I stumbled upon Fountain’s website back in 2007, when I was first getting interested in graphic design. I was back in America at the time, and Malmö was the big city in Sweden that my wide eyes could barely take in. Behind the site was this mysterious man, in his stylish loft apartment downtown, surrounded by books. Flourishes, ornaments, swashes, pixels, and grunge. This is what drew me in, only later would I come to love stems, counters, contrast and kerning. I realized that Peter got started the same way. He was active during a revolution: like many others in the ’90s, he rejected the uptight aesthetic of his predecessors and changed type at its chemical base. He was punk as fuck.
Peter’s way of life was something to aspire to. He was humble and generous, if at times frantic and scattered. But this is not a coincidence, he was always there for others with a fresh pair of eyes and an insightful voice. After moving to Malmö, in part due to his influence, I finally had the honor of meeting him in person. We enjoyed coffee, talked industry, and with a stern guiding hand he helped with some bezier curves. Despite having “grown up,” he wasn’t one to let strict geometry and optical perfection beget inherent quirkiness.
The last time we met was a summer’s evening. Göran Söderström was visiting from Stockholm and stayed at Peter’s place. They invited me over to Peter’s yellow brick house for a little barbecue. We drank beers on the porch cracked jokes, spoke candidly about each other’s work, played guitar and sang together. Göran and I have both been vegetarians for fourteen years each, but an exception was made when it came to Peter’s cooking. He worked with the less desired parts of the animals and knowledge of spices that could rival a professional. Peter had a huge heart, and I would say his greatest talent was living. I can’t make sense of this abrupt end. I will hold the memory of him close to my heart for the rest of my days.
I am comforted by the words of my two other biggest influences in type, Stephen Coles and Göran Söderström. Their memories of him are so similar to my own, I am reassured of just how genuine a man he was.
Ha det bra, Peter. Det var fint att lära känna dig.