Illustrator Memories from Roger Black

Thanks to Roger Black of Font Bureau and Type Network for sharing memories of Illustrator. Check out the rest of the series here.

What is your earliest memory of using Adobe Illustrator?
Ha! I was a beta tester! John Warnock recorded the training video!

How did Illustrator impact your career path as a typographer?
For me, the number one use of Illustrator is for creating logos. Very often, it’s just a matter of making ligatures for an existing typeface. But sometimes I start from scratch…

How did your relationship to Illustrator change over the years?
After 3.0, I kind of maxed out on the feature set. Until SVG. But I never use the pixel-based tools; instead, I use Photoshop. One newer feature I use is the ability to drag and drop Illustrator files into the other apps.

How do you use Illustrator in your work today?
Still the same: logos, and sometimes special headings in publications—like for sections, or big articles. And of course for infographics, where Illustrator continues to be indispensable.

What do you think Illustrator’s biggest type-related legacy has been?
For me, a big legacy is the font, FB Californian, which was designed by Carol Twombly in Illustrator. It was one of the first two typefaces released by the Font Bureau.

For Adobe, it was the first app made for end users. It put a visual control panel on PostScript, which helped establish the notion of using vector files instead of bitmaps. Now it’s the first Adobe CC app in my Mac dock. Partly because it was the first. But also because it’s essential for digital and desktop design.

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Meghan Arnold

Meghan Arnold

Community engagement at Typekit. Former TYPO San Francisco conference director. Probably taking photos of signs or San Francisco sunsets. Will one day write about her adventures.