Little moments of community

Something particularly cruel about this pandemic was being separated from people we love during the time when we needed it the most. But paradoxically, this isolation itself was something we have shared collectively, a communal experience.

What got me through this year were the moments of community that reminded me that, although we are isolated, we are not alone. I have selected three, in chronological order.
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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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Alphabettes News – September 2016

Rounding up the busy summer months with two news posts in a row, here’s what happened in September:


New releases

After being in the works for a while, Laura Meseguer released Multi, a sans-serif family with text and display styles in seven weights for the display and three for text, all with their italics, exclusively available through her, and soon through Type-Ø-Tones’ brand new website. Check out the extensive minisite.

Also long awaited, Nina Stössinger finally released Nordvest, her slab serif with horizontal stress she talked about at Typographics in June. Available at Monokrom.

Portada is the latest typeface by Veronika Burian and TypeTogether, a sturdy serif and “a comprehensive type family for screens” (including a free icon set).

Two Alphabettes released sticker packs for the new iMessages in iOS 10:
by Ulrike Rausch is a set with 50 lovely ways to say “no”. We could all use some of that sometimes. Happy Hauntings by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn has Halloween-themed illustrations and lettering.


Ulrike is on a roll, she also gave a talk about OpenType-features at TYPODay in Cologne.

It was a great month for talks as anyone who has been to the ATypI conference in Warsaw knows. There were lots of women speaking, giving workshops, moderating (among others Verena Gerlach, Joyce Ketterer, Aoife Mooney, Ann Bessemans, Indra Kupferschmid, Alice Savoie, Dorine Sauzet, Catherine Dixon, Laura Meseguer, Petra Cerne Oven, Veronika Burian, Sonja Knecht, Bianca Berning, Martina Flor, Briar Levit, Gloria Kondrup, Viktoriya Grabowska, Carima El Behairy, Sofie Beier, Mariko Takagi, Rathna Ramanathan, Aleksandra Samulenkova, Sue Walker) and organising (including Marina Chaccur and Tamye Riggs) and our favourite interviewer Liron Lavi Turkenich conducted video interviews onsite. You can read our ATypI review here.

More news from ATypI

Also in Warsaw, the update to the OpenType specification was announced, it now allows for OpenType variable fonts. Bianca Berning was part of the working group that made it happen.

ATypI saw the release of the new 365Typo book, edited by Linda Kudrnovská. There are 78 contributors, 27 of them women, including Bianca Berning, Ann Bessemans, Veronika Burian, Petra Cerne Oven, Marina Chaccur, Catherine Dixon, Shelley Gruendler, Julia Kahl, Sonja Knecht, Indra Kupferschmid, Krista Radoeva, Ksenya Samarskaya, Nina Stössinger and Liron Lavi Turkenich. Many others are mentioned or have their work featured in the book, like Alice Savoie, Erin McLaughlin, Heidi Rand Sørensen, Andrea Tinnes, María Ramos, Jessica Hische and Luisa Baeta. The book also includes articles about Alphabettes and one about our mentorship program.

Spread from 365Typo. Photo by Marina Chaccur

Spread from 365Typo. Photo by Marina Chaccur

New jobs and awards

Tânia Raposo is the new Type@Cooper West Program Coordinator.

Millie HMK, a script typeface Lila Symons designed for Hallmark Cards, was recognized at AIGA Kansas City’s Twelfth Annual Design Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Typeface Design.

Print Mag’s Best New Typefaces of 2016 (so far) includes Bely, Nordvest, William Text, Kopius, Equitan Sans and Slab.

And finally … turned one year old on Sept 10. We celebrated with a design refresh thanks to Nicole Dotin and Amy Papaelias — new fonts, new features (like search, featured posts, and a footer). And we celebrated with cake of course!

Luisa Loves (Erm… Kind Of) Rio’s Old Acrylic Signs

A hardware store in Copacabana.

A hardware store in Copacabana.

Love is a strong word, but I’ll admit I have a fondness for them. In truth, I grew up in Rio and I can’t say I ever paid much attention to this kind of acrylic signs. Now, having lived in London for almost a decade, whenever I visit I stay with family in an upper-class neighbourhood where they hardly exist. A few days ago I went to the grittier neighbourhood of Copacabana and had an almost Proustian experience as I found myself surrounded by these old signs; with their cheap plastic appearance and soft edges, they formed the typographic landscape of my childhood. Although I can’t say they are exactly beautiful, I suddenly found them oddly charming. They were the letterforms of local popular commerce in 1980s Rio, the letterforms of hardware stores, florists, barbers and fishmongers, cheap-looking and anonymous, often considered ugly and vulgar. Today they are slowly disappearing, and the city doesn’t mourn the loss.

I decided to write my love letter to them, in spite of all the mixed feelings about their aesthetic value, and tried to find out more. I daydreamed about finding an old factory with stacks of old acrylic letters in different styles, dusty and forgotten…

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’bettes Live, Recap

This has been one of those cases where you wish you could be in more than one place at once. But Alphabettes are not one, we are many! Thus here’s a little recap of some of the type-related events that took place around the world in the last two weeks, so you don’t miss anything, and for those who didn’t follow along on Twitter. The idea for the #betteslive hashtag came about when we realized how much was happening within just a few days. With correspondents on several continents, it was intended as a way to better document, comment, and track the events from afar.

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A Review of the Book “365typo”


365typo: 365 stories on type, typography and graphic design, published in collaboration with the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), is a new annual trade book (loosely in the tradition of the Penrose Annual), featuring a collection of articles about type and typography written by several different contributors from December 2013 to June 2015. The idea is to publish a new book each year, providing a snapshot of the industry for that period.
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