Stiggy and Sands is the brilliant collaboration between Brian Bonislawsky (Stiggy) and Jim Lyles (Sands). Both legends in their own right, they collectively have more than 40 years of experience in the typography industry.
In 1981, Jim was a Fine Arts grad student at Pratt Institute in New York. As a college student in search of employment, he responded to a New York Times advertisement for a “Letter Drawer.” Having no idea what that actually entailed or how it would ultimately impact the course of his entire life, he applied and interviewed for the position, discovering that Mergenthaler Linotype was looking for an individual to draw typefaces for their typesetting machine library.
“I apprenticed for a while, learning the craft from some real great designers, (Larry Oppenberg, David Berlow, and John Quaranta, to name a few), drawing 12″ cap letters, flipped, on light tables and making them camera ready by cutting them out of rubylith,” Jim recalled. “At the same time they installed a computer the size of a refrigerator, in its own air conditioned room, and introduced us to the first digital type design tool, Ikarus. This was so cutting edge, and the possibilities of what could be accomplished with it, I was hooked by this meld of technology and art.”
Being meticulous designers and font engineers, it is the blend of art and technology that serves as the basis for Stiggy and Sands’ work ethic, a foundation that’s perfectly exemplified in their most recent release, Kapture.
“Kapture was actually based upon sample work from a book titled ‘Letters & Lettering’ by Paul Carlyle and Guy Oring,” Jim told us. “There are numerous one line sample scripts of ‘Silence is a great peacemaker,’ so I chose one that spoke to me and started filling it out.”
As if filling out the basic character set were not work enough, Stiggy and Sands prefers to compose scripts that offer extensive swash, contextual alternates, ligatures, and other OpenType features. In the end, Kapture was comprised of 915 glyphs.
Still, such intricacies provide great satisfaction for Jim. “I really enjoy taking something that is not complete and making it whole,” he said. “There’s a unique challenge to creating characters that jive well with existing ones, particularly in script designs.” Kapture is a partial connecting script and as such, most of the lowercase glyphs connect, just as they would in natural handwriting. “You aren’t exactly free to draw the letter any way you want, so you have to find a way to make the connection look natural, and at the same time make sure the spacing between the letters is reasonably consistent,” Jim observed.
Kapture personifies sensuality in drawn-out, languid strokes. Gracefully composed with romantic overtones, the effortless cadence between its letterforms imbue Kapture with a passionate resonance. A sonorous love song in type, Kapture is an elegant choice for engagement announcements, wedding invitations, romantic greeting cards, branding, product packaging, and any project that must take a luxurious and sophisticated approach to its design.
Kapture offers contextual alternates for alternate beginnings and endings for lowercase letters, stylistic alternates that provide a collection of alternate capital letters, a full set of inferiors and superiors for limitless fractions, standard ligatures, oldstyle figures, and ornaments for exceptional versatility and panache. Its multilingual support extends to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Pan African Latin, Dutch, and Afrikaans for global accessibility.
Stiggy and Sands currently offers 35 products through YouWorkForThem. If you’re in love with Kapture, you’ll want to check out every single one of the type designs in their portfolio and bookmark it so you won’t miss their future additions.
“Brian is working on a retro upright script font based on the type found in an old greeting card,” Jim shared. It’s a considerable challenge because there isn’t much to work with aside from a couple of capital letters, a small selection of lowercase letters, and no additional figures. “Right now it’s super thin, but we may explore a bolder or even a black weight and interpolate some weights in-between, like we did with Sacramento,” he added.
Given Stiggy and Sands’ illustrious body of work so far, we can’t wait to see what they release in the future!