Thomas Phinney may be the world’s only regular “font detective.” As a global expert on fonts, typography and printing, he does document forensics in legal cases around the world. The stakes can be fortune, fame, careers, imprisonment … or the family house. For this Letterform Lecture, Phinney discusses and shows evidence from several cases, including the Wicked Will, the Special Sack, and the Secret of the Certificate.
Thomas Phinney’s list of expert witness clients includes a “big three” auto maker and a major California city. He has been consulted on questioned documents by The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, PBS television’s History Detectives, BBC News, NPR, the US Treasury, and many others. Phinney is also a type designer who has created fonts for Adobe and Google. He is the former CEO of FontLab, and previously had strategic/technical product management roles at Adobe and Extensis. He was on the board of ATypI, the international typography association, from 2004–20. He has four patents and a medal, as well as an MS in printing & typography from RIT, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.