Multiscriptual Typesetting

image of globe showing north and south america

Last month I had the honor of creating the graphics for Designing without Borders, a three-part lecture series hosted by AIGA NY and the TDC. The design process was a collaboration between myself and the event organizers; Caspar Lam, Juan Villanueva, and Lynne Yun, which led to an ambitious undertaking of designing with a dozen languages. This experience was equally rewarding as it was challenging. It inspired me to continue pushing my understanding of typography by going beyond what is linguistically familiar. 

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“Tu castigo será verme feliz” — Talking with Carga Máxima

An interview with Azucena del Carmen Cabezas León from the Carga Máxima studio at ATypI São Paulo, October 2015


We interviewed Azucena León during the ATypI conference in São Paulo in October 2015, when the Alphabettes blog was barely in its first weeks of life. Azucena and her partner, Alinder Espada, had a stall in the conference market place, where she was composing and selling lettering posters. What immediately caught our attention was the bold, fluorescent and immediate hand lettering, with strong messages distilled from the Peruvian version of Cumbia, the popular music of Colombia. The messages combined references to music, ‘la novela’ (soap opera), but mostly, a sense of pure drama: tu castigo será verme feliz [your punishment will be seeing me happy], el buen amante nunca se enamora [the good lover never falls in love], no se gana pero se goza [you can’t win, but enjoy it anyway], está prohibido estar triste [sadness is not allowed], se sufre pero se aprende [you suffer but you learn] and so on. It was not easy to find a free slot during her busy day, as every ATypI attendee wanted one of her posters. Continue reading

Student Discounts for Fonts

Yes, design students need access to good fonts. Working towards A Future Free Of Type Piracy, but on a student-friendly budget, I asked those among the Alphabettes who run type foundries if they’d be willing to offer their wonderful ware at an especially fair edu-fare. Here are the ones that replied:

Anatole Type
50% discount on single styles, 70% on family packs (OTF only). Email Elena Albertoni with proof of your current student status (photo/scan of student ID) and your full postal address for a receipt (VAT may apply).

Darden Studio
50% discount on the entire library for students, teachers, and schools. Individual students can purchase fonts through the store but have to register by filling out this form: “Applying for an academic discount”. Schools requiring licenses for more than 45 CPUs email Joyce Ketterer directly.

Huerta Tipografica
50% discount for students (several typefaces for free on Font Squirrel). Email a valid student ID to Sol Matas & Co and they will send you instructions.

50% academic discount for students with proof of enrollment and student ID. Email your info to Kontour / Sibylle Hagmann.

Letra Type
Get the entire Galea Display family (four styles) for only $50 by emailing Isabel Urbina.

Liebe Fonts
50% off of all typefaces. Email Ulrike Rausch your student ID for a discount code.

90% discount for students (full families only) if you email Andrea Tinnes a valid student ID, short description of the project the typeface is used for, and later a sample/image of the work. For her typefaces licensed through Primetype, contact Ole Schäfer and receive free trial fonts for academic / non-commercial use.

Type Together
25% discount on all typefaces for students and academic staff. Email from your uni-email-account or send a copy of your student ID. Institutions who wish to license fonts for a whole class, 10–20 single styles, or more can contact Veronika Burian & Co for an even larger discount. Typefaces can also be made available for free in certain cases if you provide a description of the project, sign a temporary license agreement, and later send images of the finished work.

15% discount on all typefaces for students and academic staff, also 10 free trial fonts and some free fonts. Contact them from your uni-email-account or send a copy of your student ID. Temporary license can be arranged under certain conditions, contact Véronique Porchez to explain your project. Institutions who wish to license fonts for a whole class or school (10+ users), please also contact Véronique directly.

Thanks Véronique, Veronika, Andrea, Ulrike, Isabel, Sibylle, Sol, Joyce, and Elena for your generous offers!

If you know of other worthwhile student type discounts please comment below or send us a note. I also put together this list a while back to which I’ll add these offers now. And keep us updated on what you did with the fonts. All type designers love seeing their work being used and will be happy if you send them some photos or links.


Creating a Future Free of Type Piracy

It starts with working with what you’ve got.

A couple of years ago, one of my graphic design students handed in a project that used the typeface Gotham. As soon as she handed it to me, I looked at her skeptically.

“You have a license for Gotham?” I asked, knowing that the least expensive license runs close to $200—which is not typically the kind of cash students in New York City, or even in the United States, tend to have to spend on school projects.

“Yes!” she declared triumphantly. She, like all my students, knew that I do not accept projects using pirated fonts; it’s stated clearly in my syllabus, and I assertively read this aloud on Day 1 each semester. She continued, “Professor ___ gave us all a CD of it!”

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