New borders: the working life of Elizabeth Friedlander

I first heard of Elizabeth Friedländer in an article about early female typeface designers. Using some of the typefaces mentioned in the text I decided to prepare a few images for our Instagram account. That personal exercise opened the door to extra information about the names included in the article. There was an exhibition on Elizabeth’s work at the Ditchling Museum (England), and Katharine Meynell had released the film Elizabeth in 2016. While looking for more information about her I also found the book I am writing about today. This book, letterpress printed and bound by hand, was published as a limited edition of 325 copies. A couple of months ago—coinciding with the launch of Women in type—I finally found it online and was able to read it. The University of Victoria Library scanned the pages and made the book available for all.

The book is full of reproductions of her work, not only finished and published projects but also drawings and documentation of her design process. The author tells us about her life’s path, moving from one country to another, and finding ways to nurture her career as a designer. The text includes insightful quotes from personal documents and imagery from the material she carefully preserved, allowing us to know about her work and career through primary sources.

Rough work in Indian ink for different projects

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🎺🎺🎺: One Good Thing in 2021

According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, to toot one’s own horn means “to talk about oneself or one’s achievements especially in a way that shows pride or too much pride”. We use this term as a way to reclaim some of the gender gaps in tooting one’s horn and challenged ourselves to come up with one good thing that happened, professionally or personally or a little bit of both, during this emotional / physical / mental wreck of a year.

Now, without further ado, and in no particular order, let the horn-tooting begin!

🎺 Kara Gordon
I bought into a co-op! Officially committed to Brooklyn for the long-haul.

🎺 Laura Serra
Relationships refined, Vaccinations, more personal projects, improved health, more satisfying illustration jobs, docent program at Letterform Archive, got a new illustration rep, Christmas in France (if I don’t jinx it now.)

🎺 María Ramos
I was part of the core team organizing an in-person national design event. A challenging and wonderful learning experience.

🎺 Dyana Weissman
I got a nice raise, and I didn’t even ask for it.

🎺 Laura Meseguer
I released my typeface family Qandus Latin, and had my first solo exhibition 🙂
hallway of an exhibition with posters and artwork
Photo by: Marina Roca

🎺 Carolina Giovagnoli
I closed my lovely 10-year-old-project, Andada ht. The research I have finished with the help of the mentorship program. The font family is now available on Google Fonts. I’ve started my own self publishing project. I’m happy and thankful with you, my family and friends.

🎺 Ulrike Rausch
My color font LiebeHeide was honoured with 6 (SIX!!!) awards this year! 🤯 🚀 🤪 🥳
I submitted my work already several times in the past, but never won anything. Seems LiebeHeide wanted to make-up for that. 😀
handwriting font sample

🎺 Isabella Aragão
Launch of the virtual group exhibition “Experimentando tipos em homenagem a’O Gráfico Amador” with graphic arts developed by Design students, artists and designers using lead types and letterpress machine from LPG of UFPE, which were donated by the important Brazilian artisanal publisher in the 1950s called O Gráfico Amador.

🎺 Liron Lavi Turkenich
In addition to welcoming baby Tom to the world, I was humbled and honoured to have Aravrit words which I designed, become a 13-meters sculpture in Expo 2020 in Dubai. This sculpture is the main artwork for the Israeli Pavilion. This is such an exciting event both for me, as the creator of Aravrit (a hybrid writing system merging Hebrew and Arabic) and for type, to be a centerpiece.
woman standing next to large sculpture of letterforms

🎺 Emilie Rigaud
PhD research about Japanese type design history is going smoothly! First year was difficult but this second year is pure joy, and the two days conference that I organized last October at Inalco university (Paris), gathering French and Japanese researchers and designers, was a success.

🎺 Elena Schneider
We had the best summer here in the North of Iceland, weather wise. It took less than 15 minutes to get dressed (per person) before leaving the house and we got loads of strawberries in the garden.

🎺 Maria Glenda Bellarosa
I got a new job! I started in November as the Library Manager at Type Network. It is new and challenging as I had previously been doing OpenType development for global scripts. It’s going well and I enjoy that I have the privilege of working with @Dyana.

🎺 Namrata Goyal
I was able to take a sabbatical this December (after thinking about it for months, I finally asked). I took the time to rest, and travelled with my mother.

