Tobias Frere-Jones is one of the world’s leading typeface designers. He has created some of the most widely-used typefaces, including Interstate, Poynter Oldstyle, Whitney, Gotham, Surveyor, Tungsten, and Retina.
Tobias received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992. He joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art in 1996. He has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2006, The Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague awarded him the Gerrit Noordzij Prijs. This was for his contributions to typographic design, writing, and education. In 2013 he received the AIGA Medal in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of design. Frere-Jones is also 99U’s 2016 Alva Award winner.
Breaking Things Down
In a 99U video, Frere-Jones says you learn a new skill when you “break things down deliberately”. By doing this, we can understand how it’s really done. He teaches us to see the beauty in taking risks and explains that in order to do our best creative work, we must not just permit moments of confusion, but actually go chase them.