Doyald Young Passes Away At Age 84

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News | Yves Peters | March 11, 2011

On Monday, February 28, Doyald Young – lettering and logotype designer, type designer, author, teacher and mentor, passed away at the age of 84 due to complications following a recent heart operation. On the Art Center blog The Dotted Line Lorne Buchman, President of the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena, CA, where Young graduated with a degree in Advertising in 1955, testifies:

Doyald was a gifted artist, an astonishingly powerful teacher and well-deserving of the many accolades he received during his illustrious career. We honored Doyald at Art Center last December with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and we bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate of humane letters. The double entendre was not lost on the Art Center community. Indeed, Doyald, the great human being and the brilliant artist, infused in every exquisite font and letterform he created his immense and passionate humanity. We deeply mourn the passing of our dear and wonderful friend.

Although I know his work and his reputation, I may not be the best person to write an obituary for Doyald Young. Read Steven Heller’s in The New York Times, and Thomas Wilder remembers Doyald Young on idsng. Doyald Young himself wrote about his five mentors in Design heroes for AIGA, and published an essay on Jan van Krimpen, Typographer in 2003. He was awarded the 2009 Aiga Medal, and presented the 2010 SOTA Typography Award at TypeCon2010: Babel in Los Angeles.

Doyald Young primarily designed custom lettering and logotypes, but also has a number of elegant and refined typefaces to his name:

Doyald Young was the author of a trio of monographs published by Delphi Press:

  • Logos & Letterforms
  • Fonts & Logos
  • Dangerous Curves: Mastering logotype Design

Read Doyald Young in his own words in Doyald Young: Master of Dangerous Curves, an interview by Allan Haley for Step Inside Design, July/August 2008; and the interview for Lettercult from September 25, 2008. And you can hear the man himself in the two videos below from

From humble beginnings in a small Texas town eight decades ago comes legendary typographer, logotype designer, author, and teacher Doyald Young. As elegant as his script fonts and as wise as his set of Oxford English dictionaries, Young sets the standard for his craft. Friend and designer Stefan Bucher describes Young as “someone who could easily have done what he does in the Renaissance, and could easily do it 300 years from now.” In this installment of Creative Inspirations, we enjoy a window into the life of this accomplished artisan as he works with joyous focus in his favorite spot, his drawing table. We follow Young to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he shares his talents with tomorrow’s designers. He recalls the hundreds of iterations he went through in creating the logo for Prudential, and he puts pencil to tissue creating the pages for his next book about script lettering, Learning Curves. Young’s story is compelling, captivating, and most of all, inspiring.

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  1. The World of Type & Script lost a great Man of sublime Curves.

    Posted by Jan Hendrickx on Mar. 11, 2011
  2. In honour of the passing of Doyald Young, US and Canada residents can order The Art of The Letter, a lovely, free book by Doyald Young from Mohawk Fine Papers.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Mar. 12, 2011
  3. Doyald was a little-known giant in the design field, a gentleman in the highest sense and an instant friend to anyone interested in typography and design. I will always miss him.

    Posted by Jim Richards on Mar. 12, 2011
  4. I sat in on a seminar given by Mr. Young a few years ago and it changed forever the way I think about logo design and typography. His work is an inspiration and if you are not already familiar with it, you would do yourself a great service by getting either of his two books (or both).

    Posted by Stuart McCoy on Mar. 12, 2011
  5. I only recently discovered Mr. Young on and was amazed at his work. Would’ve loved to have the chance to meet him or take a class of his. Condolences to his family.

    Posted by Nathan on Mar. 15, 2011

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