During the summer of 1999, Dan Reynolds took an intensive two-week course in type design with Basel designer, Prof. Franz Werner. With his sophomoric attitude, Dan was certain that this period of time would be enough for him to create the first weight of a new type family, which would become the world’s next Gill Sans (little did he realize how impossible this notion was). The truth fell upon him at the end of the class’s first week, as he presented the drawings for his final project. “That’s a Gill g; you can’t deny it!” bellowed Prof. Werner. Dan was forced to take a closer look at his badly drawn rendition of a lowercase, double-storey g. Not only would this design never be the next Gill Sans, it was of infinitely poorer quality than Gill’s masterpiece.
The realities of type design began to slowly dawn on Dan. He spent the next several days drawing letters on graph paper, which he then quickly built into his quirky first font, Janus. Janus looks like a pixel font, but it isn’t—that would have require a level of design sophistication that Dan would not develop for another few years. However, Janus does look at least interesting in both larger and smaller sizes, and it was an excellent lesson is process. It led directly to Dan’s second typeface design, Sweet Pea, which was developed off of a nearly identical grid. Janus has never been submitted to any foundries or design competitions, but Dan does still enjoy using it in his private work.