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Ed Benguiat, a Master of Typography, Is Dead at 92



Ed Benguiat, a celebrated graphic designer known for his expertise in typefaces — including the one you see at the top of the print and web editions of this newspaper — started his design career in a not-so-celebrated post at a movie magazine publisher.

“My job was to be a cleavage retoucher,” he recalled in a video interview with the Type Directors Club. “My job was to take it out — take the cleavage out, remove it.”

It was the years after World War II, an era of the restrictive Hays Code in the movies.

“I was very good with an airbrush and buying doilies in the 5 and 10,” he said, strategically placed doilies being key to the cleavage removal process.

Mr. Benguiat went on to more sophisticated work. He became one of the go-to designers of the second half of the last century, especially in matters of typography. His hand was behind more than 600 typefaces, several of which bear his name (which is pronounced ben-GAT). The Telegraph of Britain, in a 2016 article about him prompted by the striking use of one of his fonts (ITC Benguiat) in the title sequence of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” called him “one of the type industry’s greats.”

Mr. Benguiat died on Thursday at his home in Cliffside Park, N.J. He was 92.

His wife of 38 years, Elisa (Halperin) Benguiat, said through a spokeswoman that the cause was cancer.

Mr. Benguiat was an important figure in the design world for a number of reasons. According to his citation in the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 2000, he helped establish the International Typeface Corporation, the first independent licensing company for type designers, and became its vice president. He also taught for almost 50 years at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

But it was his painstaking work designing new typefaces and modifying existing ones that made him a revered figure in the business, and that reached the public eye, although the public rarely knew his role. He designed logotypes for companies including Ford and AT&T and for Esquire, Look, McCall’s and other publications. His typefaces were seen in movies including “Super Fly” (1972) and “Planet of the Apes” (1968).

ImageMr. Benguiat’s typefaces were seen in  “Planet of the Apes” and other movies.
Credit…20th Century Fox

Mr. Benguiat understood the intricacies of a typeface in a way that today’s computer users, with countless fonts at their disposal, generally do not. He knew that a successful design wasn’t merely in the shaping of individual letters; it was in things like the spacing between those letters. And he knew that what looks good on a computer screen might not work when blown up to the size of a marquee or a billboard.

“At three feet high, the serif of a face like Bodoni is going to be two inches thick,” he told Macworld in 2001, referring to a popular typeface. “Someone has to fix it. I get called to do that.”

One such “fixer” assignment, in 1967, was for The New York Times. Louis Silverstein, the paper’s promotion art director at the time, was given the task of revisiting the nameplate, which had been tweaked over the previous century but remained a distinctive calling card. Mr. Silverstein tweaked it anew.

“To strengthen the logo, I redrew it,” he wrote later, “making the thicks thicker and the thins thinner.”

“I drew the new logo on tracing paper,” he added, “and hired Ed Benguiat to do the actual ink drawing. Ed was perhaps the most accomplished letterer in the country.”

Credit…Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives/Visual Arts Foundation

One result of that redesign was the disappearance of the period that for decades had come after the word “Times” in the logo. (Some readers mourned its loss. “No tittle in your title?” one wrote.) In the Macworld interview, Mr. Benguiat recalled the Times logo assignment this way:

“Lou Silverstein was the art director. His thought was, ‘Change it.’ My thought was, ‘OK, we’ll change it — but if we change it, nobody will recognize it.’ So all I did was take it and fix it.”

Ephram Edward Benguiat was born on Oct. 27, 1927, in Brooklyn. His mother, Rose (Nahum) Benguiat, was a driver for the Red Cross, and his father, Jack, was design director at Bloomingdale’s; Mr. Benguiat often spoke of his childhood fascination with his father’s pens and paintbrushes.

Some articles about Mr. Benguiat over the years said that one of his first efforts at tweaking type was when he forged a birth certificate to make himself appear old enough to join the Army during World War II, but in a 2017 talk at the Type Directors Club, he corrected that; it was his father who did the forging, he said. It was good enough to get him into the Army Air Forces, and during the war he was stationed in Italy, serving first as a radio operator on a bomber and then doing photo reconnaissance.

Credit…David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Mr. Benguiat had been playing the drums since his father bought him a drum set at age 10, and under the name Eddie (or sometimes E.D.) Benart, he played with various jazz ensembles, including those of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton. But the work lost its allure.

“One day I went to the musician’s union to pay dues and I saw all these old people who were playing bar mitzvahs and Greek weddings,” he said. “It occurred to me that one day that’s going to be me, so I decided to become an illustrator.”

An establishment near one of the clubs where he played beckoned.

“There was a sign on Fifth Avenue; it said, ‘Draw me,’” he said in the 2017 talk. “So I went upstairs and I registered.”

