The Darden Studio

Incorporated in New York State, Darden Studio produces and publishes the typeface designs of Joshua Darden and his collaborators. We pursue typography that is the result of earnest inquiry, appropriate for current editorial standards and technology, and rooted in the values and practices of five centuries of typefounding.

How we approach our work

In an increasingly global marketplace, a distinct typographic voice is more important than ever – using good typography that will withstand the whims of fashion and embody a clear, unique brand message far into the future. Our retail typefaces are tools to build the kind of brands we want to buy, websites we want to visit, magazines and newspapers we want to read, and advertising we want to see on the street: memorable, appealing, accessible, and typographically excellent. New projects in our office begin with a solid foundation: thorough evaluation of any current solution, market & competitor research, and plenty of listening. Our consulting services, always provided gratis on large projects, include research & analysis, troubleshooting, and frank advice. To begin a conversation, please get in touch with us and tell us what you’d like your type to say about you.

A ‘holistic’ studio

Design is an extension of the human experience — typeface design acutely so, because it’s present in nearly every aspect of our daily communication. We approach typeface design as a middle place between technology, language and aesthetics, we pursue our work alongside other activities which expose us to more of the world: drawing, painting, metalworking, gardening, stonecutting, music-making, reading and writing are as important to our office culture as evaluating artwork and writing code.

Members of the studio:

Joshua Darden, Founder and Chief Design Officer

Born and raised in suburban Los Angeles, Joshua Darden published his first typeface at the age of 15. He spent the next decade assisting in the development and production of typefaces for a broad range of commercial and cultural institutions. Since establishing his Brooklyn-based studio in 2004, he has collaborated with clients in dozens of markets to invent rich, communicative typography. He has lectured at the University of California Santa Barbara, has sat on panels at the TypeCon and South by Southwest Interactive conferences, juried the Type Directors Club Type Design Competition, and visited the Rhode Island School of Design as a Guest Critic. In addition to guiding the creative work of the studio, Joshua has taught at Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts. He is an avid amateur photographer, and tireless collector, accumulating and cataloging books, small objects, and awesomely bad pop music.

Joyce Ketterer, Chief Executive Officer

A Philadelphia Quaker by birth and a New York Jew by inheritance, Joyce joined the studio in 2008, became COO in 2013, and took the role of CEO in 2016. She takes a hands-on approach, acting as project manager and endeavoring to personally reply to requests via the contact form. She likes long walks on the beach and in her spare time she grows orchids, trains cats, and reads EULAs.

Robert Esmay, Special Projects

After winning his fourth grade kite-building contest, Rob became a syndicated and New Yorker cartoonist, a painter of nudes, and an art show curator. He joined our team in 2008 as a full-time member of the studio, he remains in an ad hoc capacity to consult on brand decisions.

Lucas Sharp, Ex Officio Studio Member

A San Francisco native with a passion for cultivating curvilinear forms with ink, pixels, and in the garden, Luc is a founding partner of  Sharp Type Co. He first joined Darden Studio as an intern in the late 2000s, after studying with Joshua Darden while attending the Communication Design program at Parsons. We are deeply proud of his independent accomplishments and are always excited when we get the opportunity to collaborate presents itself.

Eben Sorkin, Senior Designer

Eben is often approached by strangers for directions in foreign cities where he doesn’t speak the language nor looks like the local population. He first visited the studio while on a layover as he traveled to the Reading Type Design program; he joined the team soon after completing the program. Founder of  Sorkin Type Co., he applies this ability to fit in anywhere in his work with the studio as a consultant and design collaborator.