A Tribute Web Site For Ray Barber, Master Typographer,
30 Year Pratt Institute Professor,  Awarded    Professor Emeritus


For 30 years, renowned New York master typographer, Ray Barber, was one of the most beloved and celebrated professors at Pratt Institute.  I am Ted DeCagna, Pratt Institute Class of 1980. I am a former student of Ray’s and I have assembled and designed this collection of Ray’s finest work to pay tribute to Ray Barber and to thank him for a lifetime of inspiration. In addition, I hope this collection of unique typography inspires both young and veteran designers to champion the art of hand lettering that excites, communicates and entertains for the next generation.

It is with great pride that I present 86 of Ray Barber’s career-best hand-lettered logotype designs on the following pages.

In addition, under Alumni Work 1 and 2, you will find two pages of unique, hand-lettered logotype designs from Ray’s former students of typography, now veteran designers. I welcome any comments at the email address below.



Born in Syracuse, New York, March 30, 1941,  Ray Barber first studied engineering at Purdue University and later graduated with a BA in psychology from the University of Cincinnati.  After graduation, he studied art at the Cincinnati Museum Art School, before accepting a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, in the department of Communications Design.  In 1966, he began teaching typography at Pratt, where he was on staff as an adjunct associate professor, and later at the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. After 30 years at Pratt, he was granted status as a Professor Emeritus.  In 1975, Ray Barber began working with fellow designer, Mark Packo, developing type solutions for clients, many of them book publishers and small graphic studios.  Later, collaborating with Alan Wood, Ray expanded his client list to advertising agencies (Burson-Marsteller, McCann-Erickson, Lois Chajet); record companies (RCA, Arista); movie studios (Paramount); and firms such as Pan American Airways, Estee Lauder, Clairol, Pepsi-Cola, Time Magazine, New York Magazine, Newsweek, and the New York Times.

Among the many awards his typographic designs captured include citations from The Art Directors Club of New York, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Advertising Club.  He was one of the ten artists asked to exhibit work in the Art Directors Club exhibition “Lettering, Calligraphy and Alphabets”   Industry publications include Graphic, Upper & Lower Case, Print, and Art Direction.


RAY BARBER’S PHILOSOPHY    (Reprinted From IDEA 156 International Design Annual 1979)

“As a dynamic and accelerating art form today, lettering is, I feel, to the graphic arts what ballet is to the performed arts.  Leaders in the design field have come to realize that typography can be as effective a solution graphically, aesthetically, and communicatively as a photograph or an illustration.  Indeed, in certain cases, even more effective.

In the past, lettering was used in conjunction with another art form, but now, increasingly, typographic solutions have become an end in themselves.  For this reason, when people ask me to define the scope of what I do, I’ve come up with the phrase illustrative letterforms.  You’ve only to look at album covers, book jackets and magazines to see evidence of this growing trend toward type resolutions.  And I don’t think it’s peaked yet.

Viable type designs do not evolve arbitrarily.  The face used or rendered should, in addition to being visually pleasing, have a concept behind the choice of construction of letterforms.  My own preference in letters is for serif and script styles over sans serif because the former allow for a more stylized, romantic feeling that I find especially motivating and rewarding to develop.

My most successful solutions have resulted from working with art directors who either have a strong concept in mind of what they want or possess the foresight to allow enough time for the type design to evolve.  To a great degree, the credit for a good resolution lies with a knowledgeable, sensitive art director.”



If you are a former student of Ray Barber, it is not too late to submit your most creative, hand-lettered logotype designs and be part of this on-going tribute with your work on this web site, under Alumni Designers.  Send your high resolution designs to Ted DeCagna at the email address below.   A $35. fee per logo design is requested to help cover the production expenses of building and maintaining this web site for years to come.  https://www.raybarbertribute.com/donations/

Even if you are not submitting work, please consider a tax-deductible donation to assist with web site expenses.   

Call Ted with any questions at 908-272-6777 or email  Ted@tdgraphicdesign.net.

Ted DeCagna
Ray Barber Tribute Association ( A New Jersey Non Profit organization, ID Number 0450332316)
6 Edward Place, Cranford, NJ 07016


error: Content is protected !!