Nunca dejes de pintar:
Una entrevista a Alina Kiliwa

To read this post in English, keep scrolling or go here.

Alina es una pequeña gran fuerza de la naturaleza. Su trabajo, como artista de la rotulación, se extiende a lo ancho y largo de su natal México.

Preserva la tradición del rótulo vernacular, típico del paisaje urbano de la Ciudad de México, combinándolo con mensajes poderosos que buscan la conciencia social o simplemente alegrar el día a día de los transeúntes que logran toparse con alguno de sus trabajos, pues los rótulos de Alina, van desde piezas personales hasta muros que coquetean con el graffiti.

El amor, el respeto y la igualdad son el tipo de temáticas que Alina considera básicas en nuestra sociedad y que busca plasmar en sus mensajes. Forma parte del movimiento Paste Up Morras, una comunidad de mujeres que pegan en las calles propaganda ilegal con temas como el feminismo, la igualdad y el respeto. Creada por y para mujeres que se sentían inseguras en el medio de street art o graffiti ilegal, prácticas estigmatizadas en nuestro país. Salir en grupo se ha convertido en una experiencia segura para sus integrantes y ha generado alrededor de esta actividad una comunidad de artistas, que se desarrollan con mayor seguridad y confianza. De la mano con esto, también ha creado un proyecto que aborda frases en apoyo a la mujer a partir de reflexiones propias y escuchando a otras mujeres hablar sobre los distintos tipos de discriminación que han sufrido. Así, las calles de nuestra ciudad se han ido llenando de expresiones que invitan a la reflexión, manifestando un sentido de unidad femenina, una bocanada de aire fresco en una sociedad donde los temas y políticas de igualdad y derechos para la mujer se mezclan día a día con la injusticia social, los feminicidios y la impunidad.

“Pretty woman is the one who fights” project coworked with @cuatrosiete and @ cristinamaya02 for the project @jovenesartesanos. Alina is in the middle.
Dedicated to the Triquis women of Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca.

Continue reading

Conferences 2018

We’re a few months into 2019, but it’s never too late to look at how women were represented at conferences last year. Especially since there were a couple of standout events.

We salute those type conference organizers who decided to use their 2018 chapter as an opportunity to improve their speakers lists towards gender equality and elevate women’s voices. We can’t wait to see this dedication continue to inspire others.

In order of percentage of female speakers:

100% Ladies, Wine & Design Berlin Conference, DE – Berlin
85% Women in Print, UK – Birmingham
73% Tipografía México, MX – Monterrey
71% Script, print, and letterforms in global contexts: the visual and the material, UK – Birmingham
61% (+38.89%) DiaTipo, BR – São Paulo
50% (0%) Typographics, US – New York City
49% [.01% gender fluid] (+6.06%) TypeCon, US – Portland, OR

44% Ampersand, UK – Brighton
41% (+4.5%) ATypI, BE – Antwerp
39% (+5.10%) Typo Berlin, DE – Berlin
36% Dynamic Font Day, DE – Munich
31% EDCH, DE – Munich
30% Type Drives Culture, US – New York City
28% (-5.56%) BITS, TH – Bangkok
27% Typofest, BU – Sofia & Plovdiv
26% (+16.31%) Typo Labs, DE – Berlin
25% (+12.5%) Kerning, IT – Faenza
25% (+25%) Robothon, DL – The Hague
24% Fontstand Conference, HR – Zagreb
8% All Eyes On Type, NL – Rotterdam

Continue reading

Freda Sack (1951–2019)

Portrait of Freda Sack

Freda Sack. Photo: Jason Wen

Freda Sack was a type designer and typographer who took an important lead in shaping the professional craft of type design and, through her work with the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD), helped to improve standards and to enhance educational opportunities in the field of typography. For anyone who did not meet her in person, you will almost certainly have met her typefaces, not least through the role her work played in giving typographical shape to the commercial landscapes of the UK and beyond.

A love of letterforms acquired during Freda’s time at Maidstone College of Art led her to an interview with Mike Daines, manager of the type studio at Letraset. He remembers, ‘a shy 21 year old, partly hidden by a long fringe’ who wanted to work on typefaces, but first had to gain union membership by starting as a photographic retoucher. An enduring character trait of Freda was her fiercely quiet determination and so she spent several months retouching, or as she puts it, ‘ruining her eyesight’ after which she was finally able to graduate into her five-year ‘apprenticeship’ into type design and stencil cutting.

Her freehand stencil-cutting skills and accuracy for interpretation are the stuff of industry legend. As her former colleague David Quay recalls, she had the remarkable ability to look at any letter or alphabet and say immediately what was, ‘badly drawn or too heavy, too wide or narrow within half a gnat’s whisker! An uncanny skill I have never seen in another type designer.’ For Freda, however, it wasn’t just about sharpness of eye. As she put it, ‘That would only mean I might be able to see something was wrong, but wouldn’t necessarily know how to make it right. What is important is to have the understanding of the structure and proportions of the letterforms, and the ability to know when a curve or a shape is ‘wrong’, and what is needed to correct it. This, I believe, is a direct result of an innate relationship with letterforms gained from analysis and then the physical process of creating them (hand/eye/brain). The ‘right’ shapes become learned in the process. I think that’s why I tend to still hold a pencil when art directing, or even just talking about type – the tactile memory is important.’

As her reputation and portfolio of designs grew so did her opportunities and international standing. A position from 1978–80 with Adrian Williams at FONTS/Hardy Williams Design added to her repertoire a series of text faces for the German foundries Stempel and Berthold, and also Linotype, in addition to corporate commissions for the British Post Office and Renault. Returning to Letraset in 1980, though this time working from their London studio, she was involved in the development of a range of new digital types and in the development of the Ikarus digital design software, travelling to Hamburg to work at URW with the developers to help make the systems more visually intuitive and user-friendly for type designers.

Continue reading

Thoughts on ATypI Working Seminar Colombo

ATypI Working Seminar Colombo 2019 written on a banner with some branding design

The 9th ATypI Working Seminar was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 22-23rd of March. This seminar comes 27 years after the previous one, held in Budapest in 1992. Sri Lanka becomes the first country to host it where Latin letterforms are not used in its primary languages of communication. English is, of course, an official language spoken and used along with Sinhala and Tamil, but only these last two are national languages. This is significant because it shows that ATypI recognises the importance of engaging with voices from countries who may not have the resources to attend the main conference in countries where the cost of conference tickets, flights and stay as well as currency exchange rates along with visa regulations make attendance difficult.

Continue reading