OBITUARY : Walter Tracy
Wednesday 03 May 1995
Naturally, with his enquiring mind and eye, the potential of new technology was attractive, and in 1973, he joined Linotype-Paul, the branch of Linotype involved in developing film-setting systems. The possibility of extending these to non-European scripts, many of which had been too complex for hot-metal Linotype, was an agreeable challenge. In addition to Arabic, he also produced two related Hebrew types, which were credited to "David Silver" (I am not sure why a pseudonym was required).
The books that he wrote after he retired are well worth reading. Letters of Credit took a series of well-known letter-forms (none, characteristically, of his own design), and subjected them to a detailed analysis in terms of form and function. His style was spare and concise, but always clear; virtues even more marked in The Typographic Scene, into which at least some subjective detail, even a little autobiography, was admitted.
Any conversation with Tracy was a delight. His wit, original turn of phrase, but above all his clarity of mind, the honesty that permeated everything he did or said, made meetings something to look forward to. Our last long conversation, on the origins of "Times New Roman", was perforce on the telephone. It was unfinished, the answers to the questions under discussion still elusive. Had he lived, I am sure he would have found them - at least, there would have been another meeting, and a chance to exercise that selfless but lively intelligence, to feel again the warmth with which he greeted all the people and problems that came his way.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...
Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...