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Jesse Ragan & Carol Wahler — Designers on Designers

In their conversation, Jesse Ragan (XYZ Type) and Carol Wahler (Type Directors Club) speak about how they each got into type, where the name for Ragan and Ben Kiel’s foundry comes from, the importance of community within the type world, and more.



Type Network’s Designers on Designers series gives you a window into the personalities and processes behind some of the typefaces and designs you love. Subscribe to the TN YouTube channel and the TN newsletter to get future videos sent directly to your inbox.

“I was fascinated by fonts at a young age. Before I knew anything about graphic design, I was really drawn to fonts.” – Jesse Ragan on his earliest experiences with type.

“Type is everywhere: If you open your eyes, the world opens up.” – Carol Wahler on what she tells strangers who have never considered the type around them.

“It takes a certain kind of mindset to have the commitment to make a typeface, which is not the most lucrative or rewarding process in many ways. It’s a great community of people. We have to be in it together and have this sense of camaraderie because we’ve all decided to do this thing that’s maybe a little ridiculous.” – Jesse Ragan on the odd cohesion of the type design world.

“People say to me, ‘when are you retiring?’ Why in the world would I do that? I mean, it’s just so much fun.” – Carol Wahler on her future in the business.

“Naming things is really hard. Naming typefaces is really hard. Choosing a name for our business was very hard. But we were thinking about a lot of different names that somehow express the dedication that we bring to the craft and a willingness to see things through to the end.” – Jesse Ragan on the name for his and Ben Kiel’s foundry, XYZ Type.