Born in Milwaukee, Attended Rhode Island School of Design in Rhode Island, now works in Boston while traveling and giving guest critics and seminars.
Currently Highsmith is working as a senior designer at Boston’s Font Bureau. Studied painting and fine arts in high school decided to go to rise and study graphic design. Whilst there found an interest in typography. There wasn’t much of a niche for this concentration at the time there so with the help of staff found the haven of Font Bureau where he would bring his process work for review/crit and after college (1997) worked there. Also Highsmith is an adjunct Professor at RISD for Typography.
Claim to fame
Highsmith is a well known typeface designer and also a print maker. Typefaces Highsmith has created: Amira, Antenna, Benton Sans, Biscotti, Bureau Roman, Caslon’s Egyptian, Daley’s Gothic, Dispatch, Eggwhite, Escrow, Heron Sans, Heron Serif, Ibis Display, Ibis Text, Loupot, Miller Headline, Novia, Occupant Gothic, Prensa, Prensa Display, Quiosco, Receiver, Relay, Salvo Sans, Salvo Serif, Scout, Serge, Stainless, Zócalo Banner, Zócalo Display, Zócalo Text.
Highsmith had said in a Q&A. (http://www.myfonts.com/newsletters/cc/200902.html)
“My philosophy is that when an artist really pays attention to the needs of the audience, and is serious about craftsmanship, the result will be work that is imaginative and inventive. Original work, in other words. This doesn’t mean it comes from nowhere, or is a complete break from what has preceded it. It means that the work adds something new to the world. The effect of a new addition can be subtle, or it can rattle the whole ecosystem.”
Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals. A textbook on type developed for the basic level typography course he’s teaching at RISD.