First Mentees Q&A video meeting

After a successful Q&A for mentors we organised a Q&A online session for mentees. Two previous mentees, Tatiana Lopéz and Samar Zureik, kindly shared their experiences and tips, and answered many great questions by the video participants, either new or current mentees.

Those who could not be present, but are interested in the recording, please drop an email to mentorship@alphabettes.org to get access to the video.

Alphacrit: June 19, 2020

We’re at it again! This time we’ve got a special Alphacrit session with Sahar Afshar and Naïma Ben Ayed focusing on Arabic type design. Sahar and Naïma will offer constructive feedback to four participants on their in-progress typefaces via Zoom. Sol Matas will host the session to keep everything running smoothly. Keep reading to learn more.

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This event will be live streamed. All are welcome. As we have more details, we’ll post it on Twitter, Instagram, and right here.

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First Mentors Q&A meeting online

We have received some encouraging positive feedback on the first online Q&A session for mentors last Wednesday, 15 April 2020. Thank you for joining, it was great! Three current mentors, Sahar Afshar, Pilar Cano, and Petra Cerne-Oven, kindly shared their experiences and tips, and answered several questions by the attending mentors.

We also briefly described how the matching process works now: Once the mentee applies via the application form, we try to find the appropriate mentor, taking into account amongst other things location, mentee’s goals, mentor’s skill set, indicated duration, and conversation language. We also recommended a list of things should be defined with your mentee in the first meeting, including frequency of the meetings, the prevalent medium of communication, definition of the mentee’s goal, a reminder about the duration of the mentorship and that immediate feedback can’t be expected, as well an agreed method to cancel meetings to avoid frustration on both sides.

Those who could not be present, but are interested in the recording, please drop an email to mentorship@alphabettes.org to get access to the video.

Alphacrit: April 17, 2020

Each Alphacrit is planned many months in advance. Little did we know then what was in store for our future selves. Would we have continued planning, knowing our psyches would be full of just about everything but type design? In the midst of it all, I’ve found some small comfort in sticking to a few daily routines and exploring areas of interest I couldn’t before. If that resonates, we’re running this Alphacrit for you.

First, what is Alphacrit? It’s a virtual type design critique for four lucky participants picked at random. They’ll receive feedback on their in-progress typefaces by two seasoned type designers — Sara Soskolne of Hoefler & Co and Nicole Dotin of Process Type Foundry. Sol Matas will host the session to keep everything running smoothly.

Sara Soskolne and Nicole Dotin

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Mentorship update: February 4, 2020

We are happy to update that we are getting close to the relaunch of the Alphabettes mentorship program! We are now actively seeking new mentors.

If you are interested in becoming one of the Alphabettes mentors, please fill in this form

If you are interested in becoming a mentee on the program, please fill in this form

About the Alphabettes mentorship program

We are building a database of professionals willing to mentor less experienced people in the fields of type, typography, and the lettering arts. The aim is to give guidance to students and new professionals by sharing experiences and knowledge. Most mentees ask for portfolio guidance and career or educational advice. Some people simply look for a sounding board or an opportunity to discuss type related topics and to understand how they can get more involved in the lettering and type communities.

We check in periodically to ensure everyone is still happy with the arrangement and encourage both the mentor and the mentee to contact us if the relationship is not working for some reason. We would like to emphasise that the mentors are not expected to provide private tutoring or consultation. The program is open to everyone in our field, depending on demand, we may give preference to underrepresented groups.

Email us at mentorship@alphabettes.org for questions and we promise we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Alphacrit: January 17, 2020

Welcome to a brand new year and a brand new Q&A edition of Alphacrit. Instead of reviewing in-progress work during this session, Ulrike Rausch and Lila Symons will answer questions on a topic that is central to font life for type designers and type users alike—OpenType features.

Ulrike and Lila both have extensive experience in type design and font production. What’s more, they both specialize in developing script typefaces that are beautiful, experimental, utilitarian—or all of the above. Since writing OT features can be a tricky part of font production, Ulrike and Lila are the perfect pair to tackle some of the thornier questions type designers face.

Puzzled by positional alternates? Confounded by contextual alternates? Or struggling to understand what OpenType features can do for your font? We’ve all been there! During this live video conference, Ulrike and Lila will field questions submitted by you on OT features. There will naturally be an emphasis on script typefaces, but questions about writing OT features for non-script fonts are also welcome and encouraged. Everyone who wants to join this session will be accepted—registration is required, but it’s free, and it’s easy. Simply fill out the application (see below) and you’re on your way.

Want to know more about these OT feature experts? Read their bios below to learn about their backgrounds.

Lila Symons, left, and Ulrike Rausch, right.

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Alphacrit: 12 de julio 2019

Para que el Alphacrit pueda llegar y ayudar a más personas, la próxima sesión de Alphacrit será totalmente en español. Si necesitas de retroalimentación sobre tu trabajo de lettering ahora tendrás una excelente oportunidad. Las invitadas especiales de esta sesión son Nubia Navarro y Marova. Sol Matas será la moderadora. Sigue leyendo para descubrir más.

