P22 Glaser Babyteeth
New York-based designer Milton Glaser (1929–2020) helped to define the late twentieth-century graphic design vernacular. His I♥NY logo is probably his most recognizable design. Almost as well known is his 1967 Bob Dylan poster featuring stylized, flowing colorful hair and a simple silhouette of Dylan with the letters DYLAN set in his Babyteeth type on the bottom. The Babyteeth font, and variations inspired by it, have been in constant use since this first appearance on the Dylan poster.
Glaser was inspired by a hand-painted sign he saw in Mexico, but it also evokes bold, blocky Soviet Constructivist poster lettering. Babyteeth was issued as a phototype font via Photo-Lettering, Inc., in the mid-1960s in four variations, as well as outline versions of those four. Along with the solid version of Babyteeth, there is a dotted counter, line counter and the rather curious “baroque.” All of these variations can be seen in dozens of record album covers from the 1970s. There has been no authorized digital release of any of the Babyteeth font, so most of the more contemporary versions seen are not quite as designed by Glaser and the original stylistic variations are rarely seen.
In 2019, P22 Type Foundry met with Milton Glaser (1929–2020) to initiate the official digital series of typefaces designed by Glaser in the 1960s and 70s. The Glaser fonts including Houdini, Kitchen, Babyfat, and Babyteeth were considered as the initial titles from the Glaser type collection to digitize. P22 Glaser Babyteeth is the first family to be released in the series.
According to Glaser: “The inspiration for my Babyteeth type face came from this sign I photographed in Mexico City. It’s an advertisement for a tailor. The E was drawn as only someone unfamiliar with the alphabet could have conceived. Yet it is completely legible. I tried to invent the rest of the alphabet consistent with this model.”
P22 Glaser Babyteeth was based on original drawings and phototype proofs from the Milton Glaser Studios archives. Over the years there have been many typefaces that borrowed heavily from the Glaser designs, but these are the only official Babyteeth fonts approved by Milton Glaser Studio and the Estate of Milton Glaser.
The solid and open versions are designed to overlap for two-color font effects and can even be mixed and matched for multi layer chromatic treatments. Babyteeth includes an expanded character set to support the majority of Latin languages.