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Revolutionary Typographer dies at 76

Alan Peckolick, the artist famous for developing typefaces for Revlon and NYU is no more. He was 76. He suffered a severe fall in his Connecticut home.

Peckolick was diagnosed of Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago, but he continued to do the things that gave him happiness – namely, designing, travelling and painting throughout his final days. His wife, Jessica Weber said remembering him that they were blessed with a rich, full life; and that his disease could never take away what he loved.

Peckolick was born in 1940 in the Bronx to a “blue-collar family.” His father was a letter carrier, his mother a housekeeper. As a child, he didn’t get an opportunity to a lot of cultural institutions, but he did love to draw. In an interview, he had recalled doodling on the grocery bags that he picked up at his mother’s request. As a kid, no one really predicted that he had such immense talent inside of him.

It was Peckolick’s mother who apparently understood her son’s knack for drawing and advised that he applied to art school. After scribbling his portfolio on different scraps and surfaces, he submitted, and got accepted at Pratt Institute on a trial basis. And within three months into his trial with the illustration department, he was asked to leave the program because he fell behind.

This removal from the program led Peckolick to uncover graphic design, an area that interested him partly because he didn’t need drawing skills for it. While still at Pratt, he had already switched his area of study to the language of typography, thus learning about shapes that make up letters and words and about their visual effect on the reader.

After graduating from Pratt, Peckolick had a brief stint at advertising before assisting the legendary Herb Lubalin, who later became his lifelong friend.

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