It was the Workshop School of Advertising Art. where he studied layout, design, typography and calligraphy. The cleavage-covering job, he said, developed into something more by happenstance.

“The lettering man was gone, and something was missing,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I can do it,’ and I did it, and that’s what started the ball rolling.”

Eventually he had enough skills to be hired, in 1953, by Esquire magazine, and in 1962 he joined Photo-Lettering Inc., a typesetting company, as typographic design director. He developed some 400 typefaces there.

In 1971 he joined the newly established International Typeface, making a quick impact there by retooling the typeface Souvenir. His revised version became immensely popular.

Credit…Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives/Visual Arts Foundation

As for his own typefaces, Mr. Benguiat said that developing one from scratch could take him a year or more. He wasn’t hostile to computers when they arrived and changed how graphic design was done, but he maintained that good design started with a good hand.

“If you can’t draw a shape that’s pleasing on a piece of paper,” he told Macworld, “how the hell are you going to do it on the screen?”

In a 1989 interview with The Times, he put it another way. “The most beautiful thing in the world,” he said, “is a blank piece of paper.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Benguiat is survived by a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. A son from an earlier marriage, Jon, died in January.

In the Type Directors Club video, Mr. Benguiat said he saw a connection between his early career as a musician and his later one.

“Music is placing sounds, to me, in their proper order so they’re pleasing to the ear,” he said. “That’s all. What is graphic design? Placing things in their proper order so they’re pleasing to the eye.”


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Fighting Zoom Fatigue? These Cards Can Help



The co-founder of DigiCards shares how business owners can increase engagement with teams that are working remotely.

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October 20, 2020 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtney Spritzer is the co-founder of , a and marketing agency, and co-host of the podcast Entreprenista with her partner Stephanie Cartin. She spoke with Jessica Abo about how her company adjusted to remote work and the genesis of DigiCards, sets of cue cards for virtual meetings.

When Covid hit, Spritzer and Cartin had to make changes to how they ran their business. 

“We had a lot of learnings and some things that we had to implement right away,” Spritzer says. “We wanted to make sure that we were still having face-to- with all of our employees and our employees were getting that face-to-face time with each other.” 

Months into working remotely, Spritzer and her team found themselves on about ten video meetings a day. She says laying down ground rules from the beginning helped the company transition smoothly.

“We had to share with everyone what it means to work from home and share expectations,” Spritzer says. “Everyone still has to be available. You still have to communicate with each other. You have to over-communicate during this time. And I’m really thankful that our company was set up on Slack because now we really, really leverage Slack for interoffice communications and to quickly stay updated on what’s going on.”

Spritzer and Cartin have put extra time and energy into helping their employees feel connected. “We meet once a month as a team,” Spritzer says. “We do a virtual lunch and send everyone a gift card. Everyone orders lunch in advance, and we get together and play games and catch up and try to bond during that time.”

Spritzer says they also remind their team to take breaks. “You don’t really have that balance anymore of getting out of bed, getting out of your apartment or house and going into an office. Now it’s all blended and we have hours back in our day, and a lot of people are filling those hours with more work.”

After experiencing Zoom fatigue, the co-founders decided to create a product to make video meetings less painful.

“I remember that back in May I called my business partner Stephanie and said, ‘This has to be better and it can be better. What can we do to make this better?’ And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had very colorful cards that we could use to communicate over video?’ Because a lot of times there are technical glitches and sound issues, so the best way to communicate is just holding a sign, essentially.”

Spritzer and Cartin created a set of 20 colorful cards that focus on different aspects of a video meeting to help people know they are on mute or to let everyone know when someone has an idea they want to share. “We made the product for ourselves,” Spritzer says. “It worked so well that we decided to roll it out as a business solution for other businesses. And we also saw that it could be used for remote . So now the product is also available to teachers and students.”

They are also making customized packages for brands. “Something that I realized in my business, and also in talking to other business owners, is that the of a lot of businesses is really suffering during this time, since there’s no longer an office for a lot of businesses to go to and build that camaraderie,” Spritzer says. “So we can custom-make cards for businesses. And now businesses are hiring us to redesign the DigiCards to put their on front, send this out as gifts to their remote workers to keep them more engaged and then also customize the individual card so that it ties back to their values and their unique business culture. Right now we are offering ten percent off to help entrepreneurs and educators with the code Entrepreneur10.”

Spritzer says that if you have an idea you feel passionate about, go for it. “Do your research, the idea, see if it already exists, see if this is something that people want,” Spritzer says. “Ask your network, ask your friends if this is a product that they would buy. Collect as much feedback as possible and then based on that, decide if it’s worth your time to push the idea forward.”

