Ed Benguiat

October 27, 1924October 15, 2020

Ed Benguiat was born on October 27, 1924 and passed away on October 15, 2020 and is under the care of Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors.

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Ed Benguiat

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Glenn Hughes

January 7, 2021

I always think back to working with Ed Benguiat for a few years while he worked on his typeface family ITC Benguiat. I was working in Ed's dark cavern of an office on the ITC typeface booklets. I'd taken his class at SVA and made a design portfolio based on what Ed taught. Working with Ed was amazing. I've never seen someone with the enthusiasm and drama Ed displayed all day, every work day. Most letterers I met both at Photo-Lettering, where we worked, and outside, were quiet introverts, not Ed. He wouldn't stay quiet for long, except while he was lettering, which he did for years! And he was very entertaining!

Nick Taylor

December 21, 2020

I had the honor of working with ED at Photolettering back in1984. I was an employee that started out as a messenger while I attended SVA. Eventually, I was promoted to the bull pen department. Eventually I was working in couple of different departments, including the camera department. At times I would either make film positives/negatives for ED. That's when I totally understood how ED'S work was so sharp and clean with an xacto blade. This type of work will NEVER be done like this ever again in today's work world. The computer, it takes even longer than done by HAND. I have gotten great at it, but it is another career. ED had actually at one time introduced me to Victor Caruso, Rudy Supper, & Tony Stan. The four of them are creating new characters for God. I'm sure that he's got them adding swashes to English, Jewish, and Arabic typefaces. Way too much to mention. The man was a true badass.

PS: I had a collection of type books that were destroyed. I need PLINC 1&2, the one-liner, Vol 2 & 3 of Alphabet Thesaurus, and the Red White & Blue book, and the ITC Alphabet poster. Please contact me if available. Sincerely, Nick Taylor

Linda E. Nahum

November 22, 2020

Ed was my father’s first cousin. He was considered the “Black Sheep” of the family, a title he was most proud of, he said my father was everyone’s favorite. So they were bookends.

Ed was his own man. He was a percussionist, a pilot, a professor a logo and type designer and much more.

He flew into the wind and still succeeded at most of his endeavors. Ed had a mixed temperament which sometimes cost him prestigious assignments...but it was Ed’s way or it wasn’t Ed’s.

He was very endearing coming from a family with strict rules on what was proper or not, he was refreshing in his position of breaking the rules and doing what he wanted to do. That suggestion of everyone having their own path, their own life, gave me a sense of personal freedom.

I’m sorry I never experienced the plane ride he’d promised over a rare steak, but added things don’t always work out the way you hope they will. Just be open to believing everything is an opportunity.

Ed was one of a kind. He will be missed but his fonts will be admired and used for many years to come.

Jane Patterson

November 5, 2020

Dear Lisa,

My first typography lesson with Professor Ed was a one hour lecture about his significant other ‘Visa Lisa’. Throughout this lecture, it was very clear that Ed was so proud of you as a person and a designer. He went on to describe every detail of your Visa business card, of course with many side comments and life anecdotes. I remember thinking after this lecture that, firstly, I wanted to meet you, and secondly that Ed was a person with deep rooted family values, a master of type design, and a phenomenal story teller. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to study under such a huge talent. My condolences to you and your family, and I send many positive thoughts for your enormous loss.

Warm regards,

- Jane Patterson

// Please drop me an address at — my husband and I would love to send you a bottle of wine from our Tuscan winery in celebration of Ed’s memory. //

Marjorie Oxman

October 19, 2020

Dear Lisa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. May you be surrounded by the comfort and love of family and friends and may Ed’s memory live in your heart forever. - Marjorie Windman Oxman

Alan Morris

October 18, 2020

Around 1980 or 1981, with aspirations of getting an entry level position in an ad agency bullpen (back in the days when they used bullpens), I enrolled in Ed's Typography workshop at SVA in NYC. His final class assignment was a competition. Each student was instructed to design an original 3 dimensional font and bring to class a sample letter in the style created. The winner was to receive a surprise award. To my surprise, Ed singled out my entree as best in competition. My prize - one half of a dollar bill, which he signed. I never did get a Madison Avenue job, going into film editing instead. But I held onto that prize, tucking it away for safekeeping. I think now I'm going to frame it. Kind of wish I still had the winning entree to go with it.

Randi Carroll

October 18, 2020

I was Ed’s caregiver for about 3 years. I enjoyed listening to all his stories, from his musical days, flying planes to his amazing work in typography.
He was a very generous and caring man.
I was honored to have known him.
RIP my friend!

Rick Stark

October 18, 2020

I got my button on a frozen February night. Probably ‘75. At that coffee shop on Second Avenue after class. Whether I earned it for honest effort, or the way I caught Ed’s beat and tapped in time as he riffed on life, that button is the most valuable thing I’ve ever been given. 1.5” across with a pin in the back, Ed had them made from the centerpiece of a giant poster he had designed to make us lust for Bicentennial-themed alphabets. He said the button matched one of the markings on his plane and so to hold that button was to possess a piece of Ed’s energy, to feel connected to his world, to have done something right.

Ed told his students we had to work to be The Best or we wouldn’t survive in our business. After so many years, I know I owe my survival to the confidence he bestowed on me that cold winter night.

A former student posted this beautifully articulated tribute on LinkedIn:
“... just being around someone who shone so brightly changed us in a fundamental way”.

Thank you, again, Ed, for all your brilliance.

My kindest thoughts to Lisa and all the Benguiat family.

David Schiffer

October 16, 2020

Ed was my teacher at SVA in 1980, right when the Benguait typeface was published. The purpose of the class was to sketch recognizable typefaces quickly for ad layout. I became hooked on typography and committed to a design career. Ed had a lot of sass and funny stories. He had great skill and taught us to design using found objects -- for instance, paint spatters from a squirrel hair brush were used as periods in a certain font. Around two years ago I was able to find Ed, emailed him and then we had several great phone calls about design. He (wisely) refused to critique the work of designers who sought him out, but I think he enjoyed looking at it. -- David Schiffer, Brooklyn, New York