Carol Twombly

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Specimens of typefaces by Carol Twombly.

Carol Twombly (born 1959) is an American artist. She is best known for her calligraphy and typeface design. She worked as a type designer at Adobe Systems from 1988 through 1999, during which time she designed, or contributed to the design of, many typefaces, including Trajan, Myriad and Adobe Caslon.

Twombly retired from Adobe and from type design in early 1999, to focus on her other design interests, involving textiles and jewelry.[1][2]


Twombly attended and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she first studied sculpture, and later changed her major to graphic design. She credits her professors Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes, whose studio she worked in, for her inspiration and stimulating her interest in typography. At Stanford University Twombly was one of only five people to graduate from the short-lived digital typography program with Masters of Science degrees in computer science and typographic design.[1]

Twombly joined Adobe in 1988. One of her first projects at Adobe was Trajan.[3][4]


In her first international type design competition, Twombly was awarded the Morisawa gold prize for her entry in 1984. Subsequently, Morisawa Ltd., a Japanese typesetting manufacturer and the sponsor of the competition, licensed and marketed her entry as the Mirarae typeface. Twombly was also the 1994 winner of the Prix Charles Peignot, given by the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) - the first woman, and second American, to receive this award given to a promising typeface designer under the age of 35.[1]

Typefaces by Twombly[edit]

Twombly's fonts named after woods and trees were part of an Adobe project to revive American display typefaces from the nineteenth century that had been engraved in wood.[5][6]


Twombly left Adobe in 1999. Speaking in 2014, she cited a variety of reasons for the decision, including a lack of interest in designing fonts for onscreen display and the failure of Adobe's multiple master font technology.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Carol Twombly". Adobe. Retrieved March 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Riggs, Tamye. "The Adobe Originals Silver Anniversary Story". Typekit blog. Adobe. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Riggs, Tamye. "The Adobe Originals Silver Anniversary Story: Stone, Slimbach, and Twombly launch the first Originals". Typekit blog. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Riggs, Tamye. "The Adobe Originals Silver Anniversary Story: The Originals team kicks into high gear". Typekit blog. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Adobe Originals Silver Anniversary Story: Expanding the Originals". Typekit. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Families by Carol Twombly". Fontshop. Retrieved March 7, 2015.