Alphacrit: March 16, 2018

Get out of your head and into a feedback session where two accomplished designers review your in-progress work. This month’s session, focusing on typeface design, will feature Veronika Burian and Laura Meseguer.

Veronika and Laura

Veronika is co-founder of the independent type foundry TypeTogether. Not only has Veronika released some amazing typefaces (hello Maiola!), she’s built a collaborative platform in TypeTogether, supporting not only the work of up-and-coming designers but some of our most accomplished and beloved, too. Learn more about Veronika.

Laura is a freelance graphic and type designer, and runs her own foundry Type-Ø-Tones. As if that weren’t enough, she has dedicated herself to helping others learn typography and type design through teaching and workshops. As such, she is the co-author of a very rare thing in type design — a book about type design — called “Cómo crear tipografías. Del boceto a la pantalla,” or “How to create typefaces: from sketch to screen.” Learn more about Laura.

What to expect: Four people will present in-progress work, each receiving approximately 10 minutes of feedback, with the entire session lasting 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, March 16 at 3:00 pm UTC/GMT via video conferencing.

Who can participate: These sessions are open to everyone. Depending on demand, we may give preference to underrepresented groups. Those include, but are not limited to: women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people. The four spots will be drawn lottery style.

How to apply: Fill out this form: Alphacrit application for March 16, 2018 It asks for some basic information, like your name, email address, and a description of your work. Nothing you can’t handle.

Application deadline: March 1, 2018

Questions: Still have questions? Send us an email.

Corsair and Conductor: a co-showcase

Yesterday was a good day for type releases designed or co-designed by women, so here’s a quick double showcase to commemorate the event.

Project: Corsair
Designer: Ksenya Samarskaya
Foundry: Rosetta Type
Team Members: Azamat Kodzoev, Micha Strukov, James Todd (Drawing); Mathieu Réguer (Post-production)
Published: 2018
Link: Corsair

Project: Conductor
Designers: Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger
Foundry: Frere-Jones Type
Team Members: Fred Shallcrass
Published: 2018
Link: Conductor
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Conferences 2017

We salute those type conference organisers who decided to use their 2017 chapter as an opportunity to improve their speakers lists towards gender equality and we can’t wait to see this dedication inspire the ones that are still failing to keep pace.

In order of percentage of female speakers:

59% Ultrafett, DE – Bielefeld (c)
56% Typism, AU – Gold Coast (c)
54% (+4%) Typographics, US – New York City (c)
50% (+10%) Encontro de Tipografia Conference, PT – Faro (c+p)

49% (+6%) TypeCon, US – Boston (c+p)
46% (+8%) Rencontres Internationales de Lure, FR – Lurs (c)
44% FEED (Foro de Edición e Deseño), ES – Santiago de Compostela (c)
43% ESAD, Everyday Reading, FR – Amiens (c)
34% (–2%) ATypI, CA – Montréal (c+p)
33% Dia Tipo, BR – Curitiba (c)
33% FURE – Future of Reading, DE – Muenster (c)
32% ISType, TR – Istanbul (c)
31% (–2%) BITS, TH – Bangkok (c)
31% Tipografilia, MX – Ciudad de México (c)
29% (–6%) TYPO Berlin, DE – Berlin (c+p)
29% (+5%) Granshan, AM – Yereven (p)
26% Typo Day, IN – Sri Lanka (p)
25% Face/Interface, US – Stanford (c+p)
25% Typotage, DE – Leipzig (c)
24% AGI Open, FR – Paris (c)
22% Dia Tipo, BR – Rio de Janeiro (c)
22% Letrástica, MX – Guadalajara (c)
21% Dia Tipo, BR – Brasilia (c)
17% Typo Day, DE – Hamburg (c)
17% (+7%) TYPO Labs, DE – Berlin (c+p)
13% (0%) Kerning, IT – Faenza (c)
8% Typetersburg, RU – St. Petersburg (c)

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Remember December:
Oh, the Places I’ve Gone!
Oh, the Places I’ll Go!

I am a fan of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. It is a children’s book laden with metaphors for adults and one that comes to my mind every time I finish something. Or start something, since when we finish, we also begin. This year, I started working at Morisawa’s first U.S.-based design office, which Cyrus Highsmith aptly named the Providence Drawing Office. (We are in Providence, Rhode Island, and we draw.) And again, I thought of Dr. Seuss.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the [girl] who’ll decide where to go.

I decided to go to Typeland with my brains and feet. And type has definitely taken me places this year. Lots of places.


In June, I returned to my favorite city, NYC, for Typographics again. But this year, type has flown me abroad, too—a short flight to Montréal for ATypI, and a long one across our biggest ocean to Japan and Taiwan, for work.

A bench in the shape of the Chinese character “zi,” which means “character/letter” (left), and the employee ID card scanner in the shape of a piece of metal type (right). Morisawa’s Osaka Headquarters.

A bench in the shape of the Chinese character “zi,” which means “character/letter” (left), and the employee ID card scanner in the shape of a piece of metal type (right). Morisawa’s Osaka Headquarters.

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Remember December: Reflections on Arabic literature, calligraphy and type

I have always had a fascination for Arabic literature; I say this not as a native speaker but as a Lebanese francophone who studied in an American university. The multilingual education system in Lebanon gave us the privilege of reading literature classics in three different languages. But Arabic has always had its unique aura, enchanting me with its subtle grammar and with how the interplay of short and long vowels, along with other rhetorical elements, can overhaul its semantics and enrich its rhythm.

This literary enchantment has indirectly played a significant role in my life by drawing me into calligraphy when I was a design student. I used to keep a notebook in which I collected quotes that piqued my interest. The words I had once noted down started taking different shapes in my calligraphy copybook. The desire to bring these eloquent words to life, through beautifully entangled strokes, fueled my discipline and commitment towards doing–and sometimes overdoing—my homework. Only then was the euphoria of reading matched, if not surpassed, by that of writing.

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Remember December: Greetings from the old continent

This spring I got to travel for 5 weeks to Europe. It was my first time visiting Italy and the first time visiting more than a few cities in Spain over the same trip.

I grew up in Venezuela, and a lot of the people back home came from these countries, so it meant a lot to visit. There’s plenty of familiarity, culturally and language-wise, but of course, there’s so much history engrained in these two countries, that it was a real pleasure to discover all its wonders.

Below, what I could capture in between aperitivos, fresh made pasta, tapas and cañitas.

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