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Underappreciated resource: Intuit QuickBooks has been so good for my solo studio. Other than that, I don’t think that much about tools of that variety. That said, I think that designers need to learn to use Sketch more and more. I have always been a print designer, but less and less do I have the luxury of avoiding making digital products. It’s the world we live in now.

The latest books: The latest is a funny term with typography because it doesn’t necessarily indicate “new type.” For my birthday, I got the gorgeous Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze book, designed by Jerry Kelly and published by the Grolier Club. It came out in 2015, but Aldus Manutius was a Venetian printer in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. And I enjoyed Carol Twombly: Her Brief But Brilliant Career in Type Design, a biography about the Adobe type designer’s career in the ’80s and ’90s. The one that is probably most popular—but also sooooo good—is the Paula Scher: Works monograph, published by Unit Editions. Get that one.

Must-see typeface: Shiva Nallaperumal studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where he created Calcula, a mazelike typeface with interlocking shapes that blurs the boundaries between hand lettering and type design. It’s programmed to use thousands of ligatures in each of its layering styles, where each letter reacts to neighboring letters, adapting to its context.

Under-the-radar conference: A little-known conference called Robothon that is organized every three years at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. It is about type and technology, so it attracts software developers, type designers and school alumni.

Promising tool: I am biased, of course, but Fontstand, an app that enables you to try some of the best fonts around for free or rent them for a short time, changes things for both type foundries and users. For type foundries, it makes new typefaces more accessible and faster to adopt; in the past, it would take years before a typeface became popular. For users, Fontstand enables them to use the best fonts for any project —not just the project with a large budget.

Mind-blowing work: I wish I’d designed Alkes Thai Display, by Kaja Słojewska, who just finished it as part of her MA in typeface design project at the University of Reading.

Go-to pens: Recently, I’ve grown quite fond of the Copic Wide Markers range. They have a cut similar to the traditional cut of reed pens—used to write Arabic calligraphy—but the sharpness and large nib lend to some interesting shapes when you write. I’ve been using them as a source of inspiration, and they’re really fun to use when drawing.

Local letterpress: I love Winterbourne Press in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It’s a charming space with a type room that stores many different wood and metal types and a range of fully restored presses, including an Arab hand-fed platen press and several Adana presses. The staff is amazing, and they hold letterpress workshops regularly throughout the year.

Guilty pleasure: Does anyone ever answer this honestly? Chocolate on whipped cream on ice cream on a pizza float in a pool.

Trusty test: The color vision test from EnChroma [a company that makes glasses that enhance color perception for people with color vision deficiency]. Being color blind is much more common than you might think—especially for men. I suffer from mild protanomaly [a type of red-green color blindness], which is not that bad, but I would suggest that every designer get tested; after all, color psychology is one of our main tools as designers. And if you are color blind, don’t worry; just ask for a little help when choosing colors.

Game changer: For a long time, we only had FontLab Studio 5 as a tool for creating typefaces; but fortunately, Glyphs appeared and changed the market for the best. A healthy competition is taking place between the Glyphs app and the new FontLab VI that will be very beneficial for type designers. Now we have two companies competing to improve their software and provide the best solution for us. I have both just in case!

Fresh direction: There is a lot of interesting work coming from Europe right now, with a special focus in France. For example, I admire Production Type not only for the typefaces it releases, but also for the work it puts into showcasing its typefaces in printed specimens. Its specimens
are probably the best in the business nowadays—not only do they showcase the typeface, but also, they often come with historical or contextual essays related to the presented typeface.

Inspiration IRL: The Letterform Archive is my go-to place to do research. I am lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have easy access to its collection.

Emerging voice: Ellmer Stefan. In 2016, he created the Pyte Foundry and released a typeface every Monday that would only be available for one week. The new projects that Ellmer has been involved in this past year are equally interesting and worth following, such as the Non-Alphabets— typographic material exhibition that he completed with Austria-based type designer Johannes Lang.

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