Mentee Guide

Alphabettes Mentorship
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.

Key moments
01/12/2022: Applications open
20/12/2022: Applications close
February: Applicants are notified of the outcome and for successful ones, mentors and mentees are introduced.

Eligibility
After a few years of accepting anyone seeking to explore more the fields of type, typography, or the lettering arts, we have made the decision to close Mentee applications to men. We operate on a basis of trans inclusivity, and accept Mentee applications from all women and non-binary people.

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
  • 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! Think of your goal in the form of a brief, or a project. 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 preview of the 2023 Mentee application form
    We strongly suggest you start preparing your application well in advance and get in touch for any doubts or concerns. Spots will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis, so be as ready and prepared as possible for the application opening day.

    After you apply:

  • You did it! We will get in touch in February to communicate the outcome of your application. If successful you will be asked to confirm your availability to us within a week. To avoid missing important and time sensitive communication, please make sure you whitelist our email address mentorship@alphabettes.org and check your email spam folder regularly.
  • 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

Overly Ambitious Summer Reading List 2022

four books stacked on a table outside with some yellow flowers and greenery in the background. The books are from top to bottom: The Typographic Medium, The Black Experience in Design, Type Specimens, and Building Ligatures The Power of Type

As the weather warms up and the bugs get buggier (at least in the Northeastern US), there’s nothing like an overly ambitious reading list to get those summer vibes flowing. Here are some Alphabettes-approved books published in the past year or so that will make the perfect stay/vacation companions. Do a public service and be sure to buy these from a local bookshop or request a copy for your local and university library!

Continue reading

Alphabettes Variety Show: June 16, 2022!

The Alphabettes Variety Show returns to the TypeLab at Typographics on Thursday, June 16, 2022, 13–14h EDT. This year, the TypeLab offers the best of both worlds: if you’re in NYC, check it out in-person FOR FREE on Thursday, Day 1 (Day 2 + 3 are only open to Typographics attendees) OR join in from anywhere via Zoom (registration required) OR lurk on the YouTube livestream.

This year, we’ll feature live interviews from Kyiv, Buenos Aires, Maine, Oslo, and NYC, answer all your burning #dearalphabettes questions, and probably some other things we’ll think of at the last minute. Join us with a beverage of choice or a piece of cake or both!

**RECAP**
Here’s what happened during this year’s Variety Show:
Kateryna Korolevtseva gave us a short but fascinating overview of her branding and typeface design projects and the context of working from Kyiv at the moment. We hope to see Kateryna speak at more conferences soon!
Muk Monsalve chatted with us about the recent update to her type family, Elmira on FutureFonts.
Zen Bastawala talked about moving to Maine and getting to know about the local ice cream scene.
Dyana Weissman joined us live from the Cooper Union TypeLab

See you next year 🙌

АБЕТКИ

Ukrainian type designers often emphasize the historicity of letters. And we are no exception.

We have been working with letters for about 12 years and we always love receiving orders for Cyrillic — here we can show all our knowledge about Cyrillic in some specific work.

For inspiration, very often we look at historical samples of such Cyrillic handwritings as: Ustav (pic.1), Napivustav (pic.2), Vyaz (pic.3) and Skoropys (pic.4).

We, Ukrainian designers, have long set a course to distinguish our Abetka (alphabet) from the Russian alphabet by focusing on the historicity of the Cyrillics. Nevertheless, we make it modernized, we work with it as with a living organism.

In these sketches (pic.5) we just wanted to demonstrate the “Ukrainianity” of the Cyrillic lettering. It is written here “АБЕТКИ” (“Abetkи”)—alphabettes in Ukrainian.

different examples of lettering

We are now in Ukraine and, as you know, there is a war. Unfortunately, there is no way to write this word in a calligraphic way, as we love and know how to do (see our Instagram profile: @vikatavita and website: vikavita.com).

Therefore, the lettering was done on the iPad in between running into the bomb shelter and after that there was work on the vectors.

Thanks for attention! And greetings from Ukraine💛💙

🎺🎺🎺: 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.

Calling All Mentors!


Join us for the autumn term to make a real impact! Simply fill in this form and wait to be matched.