Related: How Small Business Owners Can Bounce Back from the Pandemic


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The Problems With Passive Income for Entrepreneurs



October 20, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Passive income” is a phrase uttered by most modern entrepreneurs, as they seek to achieve the greatest amount of profit for the least amount of effort. It’s such a popular concept that it’s become a veritable buzzword, losing meaning each time it’s included in the title of an article or the foundation of a business plan.

And don’t get me wrong; passive income can be a path to building meaningful wealth. However, there are some serious problems with passive income, both in theory and in practice, that you’ll need to reconcile before moving forward with any plan.

Passive income in a nutshell

Passive income is any kind of income that you generate without the need for ongoing work. If you get paid a in exchange for full-time work, this is active, not passive. If you get paid hourly, you’re earning money in return for your efforts, so it’s active, not passive. Passive income hypothetically requires no time expenditure to make money. For example, if you invest in a dividend-paying stock, you’ll often earn a quarterly dividend based on the number of shares of stock you own. If you own 1,000 shares of a stock that pays $0.30 per share as a dividend, you’ll earn $300 in quarterly income by owning that stock, with no further effort required.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of strategies that purportedly allow you to generate passive income, and all of them have their merits. However, there are several problems with passive income that need to be addressed.

Related: 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Passive income streams don’t start out passive

First, there are some income streams that require little-to-no effort from you on an ongoing basis, but even these require at least some effort to start. Take our dividend-paying stock as an example: Before you can start generating passive dividend-paying income, you’ll need to carefully research different dividend stocks, do your due diligence and purchase your shares.

The same is true of many other supposedly passive income streams. For example, if you’re hoping to generate rental income from a property, you’ll need to spend time finding the right property, fixing it up and attracting the right tenants. If you want to make money from on a blog, you’ll need to spend time writing content and attracting an initial audience before you can build that momentum.

Many passive income streams still require upkeep

Some income streams fall into the “set it and forget it” category, but the majority of passive income streams still require ongoing upkeep. Within that set, some income streams can be downright disruptive in your life. For example, if you’re making money via advertising on a blog, you’ll need to create new posts on a regular basis and maintain your website. If you rely heavily on organic search traffic and you’re penalized by , you’ll have to quickly adapt your if you want to survive.

The same dilemma applies if you own a rental property. Ideally, you’ll generate income via rent paid by tenants, but what happens if you have a tenant who refuses to pay rent, or one who destroys your property? You’ll need to manage an eviction, which can be both expensive and time consuming. In other words, it compromises both the “passive” and the “income” part of “passive income.”

Capital is a massive gatekeeper

You’ll also find that capital is a massive gatekeeper for many passive income strategies. Anyone can start a blog, more or less for free, and anyone can try to start a business selling stock photography. But if you want to make substantial income with strategies like managing rental property, collecting dividends from stocks or loaning money to peers, you’ll need tens of thousands of dollars in the bank.

If you’ve already got your finances together and you’re making a strong stream of revenue from an active source, this may not be a big deal for you. However, it compromises the accessibility of some otherwise universal strategies.

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

There’s no surefire formula

Even with a good plan and significant business experience, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make money passively. Most approaches require you to put together a comprehensive strategy and be prepared to fend of competition, economic challenges and other threats. Too many people venture into the world of passive income believing they can follow a step-by-step approach and end up making money with little to no effort. They face a rude awakening when they encounter the first challenge that requires them to pivot their approach.

Passive income sounds fantastic on paper, because it offers entrepreneurs a chance to generate income with a minimal number of hours spent. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding passive income that lead people to overestimate its value and approachability. In many cases, passive income requires substantial upfront effort, initial capital and modest ongoing efforts; even then, there’s no guarantee of success.

Still, if you’re interested in diversifying your revenue streams or if you just want more opportunities to build wealth, passive income development could be right for you. Just be sure you treat it as a business strategy and not a get-rich-quick scheme. Source

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The number of hospitalizations grows and Mexico City could return to a red light



For now, the job will be to increase the number of tests and isolate positive cases as well as continue to insist on preventive measures.

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October 20, 2020 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

  • The availability of beds to care for COVID-19 patients is 58.2%.

Did the regrowth start? Claudia Sheinbaum , head of Government of Mexico City, declared that there was an increase in the number of hospitalized by COVID-19 in the last 10 days in the capital city.

He also commented that there is still time to avoid the application of restrictive measures or the return to the red traffic light and that for the moment he would not call it a regrowth, but a slight change in trend where hospitalizations are growing.

The head of government said that this week would be crucial to know if the traffic light was changed or not. For now, the job will be to increase the number of tests and isolate positive cases as well as continue to insist on preventive measures.

All this before moving to the closure of some economic activities, times or schedules in areas with high contagion danger. According to Sheinbaum, the availability of beds to care for COVID-19 patients is 58.2%, so there is still a great availability of beds, however, he emphasized continuing to comply with health regulations.

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