Nubia Navarro mejor conocida en redes sociales como Nubikini, es diseñadora gráfica de profesión. Nubia se especializa en la creación de letras digitales y manuales y trabaja en agencias de publicidad hace 6 años. Algunos de sus clientes son Adidas, Tiffany & Co., Sprite, Flowers of Colombia, Chocoramo y Adobe. Le encanta jugar con comida y fusionarla con las letras, la tipografía experimental es una de sus grandes pasiones.

Nubia Navarro

Nubia Navarro

Marova es una diseñadora gráfica y editorial dominicana especializada en el dibujo de letras y en la Caligrafía con Brush. Se inició profesionalmente trabajando en agencias de publicidad nacionales y multinacionales, y desde el 2013 que trabaja de manera independiente desde Marova Studio. Como Lettering Artist ha trabajado para marcas y empresas mediante la personalización de productos, desarrollo de líneas gráficas, identidad y la implementación en piezas de diseño y murales. Disfruta mucho trabajar tanto de manera análoga mediante papeles, pinturas, marcadores y gises, y también de manera digital.

Marova Studio

Marova Studio

Qué esperar: Cuatro personas van a presentar su proyecto o su trabajo en progreso. Cada persona recibe aproximadamente 10 minutos de crítica por parte de Nubia y Soy. La sesión completa va a durar alrededor de una hora. Cada participante se podrá beneficiar de presenciar las críticas realizadas a las otras participantes. El trabajo de lettering enviado para revisión podrá ser: palabras sueltas, logotipos o tapas de libros.

Por favor, envía solamente una pieza de lettering con cierta complejidad o 5-10 piezas más pequeñas para charlar sobre tu experiencia en general. Los ejemplos de trabajo tienen que estar listos una semana antes de la sesión, por eso, te rogamos que planifiques con tiempo.

Cuándo y dónde: viernes 12 de Julio, 12pm (GMT-5), a través de una videoconferencia.

Quién puede participar: La sesión estará abierta a cualquier persona. Dependiendo de la demanda, vamos a dar preferencia a grupos con baja representación y personas que no hayan participado antes. Grupos con baja representación incluyen, pero no están limitados, a: mujeres, personas de color, personas con discapacidad e individuos de la comunidad LGBTQ+.

Los cuatro lugares serán sorteados al azar.

Cómo participar: Completa este formulario https://forms.gle/AR3STZ7tz7JmuFGq6

Participa hasta: 5 de Julio

Preguntas: ¿tienes aún dudas? Envía un email: crit@alphabettes.org.

This Alphacrit is with the wonderful Nubia Navarro, aka Nubikini and Marova of Marova Studio. The critique will be held entirely in Spanish.

Mentorship update: June 29, 2019

For the past three months we have been making progress behind the scenes of our new and improved mentorship programme.

This is taking some time because sorting out our online privacy policy is more complicated than we anticipated. We want to make sure we are respecting your personal information. Our legal team is on it and we will be ready to go soon!

The Alphabettes mentorship program team

Mentorship update: March 19, 2019

After three years of matching mentees with mentors and collecting learning experiences, we realised that we need a short hiatus in order to grease our wheels. We are now in the midst of improving the application process and we will be back soon, with shiny updates.

For the moment, we will not be accepting new applications. For those of you who applied and have not been contacted yet, your requests are safe with us and once we reintroduce the program you will be our top priority.

We believe in the impact and the potential of this program and we are working hard to maximise it. Thank you for your patience!

The Alphabettes mentorship program team

Alphacrit: January 18, 2019

This special session of Alphacrit will focus on Indic scripts, specifically Devanagari and Odia. Kimya Gandhi and Alessia Mazzarella will review in-progress typefaces of four lucky participants seeking feedback on their work. Sol Matas will moderate to ensure a smooth crit. Read on to learn more.

Kimya Gandhi is a type designer from Mumbai with a passionate interest in Indic scripts, specialising in creating new and innovative Devanagari typefaces. Kimya is a partner at the type foundry, Mota Italic, with her husband Rob Keller. She divides her time between designing and teaching typography and type design at various design institutes in Mumbai. After graduation, Kimya gave herself two years to decide if she wanted pursue type design professionally, it’s been 7 years since and she is very happy that she did.

Alessia Mazzarella is a senior type designer at Fontsmith. After receiving a BA in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins and a BA in Graphic and Multimedia Design from Sapienza (University of Rome), her interest in type design led her to the Typeface Design MA program at the University of Reading. She graduated with distinction in 2013. Alessia is interested in the technical and multi-script aspects of typeface design.

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 a couple of days before the session so plan ahead!

When & where: Friday, January 18 at 6:30 pm GMT (UTC +00:00) 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/dvHmo8QYt7NYSJuj2

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

Applications due by: January 10, 2019

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