Alphacrit: January 17, 2020

Welcome to a brand new year and a brand new Q&A edition of Alphacrit. Instead of reviewing in-progress work during this session, Ulrike Rausch and Lila Symons will answer questions on a topic that is central to font life for type designers and type users alike—OpenType features.

Ulrike and Lila both have extensive experience in type design and font production. What’s more, they both specialize in developing script typefaces that are beautiful, experimental, utilitarian—or all of the above. Since writing OT features can be a tricky part of font production, Ulrike and Lila are the perfect pair to tackle some of the thornier questions type designers face.

Puzzled by positional alternates? Confounded by contextual alternates? Or struggling to understand what OpenType features can do for your font? We’ve all been there! During this live video conference, Ulrike and Lila will field questions submitted by you on OT features. There will naturally be an emphasis on script typefaces, but questions about writing OT features for non-script fonts are also welcome and encouraged. Everyone who wants to join this session will be accepted—registration is required, but it’s free, and it’s easy. Simply fill out the application (see below) and you’re on your way.

Want to know more about these OT feature experts? Read their bios below to learn about their backgrounds.

Lila Symons, left, and Ulrike Rausch, right.

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Remember December: I Lead Two Lives

I can’t believe we’ve almost made it to the end of 2017. There have been some dark days this year where I wasn’t sure we would get this far. Too many horrible things have happened. I’ve too often awakened to bad news, outraged, and thought, it can’t possibly get any worse. They have to fix it. But it does get worse. And they don’t want to fix it.

I feel like I’m living two lives. One, where the mad foul beast capering around in the big white house is sucking the life out of the planet and out of me. Some days, I become so overwhelmed by utterly preventable mass shootings and natural disasters made worse by the human factors in global warming and our rights being stripped away that I just yell at the TV or Facebook or the newspaper and often end up sobbing.

I dread what will happen when that blank-visaged, ice-haired second-in-command with the soul of a scuttling cockroach takes over for the orange demon in charge when that thing finally drops dead of massive congestive heart failure after downing a mid-morning snack of two Big Macs, two Filet o’ Fish, forty-eleven Diet Cokes, and six puppies. Monster Number Two is but a skittery beating heart away from building his dream homeland of conversion camps and women’s detention centers where he can house us all as breeders in Handmaid’s Tale fashion—except for that robotic shell of a mate he calls “Mother.” He has to have something handy to feed on when the sun goes down.

The life smothered by the daily awful is wretched and despair is ever ready to strike. But that’s not all there is.

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Goudy Old Style

The Goudy Type Family Specimen Cover (1927)

Society Section, Forest Hills Gardens Gazette, March 16, 1915, Forest Hills Gardens, New York

About Town with Mrs. H. Puterschein

Frederic Goudy, a local printer and independent designer of typefaces (and a real live-wire!), was recently “discovered” by the powerhouse American Type Founders Company. After gaining recognition for Kennerley Old Style, his classy 1911 custom design for publisher Mitchell Kennerley, Mr. Goudy caught the eye of ATF bigwigs.

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