🎺 Pooja Saxena
After years of fiddling around with them, I finally published my very first, very small graphic memoir, featuring pixel illustrations! I told the story of my experience with birdwatching, a hobby I discovered this year.
an illustration of a person's legs from behind standing in grass looking at mountains with the text "The best part of my day is standing still and waiting"

🎺 Dina Benbrahim
I started my endowed position at the University of Arkansas on August, and it is been such a fulfilling environment. I am grateful to work and be surrounded with fierce feminist women. I am constantly inspired by them.

🎺 Nora Gummert-Hauser
DEAD & ALIVE 03 – Footballer’s Birthday Calendar
Explore decades of football history with 366 inspiring characters.
In 2021 we have created the world’s first typographic birthday calendar where you can discover with which footballer or female footballer you share your birthday with. Designed in 12 different shades of green!

🎺 Luisa Baeta
After several years as a branding freelancer, I accepted a full-time job this year! I’m now a designer at Atlas Obscura, it’s still new but so far I’m loving it, the team is great and I am really excited to be setting down roots and working on projects for the long-term.

🎺 Irina Koryagina
I guess, in a teeny-tiny way, I’m glad that even during this rollercoaster-of-emotions kind of year, is-the-world-ending-kind-of-year, I-don’t-have-energy-for-much kind of year, I still had enough enthusiasm to keep messing around with my personal project of speculative book covers called And Then You Read. Every time I think it’s good to stop now and do some billable or even just real-world work, after a few weeks or a few months I read a cool book, have a visual idea, and get right back to it. It’s up to sixty covers now and still going strong. Kind of.

🎺 Chris Campe
This fall I received my first literary scholarship for the novel I started to write two years ago. I see myself primarily as a designer and I was not sure if my literary writing was any good, so this external validation means a lot to me and motivates me to continue working on the book.

🎺 Amy Papaelias
With the help of many here, the seed of an idea for an Alphabettes book project is finally planted in the universe. While still in the early germination stages, the goal is to not only document the group’s history but to also encourage the kind of participatory, DIY feminism we’ve always practiced here through articles, interviews, commentary, and more. To be continued…

Comments are open if you’d like to toot your horn!
Happy New Year, let’s use it for more collective ass-kicking and horn-tooting.

Mentee Guide

Thank you for showing an interest in the Alphabettes Mentorship Program. If you wish to participate your first step will be to fill in the Mentee application form. Here are some notes and recommendations we have put together for you. Following these tips will help us to better understand your goal and to find the best Mentor to guide you through the process of fulfilling it.

Before you apply:

  • Please remember that our Mentors are professional experts who are willing to donate their precious time for you. The program is built to provide you with guidance and advice on a specific matter during a set period of time. It should not to be confused with private tutoring for educational programs or a free of charge consultation for commercial projects
  • Learn about the program from the available resources: read the FAQ, dive into our blog posts, watch our Behind the Scenes video to learn how the program works and watch the Showcase Party video to see how former Mentees described their projects and goals. Make sure you are well informed about how the program works, and in case you have any question, you guessed it, just drop us a note at mentorship@alphabettes.org
  • Filling in the form means that you are ready to actively commit your time as a Mentee for the upcoming term. If you are not sure you are up to it please hold off and apply to the following term
  • When you apply:

  • Make sure you introduce yourself as best you can. What is your background? What are your interests? Don’t be shy; the more you share, the easier it will be to find your best match
  • Be specific about the field in which you seek guidance. You can choose one from: Type design, Font production or Typography or Lettering
  • Within the field you have selected, clarify the topic of your project. You can choose one from: Portfolio & Personal projects, Education & Research or Career & Industry
  • Estimate the appropriate scope and duration of your project. How much time are you able to invest? Are you able to dedicate time for assignments your Mentor may give you? You can choose one from: Up to 1 month, Up to 3 months or Up to 6 months
  • When you describe your project and goals, be as specific as possible. Share your current situation and what it is you are missing. Expand on your needs and expectations of the mentorship program
  • Think about how a Mentor can help you accomplish your goal. How will you benefit from your Mentor’s guidance and advice?
  • Note that the more focused you are on what it is you are looking for the faster it is for us to help you find it! If you are unsure or struggling to articulate your goal, or have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us before you fill in the form
  • Here is the Autumn 2021 Mentee application form

    After you apply:

  • You did it! Sit back, relax and – be patient. As soon as you apply you will be considered for the current term. However, it takes time to process your application and find a great match for your needs
  • Mentoring is a fantastic tool to empower others, grow confidence and new skills, and both our Mentees and Mentors have found the relationship transformative and fulfilling. We hope this has helped you with applying as a Mentee and we look forward to having you join us!

    Alessia, Eleni, Liron, Veronika and Shani