David Jonathan Ross


David Jonathan Ross draws letters of all shapes and sizes for custom and retail typeface designs. He started making fonts during his time at Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts. He joined the Font Bureau in 2007, where he strives to build useful tools that challenge designers to confront the unique visual and technical demands of their text.

From slab serifs of the nineteenth century to computer terminals of the twentieth, he ransacks forgotten and pigeonholed lettering styles and searches for new approaches to the same old alphabet. He delights in finding ways to turn a “rule” of letter drawing on its head or to write a program that helps accomplish a difficult task. 

His releases include Manicotti and Trilby, reversed stress slab serifs; Condor, a high contrast sans; Turnip, a rugged bookface; and Input, an extensive family designed for computer programming.

David’s work has been recognized by the Type Directors Club and featured in the pages of Print and HOW magazines. He has taught typeface design at the Art Institute of Boston (now Lesley University College of Art and Design) and frequently shares his love of letters through lectures and workshops.

David currently lives in Los Angeles, where he curates Retro Script L.A., a collection of cursive signage in the city.


BITS MMXV Special Workshop
David Jonathan Ross
Presented by Font Bureau
October 30, 2015.
3.30 pm. - 5.30 pm.
Auditorium B, TCDC
Available slots : 10 person

“Building Blocks”

Attendee will be asked to plan and design a pixel font, where each character is built up from repeated elements arranged on a grid. Through this accelerated process, they will be able to draw and space an entire alphabet in a short amount of time. Finally, they will use Drawbot to generate a specimen for their newly created typeface. 


Attendee requirements: 
Each attendee requires a mac laptop with RoboFont (trial) and the Pixel Tool installed, as well as Drawbot. Accommodations can be made if this is not possible.



BITS MMXV International Conference
David Jonathan Ross
Presented by Font Bureau
October 31, 2015.
Afternoon session
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.

“Draw a Little, Code a Lot”

It's not aways straightforward to turn a simple idea about what letters should look like into an actual typeface. David Jonathan Ross will demonstrate how automation helps him express that idea across a fluid design space, and how he determines how the shape of each letter should respond to its environment, and how it should transform as it gets smaller, or heavier, or narrower. As we head towards typefaces that are more than just a bunch of static outlines, Ross will discuss what we lose when we transition from the handmade to the algorithmic, and more importantly, what we gain.