Halfway through 2016, as I was finishing my undergrad Graphic Design studies, I became very interested in the idea of researching the relationship between language and type. Fortunately, I stumbled upon Bianca’s dissertation, which helped me greatly as I could build upon her thoughts, draw my own conclusions and hopefully design a typeface based on language as criteria.
This is the transcript of my talk at TYPISM Conference on September 30, about facing fear and getting out of your comfort zone. You can watch me losing my shit here, but I wanted to make the written version available for anyone who’d find that useful. Enjoy!
Hola! My name is Maria Montes and I am incredibly honoured to be here and share my journey with all of you.
First of all, thanks to Dominique, George and the entire TYPISM community for your ongoing support, it means the world to me.
On the way to a depressing union meeting on contract negotiations, I had about 20 minutes to spare so I headed to the library stacks and found this gem of a book section on women in the printing trades. Here are a few quotes that jumped out:
“[W]e have never obtained a situation that we could not have obtained had we never heard of a union. We refuse to take the men’s situations when they are on strike, and when there is no strike if we ask for work in union offices we are told by union foremen ‘that there are no conveniences for us.’ We are ostracized in many offices because we are members of the union; and although the principle is right, disadvantages are so many that we cannot much longer hold together.”
“She was dressed plainly but neatly in what might be called a cross between a traveling and office suit of brown color. The toughened expression on her face indicated that she was familiar with the tricks of the profession, versed in the study of vulgarity. No tender, trusting female was she, but a hardened, suspicious, masculine woman.”
“This paper is a veritable man-hater; not the slightest mention of a man in any shape or form is to be found in its columns, neither is the genus homo allowed to hawk it!”
“At least let women have a fair opportunity to do something else besides get married. What man is there who would not resent being told that his chief ambition in life should be to be a father? Yet women are told daily that they should devote twenty years of a lifetime in the preparing for motherhood, at least ten years in bearing children, and the rest of their lives in recovering from the effects. If they prefer to think that the world is populated sufficiently, or that to bear a child does not call for the sacrifice of a lifetime, they are snubbed, and especially so when they show any inclination to compete with men in trades.”
Guess what year they’re from? Comments are open!
The answers are available below. You can also head to the comments first if you’re curious what others guessed.
New & novice type designers rejoice! Tipo e has published an eagerly-awaited English translation of Cristóbal Henestrosa, Laura Meseguer and José Scaglione’s wonderful 2012 guide, Cómo crear tipografias. Del boceto a la pantalla. This little tome combines just about everything a type designer needs to know into one invaluable, condensed resource.
Every year, Printed Matter and MoMA choose a sticky weekend in late September to host the New York Art Book Fair at PS1. Between the insane crowds of mostly white people and the heat and the exhaustive, never-ending booths of vendors, everyone leaves traumatized. Which is why it took me six years to go back. But I did, for the love of typography.
I took my intrepid companion, a seven year-old Goth kid who’s really into personal expression, named Francesca. She rides on the back pegs of my bike, and as we came over a small bridge in Queens, we took in the Manhattan skyline and its wavy heat currents. I said, “isn’t living in New York City great?!” … to a native New Yorker, who was like “sure.”