Type Days Ljubljana 2017

We are Alja Herlah and Krista Likar, enthusiastic and passionate type designers from Slovenia. As members of the TipoBrda society, we got the opportunity to organize a type design workshop. Type Days 2017 – a one week long workshop – was already the 31th type design workshop organized by Tipo Brda in Slovenia. It took place in Ljubljana in the House of Reading and Writing, Vodnikova domačija Šiška. This year, we invited a guest mentor Adam Katyi, Hungarumlaut, who shared a lot of valuable tips and guidelines he learned while studying at the Type and Media program in The Hague.

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News—January 2017

“The Women’s March on Washington. Photo courtesy of Nina Stössinger.
The Women’s March on Washington. Photo courtesy of Nina Stössinger.

Our fellow Alphabettes continued to make the world a better place in the first month of 2017.* Here are a few of their good deeds.

Christine Bateup is the director of business and licensing at Frere-Jones Type. She’s also a lawyer. As part of a team of lawyers working pro bono on behalf of the New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, she helped free an Iraqi green card holder from detention at Kennedy airport.

With partner Noel Pretorius, María Ramos released Kinetic, a sans serif partly inspired by the mobile designs of Alexander Calder.

After filling in for Tobias Frere-Jones during the fall semester, Nina Stössinger returned to Yale for the spring semester to teach her own type design class in the graphic design MFA program. Nina’s typeface Nordvest received Communication ArtsAward of Excellence, and Fontshop named the face one of the best of 2016.

Lila Symons was also recognized by Communication Arts, and Maria Montes, Marta Cerdà, and Nina shared some of their treasured finds with the magazine.

Ksenya Samarskaya talked to Print.

Adobe invited Martina Flor to take part in a live lettering session in Paris; she also gave a lettering workshop in Berlin.

Hoefler & Co. released Ringside, a sprawling grotesque sans serif family for which Sara Soskolne served as the lead designer. First client? The Obamas.

Laura Meseguer and Nadine Chahine explored public lettering in Barcelona and London, respectively, for the French documentary series Safari Typo.

ATypI posted a series of interviews Liron Lavi Turkenich conducted at the conference in Warsaw.

Alice Savoie served as a judge for the TDC 63/Typography 38 competitions and spoke at the Type Directors Club with Janine Vangool.

Colvert, designed by Natalia Chuvatin, Jonathan Fabreguettes, Kristyan Sarkis, and Irene Vlachou, has been added to the permanent collection of the French National Center for Visual Arts (CNAP).

Veronika Burian and Mary Kate McDevitt served on the jury of Print’s 2016 Typography & Lettering Awards. Ferran Milan and Pilar Cano’s Aurélie took Best in Class for typeface design; Krista Radoeva and Jason Smith’s FS Siena won a merit award; and Maria Doreuli and Katerina Kochkina of Contrast Foundry won a merit award for handlettering.

Louisa Fröhlich released Lisbeth with TypeTogether.

Several Alphabettes made signs and marched in Washington, DC and around the world on January 21 to register their dissent from the new American regime. ✊

* Yes, January. We’ll be back with February’s news before you know it. We’ve been busy!

Cold type vs. hot typesetters

I learned about the term ‘cold type’ quite late into my fascination with phototypesetting. And when I did it was straight from its biggest critic, Frank Romano, author of a book with the title

The term had been popular in English (only) in the 1960s and ’70s amid the changes from the then prevailing mechanical ‘hot’ metal typesetting, like Linotype or Monotype, that involved live typecasting, to ‘cold’ photographic systems and computer-based typesetting. But my qualms are more about what cold refers to in relation to hot here.

In the common sense it means typesetting without the casting of metal. Now that all composition and design is done with cool digital tools, we hardly ever have to differentiate between this anymore. What I would love to make clearer though and distinguish between is the difference between foundry type and hot metal typesetting. Especially non-native English speakers tend to throw all metal type into the hot metal melting pot, but nein:
Foundry type is traditional metal type of individual sorts (letters) for hand composition, once cast by a type foundry but usually used cold, then taken apart again and reused.
Hot metal type refers to typesetting machines that involve a casting unit that compose and cast individual sorts or a line of type on the fly, e. g. Linotype, Intertype, Monotype or Ludlow systems; hot to luke warm when handled right after casting and molten down again after use.
It gets real balmy though now that most metal type used in letterpress print shops these days is actually cold ex-hot-metal Monotype for hand composition.

