Branding and the Psychology of Handwriting: The new NIVEA Care Type

At Juliasys Studio we’ve been working for some time now on a digital handwriting style for the “NIVEA” brand of Beiersdorf AG. “NIVEA Care Type”, as we are calling the new OpenType font, is understood to be the imaginary handwriting of the NIVEA brand persona, the “NIVEA Woman”. Care Type on product packaging and in marketing material has the function to subtly present the NIVEA Woman personality in the look and feel of the brand. Care Type is to be used prominently but at the same time sparingly, “with caution”.

Figure 1: A century of typographical metamorphosis on the legendary NIVEA tin

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Visualizing design space in variable fonts

After attending Typolabs a few weeks ago, something kept on rolling around in my mind. Variable fonts—the main topic in type conferences since the announcement at AtypI Warsaw in 2016—was again at the heart of the debate in Berlin. If sliders generated some controversy one year ago, I would say ‘design space’ was one of the most repeated concepts this year. The opening talk by Gerry Leonidas pulled the trigger with a thoughtful presentation: ‘I am now in an environment where the design space is by default way bigger than my ability to imagine it, not just my ability to do something with it’.

Slide from Gerry’s presentation showing a figure that represents a font with three main axes

This figure, included in the presentation by Gerry Leonidas, is the visual representation of a font with three main axes.

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Soundtracks & comfort zones — Talking with Luisa Baeta

It has been about 20 months since the last interview in this series was published. Since then, many things have happened & a lot has changed. Returning to this format is incredibly comforting to me. The familiar structure, the visual glimpse into one woman’s life, the personal questions that get such honest replies.

Luisa is a person you want to both hear and read. You don’t want to miss a word, since they are all clear and make you think. Walking with her on the streets of Thessaloniki some years ago, I was lucky to find a friend so soon after meeting in person for the first time. The ease and sincerity of her thoughts are very much apparent in this interview. I urge you to find few quiet moments to read, drink something relaxing (hot chocolate? something stronger perhaps?) and let it sink in slowly, along with this interview.

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Alphacrit: May 18, 2018

Take your typeface to the next level by getting constructive feedback from two seasoned professionals. This Alphacrit, focused on typeface design, features Jill Pichotta and Nina Stössinger (Jill Pichotta!! and Nina Stössinger!!). Four lucky participants will submit their work for Jill and Nina’s review. Nicole Dotin will moderate to ensure a smooth crit. Read on to learn more.

Jill Pichotta began working for Font Bureau as an apprentice with David Berlow in 1991, honing her skills on projects for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Condé Nast Traveller, The New York Times, Apple Computer, and other notable brands. She has managed the production of retail releases for independent designers since 1993, and has contributed several of her own typefaces to Font Bureau’s diverse library. Over the years, she has divided her time between various retail, custom, and OEM projects. In conjunction with its mid-2016 launch, Jill Pichotta took on the role of Principal Product Manager for Type Network, overseeing type development and quality for the company’s global alliance of foundry partners.

Nina Stössinger is a Senior Typeface Designer at Frere-Jones Type. Originally from Basel in Switzerland, she graduated in multi-media design from Burg Giebichenstein University of Art Halle/Germany, where she discovered her love for type. She went on to receive a CAS in Type Design from Zurich University of the Arts, and an MA in Type and Media from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Nina teaches type design at Yale University School of Art, serves on the Board of Directors of the Type Directors Club, and has spoken at numerous international conferences and events (this year she’ll be a keynote speaker at Typecon!). Her published type designs include Conductor (with Tobias Frere-Jones), Nordvest, and FF Ernestine.

What to expect: Four people will present their in-progress typeface, each receiving approximately 10 minutes of feedback. The entire session will last about an hour. Participants will have the benefit of sitting in on the other critiques as well. To keep it focused, we suggest presenting either a single weight of a typeface or come prepared with a specific question about a multi-weight typeface. Specimens need to be ready about a week before the session so plan ahead!

When & where: Friday, May 18 at 2 pm Eastern (UTC -4) via video conferencing.

Who can participate: This session is open to everyone, of any skill level, and the four spots will be drawn lottery style. Preference will be given to underrepresented groups and people who haven’t participated before. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to: women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

How to apply: Fill out this form https://goo.gl/forms/kvUTTfX3wG6fGkix1

It asks for some very basic information, like your name and email address. Nothing you can’t handle.

Applications due by: May 6, 2018

Questions: Still have questions? Drop us a line at crit@alphabettes.org.

Dear Alphabettes: What is a good font editor for Windows 10?

Dear Alphabettes,
I worked in Typographer a long long time ago. I made a few of my fonts back then. What I would love to ask you, what is the modern version of that programme? which one can I use for the Windows 10. Thank you very much for your answer.

Dear Windows,

Thanks for your question. We are going to assume you are referring to Fontographer, which you can actually still buy (for Windows or Mac) from its vintage but functional website. What if you wanted to spread your wings a little and fly a bit closer to the sun. What would be your options then, Dear Windows?

At first, we thought this might be a quick LMGTFY situation. However, we treat each Dear Alphabettes question with the utmost respect it deserves. Also, we did that and got this hot mess:

a google search for "font design software for windows 10" turns up a bunch of unrelated things like CorelDRAW and Hallmark card design software.

Thanks but no thanks, Google.

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The first 8 reasons to read Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag

These are eight of the many highlights and corresponding notes made by me—a typographer, mostly for print—upon reading Laura Kalbag’s book Accessibility for Everyone released last fall by A Book Apart.

1. “…everyone uses the web quite differently.”

Perhaps obvious. But we all know about what happens when we assume and assumptions are at the root of problems related to accessibility.

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