A few months ago, I saw Ben Kiel talk about a covid scare in his family that kept him home from the Typographics conference. I knew Ben was planning on attending, and I knew he was stoked to go! Now, I was also feeling just a bit of fomo about the conference, so I reached out to talk.
Now if you listen to this podcast, you probably know who Ben is, but if you don't, he's what we call in the industry, a low-key hitter. Ben is behind many of the most popular typefaces being used today. He's worked at House Industries, done work for Sharp and Klim Commercial, and many of the bigger independent type foundries, and now, he's 1/2 of XYZ type alongside Jesse Ragan.
Ben studied type design at the University of Reading blah blah blah bio stuff. Here's what's interesting. Ben has kids, and teaches basically full time. And he's a total expert in font production, and can draw as evidence by his fantastic typeface Ballast which is my personal favorite from Ben. I am pretty freaked out by people that can solve every side of a problem. Like, if you can draw, you shouldn't be allowed to also know how to make world class fonts, from a technical perspective. Whatever I'm just jealous at this point. Anyhow Ben is also doing social media for his foundry, follow them on instagram and tiktok by the way. XYZ underscore type. AND they recently pushed a bunch of new changes to the XYZ website. Anyone who has worked on a type foundry website before know that those projects are just an insane amount of work. I've known Ben for years, but still he's the kind of guy that just makes you feel like you've known him longer than that. So I hope you enjoy this interview with one of my favorite people in the type design biz, Ben Kiel.