Julian Waters (calligrapher)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Julian Waters (born 1957) is a calligrapher, type designer[1] and teacher. In 1981-82 Waters worked with Gerard Valerio at Bookmark Studio in Washington DC, specializing in logos, books and publication design. In 1984 he opened his own studio in Capitol Hill.

He was born in Hampshire, England and is the son of calligrapher Sheila Waters and book binder/conservator Peter Waters. He now lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


Starting in 1979 Waters studied with legendary German type designer Hermann Zapf, who in 1984 asked the 27-year-old Julian to substitute and teach his two-week masterclass at Rochester Institute of Technology. Waters succeeded Zapf in 1989.

In the 1990s Waters combined the hand and computer, teaching “Letterform Design” for second year Graphic Design students at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC. Since 1978 he has taught specialized seminars on lettering and design attended by calligraphers and graphic designer all over U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe and has taught and lectured at institutions including Cooper Union, New York City, Sunderland University and Imperial College, London.

In 2006 Waters was the keynote speaker at *Letterforum*, part of the 26th International Calligraphy Conference, at James Madison University.[2]

Private-sector Works[edit]

Waters has an extensive portfolio including logos, posters, CD packaging, titling for books and publications. He has designed titling lettering for National Geographic Magazine for over 20 years. He is the only lettering designer to have been featured in a "Behind the Scenes" full page photo profile in the Magazine (late 1999).

He has been featured on TV in the U.S. and Europe, including the Emmy Award-winning segment entitled "Man of Letters", on the Sunday morning magazine show, Capital Edition, 1989.[3]

In 1997 Adobe Systems released his new Multiple Master typeface, "Waters Titling" for Adobe.[4] He has also designed custom corporate alphabets for Host Marriott Services, Shared Vision and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Waters' logo designs include "Amtrak Vacations". "Pfizer150", "Visaphone" and "MCI WorldPhone". Other diverse projects include custom lettering design for Barry Moser's Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, including raised gold leaf work on 50 deluxe edition copies.

Public Works[edit]

His work has received recognition from parts of the US government, resulting in his type design being used in government projects.

Waters produced lettering for books, posters and stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, including “Bill of Rights” and "Presidential Libraries" stamp, “Love” envelope and “Legends of American Music” series.

During the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, Waters was a typographic advisor to Maya Lin. He was the typographic designer for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington Cemetery and lettering & typography designer for the Visitors' Center at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.


Waters has received awards for the Type Directors Club, Art Directors Club, Print Magazine, Letter Arts Review Annual. He was the 1997 Rubenstein Memorial Guest Artist at the Sidwell Friends School, Washington DC.[5]


  1. ^ "Pens poised for Letters Of Joy". Edmonds Beacon. Mukilteo, Washington. 6 April 2006. p. 12. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Letterforum calendar". Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Capital Edition Classic - Julian Waters, Calligrapher". WUSA (news station). Sep 24, 1989.
  4. ^ "Adobe Fonts: Julian Waters".
  5. ^ "Calligraphy, lettering and typeface design". Washington Calligrapher's Guild. Retrieved 27 February 2013.