A 1988 graduate of the School of Printing at Rochester Institute of Technology, Steve found his passion for type and typography among the collections of historic books, metal type, type-casting equipment and printing presses housed at the school. It was this immersion in tradition and reverence for high quality craftsmanship that set the foundation for his career in type.
Under the guidance of Professor Archie Provan, Steve completed several dozen typographic and letterpress printing projects including a booklet for the Byron G. Culver award and numerous keepsakes. College calligraphy courses with Professor Al Horton and later, workshops with Kris Holmes and Robert Paladino, refined his attention to the details of letterform design.
In 1990 Steve was hired by Monotype Typography as a contractor to aid in the production of Microsoft’s first TrueType fonts. Having already spent over two years mastering the hinting algorithms of a similar technology for QMS, TrueType was a relatively easy transition. Steve worked on hundreds of the first TrueType fonts created for desktop computers.
In 1991 Steve opened the California office of Monotype. The office eventually grew to include specialists in linguistics and software engineering and provided fonts for OEM customers such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Nokia.
Working on the technical aspects of type helped fuel Steve’s ambition to design new typefaces. Early forays into type design were taught by Charles Bigelow, Gerard Unger and Matthew Carter. For Monotype, he completed a handwriting design called Andy and a revival of Frederic Goudy’s Truesdell in 1993. These were soon followed by a font family designed for screen-use (called Andalé) as well as Blueprint, Fineprint and the revivals Binner Gothic, Façade, Gill Floriated Capitals and Goudy Ornate. By the time Steve left Monotype to form Ascender Corporation he designed over 25 font families including the user interface fonts for the Xbox and Microsoft Windows.