Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letter from Scott Schaller

I remember the day I met Doyald, because it was the day that my life as a teacher changed forever. I was asked by my friend and mentor, Greg Berryman of CSU, Chico, to attend the Quintessence Conference at Art Center in 2000, a conference for college design instructors. Greg had hoped I would learn a few things that might help me to improve my curriculum. I was both excited and apprehensive — as a high school design teacher, I was not part of the college design crowd and felt out of place. Still, it was a wonderful opportunity. and one presenter stood out… Doyald Young. Doyald spoke about typography with a passion I shared and a humor I appreciated. At the time, he was promoting his then-new book Fonts & Logos, which was being sold in the lobby during the break. I knew I had to have that book, and soon possessed what I would later come to refer to with my students as the 'Typographic Bible'. I went back into the empty auditorium, sat down and began reading intently. Caught up in my study of this arcane lore, I didn’t hear Doyald’s footsteps approaching until I heard a voice above me, asking if I was enjoying his book. Looking up and realizing I was speaking with the author, I complimented him and told him that I would be using it in my curriculum. When I informed Doyald that I taught design and typography at a high school, he was intrigued, and a ten year “conversation” began. Doyald would become my greatest mentor and a dear friend. Over the years, we shared meals and many talks about design education, and he even hosted visits with my students in his home. There are many young designers who mourn the loss of Doyald, recalling eating danishes, drinking tea, and learning about type, craft, and his very unique personal philosophy on life, all while sitting at his dining room table. Not many 18 year olds get to say they met a legend, but my students did. He touched many souls, encouraging me to become a better teacher, and inspiring many of my students in a way that would prove evident in their work for years to come. I will miss him, but his knowledge lives on in the fourteen well-read copies of his books that reside in my classroom library. Assuredly, future generations of young designers-to-be will learn about typography from this great master, because I will teach them what he taught me.

Scott Schaller
Cabrillo High School
Graphic Design Instructor

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