* Not sure you could be a mentor? If you are unsure you are a good fit to join as a Mentor send us message we will chat with you about it. Most likely you ARE a great fit, and can really help making a change in people’s lives
* Worried about the commitment? If this is a busy time for you, you can sign up for as little as a 1 month program (about 4 sessions). You get to decide with the Mentee your preferred method of communication: Zoom, email, Slack or a combination
* How is the schedule? The sessions are flexible in time and dates, and you set them with your Mentee in a way which will make it work for both of you
* Will I need to be a mentor forever? We have two annual terms: spring and autumn. After every term, we check in to confirm with you that you are happy to continue. If you feel like you need a break, you can always pause
* What if I’m not a type designer? We have so many topics that Mentees are seeking guidance on: research, education, lettering, font production, business, writing, typography. If you are in type, you can be a huge help!
* Can only women be Mentors? Not at all! Everyone is welcome. Since Alphabettes is a network supporting woman, we centre a woman in every pair
* Want to hear more? We can send you a recording of a previous Q&A session we did for Mentors. Just email us at mentorship@alphabettes.org

We look forward to having you on our team!
Alessia, Eleni, Liron, Veronika and Shani

Thank you Alphabettes Mentors!

As we are wrapping up the Mentorship spring term we wish to thank all our dedicated Mentors from the bottom of our hearts. THANK YOU for being so generous with your time and for your invaluable guidance. Your help made a huge difference and we truly appreciate it!

The AMP team,
Alessia, Eleni, Liron, Shani, and Veronika

Thank you Mentors!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Alphabettes But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Early January 2021 feels like a lifetime ago. Those were some of the darkest days of the pandemic, when vaccines were out of reach for almost everyone, daylight remained at a minimum, and the US was dealing with the aftermath of an attempted coup. Recording this episode of the podcast Warm up [on type], part of the 11et Encontro de Tipografia, was cathartic: Bianca Berning, Tânia Raposo, and myself discuss what Alphabettes is (and isn’t), what the group has accomplished (Mentorship Program! Alpha Crit! Blog! 24-Hour Hangout! Community! Feminist Agitation!), and what it hasn’t (Transparent Organizing! Being Totally Inclusive! Agreeing on All Things! Knowing What The Hell We Are Doing!).

Listen here:

Thank you to ESAD.CR Masters in Graphic Design students Diana Duarte, Beatriz Homem, Gabriela Silva, Sidónio Silva for having us, and providing the opportunity for some self-reflection at a time when we all needed it. ♥

Alphabettes Variety Show: Today!

In the Before Times, back when we used to ✌️travel to conferences✌️ and ✌️sit in darkened and aggressively air-conditioned auditoriums✌️, The Alphabettes Variety Show could be found drumming up trouble in the basement of 41 Cooper Square, New York, NY. With the TypeLab at Typographics in its second year as a free, online, 72-hour smorgasbord of talks, workshops, and presentations, it’s time for Alphabettes to emerge from its shell.

Alphabettes lettering illustrated as cicadas

The Alphabettes Variety Show buzzes back to life with live chatter, brooding guests, and some noisy fun TODAY, June 18, 16:00–17:00 ET (the TypeLab site will magically tell you the correct time wherever you are). Tune in via the TypeLab Americas YouTube Livestream or get loud with us and register for TypeLab to join the Zoom call.

Cicadalphabettes illustration by the buzzworthy Laura Serra. Typeface family is Faune by Alice Savoie / Cnap.

We need you!

Have you ever thought of becoming a Mentor with the Alphabettes Mentorship Program? Now is the time to jump into this rewarding and exciting experience. Simply fill in this form and wait to be matched.

Spring term just openend, and we are on the hunt for growing our pool of mentors.

  • Not sure you could be a mentor? If you are unsure you are a good fit to join as a Mentor send us message and we will chat with you about it. Most likely you ARE a great fit, and can really help making a change in people’s lives ❤️️
  • Worried about the commitment? If this is a busy time for you, you can sign up for as little as a 1 month program (about 4 sessions).Moreover, you get to decide with the Mentee your preferred method of communication: Zoom, email, Slack or a combination.
  • How is the schedule? The sessions are flexible in time and dates, and you set them with your Mentee in a way which will make it work for both of you.
  • Will I need to be a mentor forever? We have two annual terms: spring and autumn. After every term, we check in and confirm with you that you are happy to continue. However, if you feel like you need a break, you can always pause.
  • What if I’m not a type designer? We have so many topics that Mentees are seeking guidance on: research, education, lettering, font production, business, writing, typography. If you are in type, you can be a huge help.
  • Can only women be a mentor? Not at all! Everyone is welcome. Since Alphabettes is a network supporting woman, we centre a woman in every pair.
  • Want to hear more? We can send you a recording of a previous Q&A session we did for Mentors. Just email us!
  • We look forward to you!
    The AMP team,
    Eleni, Katy, Liron, Shani, and Veronika