Steve Jobs , founder Apple & Macintosh , In year ’ 2005 , In his commencement address to the Stanford University graduates, shared his intimate thoughts about Apple, life and death, and love and loss, that speech features a great story about how vector fonts came to be on the Macintosh.
Being into calligraphy, I felt really good watching this speech, as it was really nice to know that Steve Jobs him self was into calligraphy and it was his interest in calligraphy that inspired him towards developing the typography for Apples, Macs and Now Iphones …. Here’s that famous excerpt:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Now do you see why Apple fans love beautiful fonts? And, in case you didn’t know, Steve Jobs never graduated from college.