15 Year Danny Shatford

I’d like to use this opportunity to feature one of the less prominent personalities of Adobe’s Type Team, Daniel W.B. Shatford, who prefers to be called “Danny” by his friends, colleagues, and pretty much everyone else on the planet. Only his wife of countless years, mother, and three siblings refer to him a “Daniel,” but only when he is misbehaving, which is an incredibly rare event. I seem to recall him mentioning that his late father affectionately called him Danny Boy.

So, why is Danny being introduced on the CJK Type Blog? Put simply, without Danny and his, er, um, contributions to my “work,” our level of CJK support wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is today, particularly in the area of Type Development and standards involvement. Danny is the type of person who prefers to work behind closed doors (or cabinets), so to speak, and is the ever-silent “go to” person when one of his colleagues, such as myself, is in desperate need of a lift-me-up, or is simply looking for a breath of inspiration. In other words, I swing by Danny’s office quite frequently, and often take advantage of his jack-of-all-trades talents.

I’d like to personally thank the not-to-be-named colleague who is primarily responsible for bringing Danny’s extraordinary talents to bear at Adobe. I’d also like to draw attention to Steve Ross, who keeps Danny company much of the time, mainly due to the proximity to his office. As a fellow Canadian, who was raised on maple syrup and Crown Royal, they get along exceptionally well, and often discuss important topics, such as hockey scores and snow accumulation. Of course, both are loyal San Jose Sharks fans. (As a side note, I completely relate to the topic of snow, having been raised in greater-metropolitan Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, the Troll Capital of the World, and the former home of the National Mustard Museum.) Anyway, I am not sure that really qualifies as them being BFFs, but that doesn’t matter much to Danny, nor to Steve. Steve once remarked to me, “Even when Danny is not physically present, I feel his spirit is still here, watching over and inspiring us to do better for our customers.”

I recently asked another long-time colleague, Ernie March, about Danny and what he means to him and his work, and he exclaimed to me how remarkable it was that Danny excels in the area of Type QE, mainly in terms of providing guidance, especially when things start looking rocky-road–ish. Needless to say, Ernie and Danny are certified BFFs now. Like Danny, Ernie, recently celebrated a milestone at Adobe, though it is for 25 years.

Exactly what motivates Danny to do the things he does? Well, for starters, according to one of our colleagues, as long as he is given enough breathing room, or stock, he simply “goes to town,” which simply means that the rest of us on the team can do our jobs better, and much more efficiently, through his selfless contributions. This is what ultimately makes Danny happy. In fact, I would go so far as to state that Danny is like a bottle that is never empty. Danny is neither a “glass is half full” person nor a “glass is half empty” person. We have also thought of Danny as the “break glass in case of emergency” type, but I think that “pulling a cork” may be the more appropriate expression that we’re looking for. In other words, a happy Danny translates into a happy Adobe Type Team.

Speaking of glasses, please raise yours, in honor of Danny, his 15 years, and all that he does for us here.

Oh, and Danny has glasses.


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