Alphacrit: June 22, 2018

Welcome to the tech edition of Alphacrit. Instead of reviewing in-progress work, Noe Blanco and Irene Vlachou will answer your questions about font production and technology. Designing a typeface is one thing, making a font technically sound is entirely another.

What kind of questions can they answer? Noe and Irene have wide a range of experience designing and producing fonts. Together, they can cover topics such as font engineering, hinting, getting a font ready for release, variable fonts, specificities of production related to the Greek script, foundry workflows and many of the details in between (coding OT features, bezier point placement, class-based kerning, their experience with various font editors, etc.). Read their bios below to learn more about their backgrounds.

Noe Blanco and Irene Vlachou

Noe Blanco is a typeface designer and font engineer based in Barcelona. She enjoys drawing and producing fonts with a special focus on the process where drawing and design meet technology. After graduating at BAU with a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in Advanced Typography at Eina (Barcelona), Noe went on to complete an MA in Type and Media at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK) in The Hague. Noe has worked for Underware and since 2013 has collaborated independently with numerous foundries such as Tobias Frere-Jones, Blackletra and FosterType. Currently she works at Klim Type Foundry and occasionally collaborates with other independent foundries.

Irene Vlachou is a typeface designer working somewhere between Bristol and Athens. After trying life as an artist and a violinist, Irene found her vocation. Her terrible handwriting and horror of olives turned out to be no obstacles for her becoming a type designer specializing in Greek. In 2004 she gained her Masters in type design at the University of Reading and since then she has been collaborating with many international type foundries as a typeface designer and as a Greek type advisor. She designs original custom typefaces as well as extending typefaces to add the Greek character set and she is a senior designer and the variable font obsessive at TypeTogether.

 

What to expect: There are six slots for this session. Each participant will come up with three questions (at the time of application) about font production or technology. During the session, Noe and Irene will answer the questions, starting with each participant’s first and getting to the rest if there is time. Participants will sit in on the entire session and have the opportunity to ask questions and follow up on anything they don’t understand. The session will last about an hour.

When & where: Friday, June 22 at 9am Central (2pm UTC) via video conferencing.

Who can participate: This session is open to everyone, of any skill level, and the eight spots will be drawn lottery style. Preference may 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/wgE2pqCsH0VFT0i02

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

Applications due by: June 13, 2018

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

Branding and the Psychology of Handwriting: The new NIVEA Care Type

At Juliasys Studio we’ve been working for some time now on a digital handwriting style for the “NIVEA” brand of Beiersdorf AG. “NIVEA Care Type”, as we are calling the new OpenType font, is understood to be the imaginary handwriting of the NIVEA brand persona, the “NIVEA Woman”. Care Type on product packaging and in marketing material has the function to subtly present the NIVEA Woman personality in the look and feel of the brand. Care Type is to be used prominently but at the same time sparingly, “with caution”.

Figure 1: A century of typographical metamorphosis on the legendary NIVEA tin

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