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Nicholas Benson is the co-owner and creative director of the John Stevens Shop. Founded in 1705, the shop specializes in the design and execution ... more


What is the history of the John Stevens Shop? I am the ninth generation to run the business—the third generation of Bensons. Six generations of the Stevens family ran the John Stevens Shop before my grandfather bought it in 1927. My grandfather studied the origins of lettering, which led him to the imperial Roman alphabet. He decided to make lettering along those lines, but with his own stylistic approach. Then when my dad took over the shop, he massaged into his work a bit of the typographic standard that was really coming to fruition in the ’60s and ’70s. My dad used so much of what my grandfather passed down to him, but then tweaked it in his own way. That’s the legacy I was born into.

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