Many Mac users probably don't give a second thought to the fonts on the screen, but they make up a critical part of the user experience in any GUI-based operating system. Fonts are so important that Steve Jobs even called them out during his famous Stanford commencement speech.
Now Jonathan Hoefler, the designer of Hoefler Text (a font that has been part of every Mac OS since version 7.5) has been awarded the prestigious AIGA Medal, with his design/business partner Tobias Frere-Jones. The award is for contributions to "the typographic landscape through impeccable craftsmanship, skilled historical reference and insightful vernacular considerations."
Hoefler designed the font exclusively for Apple back in 1991. H&FJ's site calls the font "a modern classic" and says:
Hoefler Text resuscitated a number of other traditions that had once been central to fine printing: extended ligature sets, the engraved capitals of the early twentieth century and the arabesques of the renaissance. Hoefler Text even invented a few traditions of its own, such as case-specific punctuation and italic small caps, and worked to expand the reach of digital typography beyond the United States by including a wealth of foreign symbols and accents.
To get an idea of what goes into creating a font, watch the video interview with the two AIGA honorees below.