Zine: The Analog, Pre-Blog

Kate Nancy

Just a quickie: a link to a nice little article about zines written by Kate Nancy, who I met when she stopped by the Pink Mince stall at Zinefest Berlin last November. The article includes a couple of quotes:

“For me, the latest explosion of zines is very much about a return to paper, a reaction to years of content and interaction only happening online,” says Rhatigan, who published a zine called Rumpus Room in the early ‘90s and maintained activity in the zine community for more than a decade. He describes a wave of zine-makers – wearied by the costs of mailing and photocopying – defecting to online publishing en mass. “But a decade later the Internet was clearly figured out by regular media, so it doesn’t surprise me that people react against that once again to find ways of making things they care about tangible and more permanent, more special.”

Pencilled, Pixelated

Since I started working full-time at Monotype, and especially since I took over as UK Type Director last Spring, work has consumed a larger and larger part of my life. This would be bad if I didn’t love this job more than any other I’ve ever had, and if I didn’t feel like I was contributing to what happens at Monotype. My attempts to keep up with this site, always a tricky endeavor at the best of times, may have fallen slack, but I’ve hardly been slacking off elsewhere.

Monotype. One of a kind. (Photo by http://twitter.com/desypha)

The last two weeks have been the culmination of a frantic couple of months of preparation for a giant exhibition of work from Monotype’s past and its present, and hopefully a look at its future. Pencil to Pixel, masterminded by my extraordinarily talented colleague James Fooks-Bale, designed by SEA, partially curated (and with guided tours) by me, and pulled off thanks to the efforts of many more, was huge success by all measures, and hopefully one of many more endeavors to come.

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A Type Nerd’s Time in India

Last year I submitted an article to a very excellent zine called FAQNP (which stands for, mischievously, “FAQNP‘s a Queer Nerd Publication”) for their “Queer Nerd Travel Guide” issue, since I’m a queer nerd who travels a lot.


The gents at FAQNP have kindly agreed to let me reprint my story about how Western brands drop their typographic standards when they trade in India. You should repay that kindness and check out some of their back issues or cool merchandise.

Spread from FAQNP #3

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FAQNP #3: A Queer Nerd Travel Guide


I contributed an article to the zine FAQNP for its third issue, “A Queer Nerd Travel Guide”. My photo feature, “A Type Nerd’s Time in India”, is a look at how well (or for the most part, how badly) a variety of western brands like Citibank and McDonald’s carry through their typographic branding when they use the local scripts in different Indian cities.

Spread from FAQNP #3

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Archival material: NYC edition

Photo by Rebecca Cooney for New York TodayA decade ago, which is essentially a lifetime ago, the New York Times had a web-only site about living in New York, and featured me in a weekly column about homes/apartments in the city. While I’m impressed that the article and accompanying slideshow are still online, I’m making an effort to gather up things like this and store them here for posterity, just in case.

[To be honest, I’m also just having a bout of nostalgia for the days when I lived alone an had a lot of space to myself for gathering treasure and doing cool stuff.]

So let’s take a little wistful trip down memory lane, past all the awful (and occasionally lovely) things that have happened since then.

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The many faces of Sparky

My career seems to be at the point where I rarely need to tailor or tinker with my CV (or résumé in the American parlance), but I need to rewrite short bios over and over again. that’s a good sign, right?

It basically means I don’t have to look for work all that much, since it tends to find me through more casual channels like momentum, word-of-mouth, networking, yadda yadda. (It’s the actual money that’s hard to pin down, tragically. The work keeps piling up.) The trick is that now I only get a couple of sentences to sum up everything as well as highlight the relevant details for the task at hand, rather than letting a amore complete picture come together from the full details.

For instance, here’s one for my current job:

Daniel Rhatigan, a 2006 recipient of a Monotype Imaging Ltd. scholarship, is working at Monotype Imaging Ltd. as part of the UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership. KTP is a country-wide program that allows graduate students to partner with industries to help improve business productivity and competitiveness. Rhatigan is working at Monotype Imaging’s Salford’s design office under the direction of senior designer, Robin Nicholas. Rhatigan is chartered with applying his academic experience to a commercial project, while Monotype Imaging intends to benefit through Rhatigan’s development of intellectual property.

But here’s my bio for the teaching gig in the Netherlands I’ve had for the last couple of years:

Dan Rhatigan is a graphic designer from New York City, now living and working in London. He has worked as a designer and consultant for arts organizations for over 15 years, and has taught and lectured at the City College of New York, Central St Martins, and the University of Reading.

Dan Rhatigan, grafisch ontwerper uit New York City en woont en werkt op dit moment in Londen. Meer dan 15 jaar werkt hij als grafisch ontwerper en adviseur voor organisaties in de kunst- en grafische branche. Verder heeft hij les en lezingen gegeven aan het City College in New York, Central St. Martins en geeft nu regelmatig les aan de Universiteit van Reading in England.

But I do freelance work, too, now and then!:

Daniel Rhatigan worked as a designer and typographer in Boston and New York for 15 years before coming to study typeface design at the University of Reading. He also lectures on typography and branding in the Netherlands and here in the UK. You can look at some of his previous design work at ultrasparky.org.

And then there’s the occasional bit of writing:

Dan Rhatigan is a typeface designer, graphic designer, teacher, and long-time blogger at ultrasparky.org. He received an MA with distinction in Typeface Design from the University of Reading in 2007, and he’s now working with the Typography Department to research and design non-Latin typefaces for Monotype Imaging.

Once in a while, too, the emphasis shifts to my little side project:

Daniel Rhatigan is a typographer and typeface designer, originally from New York City but now based in London. When not teaching or working on a vast family of Indic typefaces, he publishes a zine called Pink Mince — “for the confirmed bachelor of exceptional taste”.