Saying Goodbye to Logotype Designer and Typographer, Doyald Young

AIGA_DYoung_portraitAs reported by Steven Heller in the New York Times, pivotal logotype designer and typographer, Doyald Young, died February 28 at the age of 84. Young was an educator and most well known in the design industry for his commitment to the classic design principles “during a time when inelegant lettering was in vogue,” says Heller. During his career, Young wrote three books on typography:  Logotypes & Letterforms (1993); Dangerous Curves (2008); and Fonts & Logos (1999). Young created three original typefaces (some shown below) that demonstrate his passion for script, precision and calligraphy.

“When digital programs like Fontographer made it easy for anyone with a computer to create typefaces, many of them purposefully inelegant, [Young] advocated a high level of craftsmanship that he believed had been lost,” says Heller. “In so doing, Mr. Young challenged a new generation to reject so-called grunge design in favor of precision.”

The AIGA (The Professional Association for Design) Website provides a thorough biography of the designer stating:

“Taste. Practicality. Formality. Understated prestige. The combination of those qualities forms as perfect a descriptor of Young’s work as any you are likely to find, both in the process and the result. Although he is widely known for his elegant curves and scripts, he has never been a showy designer—there’s not a trace of ego in his work. The range of letterforms able to flow at any time from his hand is great, and there is no way to particularly define Young’s mark unless you have seen the hand-drawn comp. That is where his work is unmistakable: perfect letterforms drawn in pencil at a surprisingly small size without so much as a mark of hesitation or awkwardness. The style varies but the fluidity and perfection do not.”

Don’t miss samples of Young’s logotype designs, and the short clip below from a documentary titled Doyald Young, Logotype Designer that offers a glimpse into Young’s passion for finely designed, calligraphic typography.


Logotype for Hilton International Japan, 1987. Client: Tohru Uraoka, CEO, and Mari Makinami, creative director, International Design Associates.


Logotype for the 22nd Academy of Country Music Awards, 1987. Client: Robert Keene, production design, Dick Clark Productions.


Pencil sketches of original typeface Home Run, 1988.



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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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