Designer Ed Benguiat, a renowned typographer and typeface designer who designed fonts and logos for The New York Times, Diet Coke, Stranger Things, and more, has passed away at the age of 93. Benguiat, born on October 27th, 1927, created over 600 typefaces throughout his career, and you've undoubtedly seen his work all over the place. From publications like The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest, Esquire, or Playboy, to products like Diet Coke and Ford and then to film and television like Planet of the Apes and most recently Stranger Things, he left a significant mark on the industry, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Benguiat created a variety of typefaces, including Bookman, Edwardian Script, Tiffany, Panache, Benguiat, ITC Benguiat, and Benguiat Gothic. Benguiat's self-titled typefaces would go on to become synonymous with Stephen King novels in the 80s, but it was also featured in many other projects.
It was featured in The Smith's Strangeways, Here We Come album, as well as on the covers to the Choose Your Own Adventure series. It's also featured in the main titles of Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact, though you've probably seen it even more recently, and not just in Stranger Things.
I've just learned that the legendary Mr. Ed Benguiat passed away today. To put it simply, Ed was one of the greatest commercial artists of all time. You may never have heard of him, but you've seen his work. (thread) pic.twitter.com/3anGyvtxYR— Riley Cran (@rileycran) October 16, 2020
ITC Benguiat was also featured in the game Nier: Automata, and it's even used in Paramount's FBI warning, and has been used there since 1995.
As for Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer previously revealed what inspired their Stranger Things logo and title sequence, and it was love of those classic Stephen King titles that Benguiat's work was featured on (via Typeroom).
"There was a two-fold inspiration," Duffer told Vulture. One was, in terms of the font [ITC Benguiat] and the title design, going back to those old vintage Stephen King books. We sent 12 different old covers to Imaginary Forces, who were designing the titles — we wanted it to be in the style of these novels. There's something about when we were kids, when you would open up one of these big fat Stephen King novels that we loved. We wanted the show to have that sort of feeling every time you got to a new chapter. So that was for the font."