David Quay – Graphic designer, type designer, typographer and teacher

Published on Thursday 30 July 2020
Posted in Biographies

David writing Roman capitals.

David Quay is one of the principals of The Foundry type design partnership. He is a graphic designer, type designer, typographer, and teacher, originally from London now resident in The Netherlands. He has also designed fonts for Letraset, ITC, and Berthold AG.

David studied graphic communication at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design from 1963–67. For the next seven years, he worked in various leading London design companies as a packaging and graphic designer. From 1975 he worked as a freelance lettering designer. In 1983 he formed with Paul Gray, Quay & Gray specializing in lettering and logotypes. It was also his first foray into headline typefaces and designed several dozen typefaces for Letraset over the next 10. He started his own company David Quay Design in 1987 to concentrate on graphic and typographic design. He also began to design his first text typefaces subsequently released by the International Typeface Corporation (ITC), New York, and H Berthold AG, Germany.

Since late 1987 he worked in partnership with Freda Sack on a broad range of type projects. The natural progression for their collective skills and experience was setting up an independent type foundry, and in 1989 they co-founded The Foundry, to design, manufacture and licence their exclusive typefaces. As a partnership their commissions have included bespoke typefaces, marks, and logotypes – a directory typeface to be readable at very small sizes for Yellow Pages (awarded a D&AD Silver); corporate fonts for BG plc (British Gas) and NatWest bank, as well as signage typefaces for the UK railway infrastructure and the Lisbon Metro system, Portugal.

David lectures internationally in typography and type design. He has had a long association with the London College of Printing (now LCC) and was a visiting lecturer at the Danmarks Designskole Copenhagen. Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach. For three years he was a professor of typography and book design at the Fachhochschule Mainz. In 2000 this prompted a move from London to Wiesbaden. Based in Amsterdam from 2001, he taught typography and design at Akademie voor Kunst en Vormgevin St Joost /Avans Hogeschool Breda. In 2008—13 he taught typography at IDEP in Barcelona 2 months a year.  He continued to work closely with Freda Sack and Foundry Types in London to expand The Foundry typeface library.

David was one of the founder members of Letter Exchange and its chairman for many years. He was elected a Fellow of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) in 1992 and was joint chair of the society with Freda Sack from 1994–9. During this period they ran a popular lecture series inviting leading international speakers to London. The Dutch lectures led to David’s connection with Amsterdam, and The Foundry’s collaboration with Wim Crouwel on the Architype Crouwel Collection and Foundry Gridnik

Currently, David lives in The Netherlands working as a type and graphic designer and creating new typefaces for The Foundry Types.

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