So maybe we should not use the thermal terms at all and be more specific in what we mean. Or at least only use hot metal for the mechanical typesetting systems. Or only when we’re referring to genuine hot typesetters.*
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Mayakovsky: ROSTA windows

ROSTA windows were Agitprop posters created by artists and poets like Cheremnykh, Mayakovsky, Moor, Nuremberg, and Volpin for the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA). They were usually displayed in windows and often painted with cardboard stencils rather than printed.

This is a selection of Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky’s posters designed for ROSTA from the book:
Duwakin, W. (1967). Rostafenster. Majakowski als Dichter und bildender Künstler. Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst


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Just Getting Started

What a day! We marched throughout the world and the outpouring of homemade messages of solidarity, resistance, love, and strength has been overwhelming. Here are a few of our efforts and some amazing signs we witnessed.

Some signs by Bettes:

Briar

Victoria

Nina

Dyana

Theresa

Isabel

Marisol

Nicole

Lila

Jen

Mary

Taylor

Jessica

Dirty Bandits

Indra (after ECS)

Tânia

Caren

ECS and Naomi

Our Washington DC correspondents ECS and Naomi found some amazing signs at the big march:
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October – December 2016 News

It’s [finally!] time to say goodbye to 2016 and we thought we’d end the year with a long overdue round up of Alphabettes-related news.

October:

The Fitchburg Alphabet project by Anna Schuleit Haber for Fitchburg, MA’s Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper wins Publick Occurrences Award for outstanding journalism. Contributors to the series included Shoko Mogikura, Nina Stössinger, Laura Meseguer, Therese Schuleit, Francesca Bolognini, Anna Schuleit Haber, Indra Kupferschmid, Geri McCormick, Catherine Griffiths, and Nicole Dotin

Barbara Bigosinska releases Mala


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Conferences 2016

Alphabettes will end 2016 by celebrating the people who organised inclusive type, typography and design conferences this year. Your commitment and dedication to gender equality means a lot and the success of your events gives us hope that you will be serving as an example for many other conference organisers.

Here’s to you!

In order of percentage of female speakers:

57.89% Sans Everything, FR – Amiens
52.08% ICTVC, GR – Thessaloniki
50.00% Typographics, US – New York City

47.37% AIGA Design Conference, US – Las Vegas
46.67% BTS Away Days, DE – Berlin
42.55% TypeCon, US – Seattle
40.00% Encontro de Tipografia Conference, PT – Lisbon
38.46% Beyond Tellerrand, DE – Düsseldorf
37.50% Rencontres Internationales de Lure, FR – Lurs
37.50% Typofest, BG – Plovdiv
36.27% ATypI, PL – Warsaw
34.78% 7CIT, ES – Valencia
34.29% TYPO, DE – Berlin
33.33% BITS, TH – Bangkok
33.33% DiaTipo, BR – Porto Alegre
30.00% Dynamic Font Day, DE – Munich
25.00% Typo Day Köln, DE – Cologne
23.08% Granshan, EG – Cairo
22.22% DiaTipo, BR – São Paulo
22.22% DiaTipo, BR – Caruaru
20.00% Typo Day Hamburg, DE – Hamburg
15.00% Automatic Type Design, FR – Nancy
14.29% Typo Day Basel, CH – Basel
12.50% Kerning, IT – Faenza
12.50% DiaTipo, BR – Campinas
11.11% Walbaum Wochenende, DE – Weimar
10.00% TYPO Labs, DE – Berlin
5.00% Serebro Nabora, RU – Moscow

 

[This list is not exhaustive but a crop from the conferences we attended. If you know of one that’s missing, feel free to add it in the comments. For the %%%, we counted the persons listed on the speaker pages of the respective conferences. Award badge kindly designed by Ulrike Rausch.]

Connecting The Dots


Almost to the day five years ago Bruno Maag asked me in a job interview about my five year plan. Just out of university with just a few freelance type design assignments on the horizon I told him truthfully that I didn’t have a plan for the following five minutes, let alone months or years.

This seems like a good occasion to catch up with some people who graduated and started their careers in type design at the same time. Elena, Kimya, Marina, Sol and I will talk about our past five years, about our careers, where we come from, where we are now, what we wish someone had told us five years ago and when the things we learned started to fall into place. Continue reading