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BEHIND THE SCENES · October 25, 2010

TypeCon Letter-Drawing Collage

Draw a letter, any letter! And so you did. We thank all of you at TypeCon who stepped up to our exhibit table in Los Angeles and participated in our letter-drawing collage.

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BEHIND THE SCENES, INTERVIEWS · October 13, 2010

Louise Paradis’s Revival of Recta

It’s rare for Font Bureau to have an intern, but for three weeks we were delighted to have Louise Paradis intern with us in our Boston studio. She hails from Montreal, worked in Los Angeles for a time, and is now a graduate student in art direction at ECAL, Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (University of Art and Design Lausanne) in Switzerland. I had a chance to talk with her before she left.

MLM: What led you to Font Bureau?
LP: Well, one project for a class of mine was by my professor François Rappo. He required us ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES · June 18, 2010

Another May. Another Year.

It was that familiar time of year again: the first weekend in May, when we all descend on Martha’s Vineyard for yet another offsite meeting. This year’s gathering included more than twenty of us — Font Bureau designers and staff, consultants, and type board.

There are two reasons why we have offsites — to socialize and to work. Since we’ve become a distributed work environment, it’s a chance for us to reconnect face-to-face with co-workers and to keep connected as a company. We review what we did in the past year, strategize where we’re going, and calibrate ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES, TYPE DESIGN · April 22, 2010

Thinking Green for Earth Day

My friend Joanna sent me an email a couple of weeks ago saying, “I heard a news blip this morning that I thought was sort of fascinating.” She went on to quote the news item about the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s decision to switch to Century Gothic as the default for all printed campus e-mails.

“You should design a ‘green’ font,” she urged.

I began to respond with a dissertation about how there are plenty of so-called “green” fonts already, but it got me thinking.

As some news articles have noted, most fonts that are light in weight or ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES, TYPE DESIGN · January 22, 2010

the final frontier


At the heart of calligraphy is the stroke that comes from the pen, the brush or whatever tool you choose to dip into the black ink and pull across the white page. Type design can of course be looked at through the lens of the calligraphic stroke. And it often is.

But what interests me is what makes typography and calligraphy different. In movable type, each character has a certain amount of letter space, and a fixed amount of line space, that belongs to it. In foundry type this is becomes the body, it’s a physical thing. In my ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES · June 4, 2009

Kerning, Flow, and Music

Ah, kerning. The very thought fills my brain with endorphins. I don’t recall if I’ve met another typeface designer who likes it—at all. Some seem to tolerate it at the beginning, but they eventually grow to hate it. And yes, there are times I’ve gotten frustrated with it, but overall, kerning brings me a joy like no other.

The average designer may not realize that a knowledgeable typeface designer will look at every possible character combination to determine which kerning pairs must be added. Uppercase to uppercase, uppercase to lowercase, lowercase to punctuation, figures to punctuation ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES · May 6, 2009

If It’s May, It Must Be Offsite …

This past weekend, May 1st through the 3rd, we gathered for our annual offsite meeting -- a chance for the whole FB team to get together in one location. