Jaroslav Benda: 1882–1970

Last August during TypeCon in Minneapolis, Petra Dočekalová introduced us to the work of Jaroslav Benda, an important but under-recognized designer and typographer from the Czech Republic. On top of an illuminating presentation, she revealed a monograph of Benda’s work designed with her colleagues at Briefcase Type.

A preview of the original Czech version of the Jaroslav Benda book.

The book was a stunner — not a surprise based on their previous books which I’m lucky to have in my design library. But I knew this one was special, as did Neil Summerour whom I dueled with over the lone copy donated to the silent auction despite the fact that neither one of us could read it. Maybe a sign to learn Czech? And although Neil ultimately got the book that evening — we had some good laughs and I made sure to make a dent in his wallet†.

Today the long-awaited Kickstarter campaign to support an English translation of the book went live. Obviously a no-brainer for me to support — which I did happily despite Petra telling me they won’t take my money and already had a book earmarked for me.

Assuming the project hits its funding goal, that means I’ll have an extra book to send to a young, up-and-coming designer, preferably from an under-represented group to help them build their own design library. More on how that will work on a later date.

Did I mention you should also consider backing the project? Please do.

† Not a dent I wouldn’t have happily made in my own wallet. I’m not mean!