsmith.tumblr.com

Type designer

Cem Eskinazi

Cem Eskinazi is a Turkish type designer and graphic designer living in Providence, Rhode Island. He started his type drawing adventures at Rhode Island School of Design, where he also received his Master’s of Fine Arts degree. He currently works as a type designer at Morisawa USA’s Providence Drawing Office while continuing to pursue his own studio practice as a member of the Design Office Providence. His favorite color is yellow.

Website
cemeskinazi.com

Type designer

June Shin

June Shin is an award-winning designer currently drawing type at Morisawa USA Providence Drawing Office. After graduating from Cornell University with a BA in art history, she studied graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design, where she received her MFA in graphic design. When not making fonts, she is most likely working on graphic design or lettering projects from her desk at the Design Office—a shared studio space for creative types. She was not born in June.

Twitter
@notbornin_june
Website
notborninjune.com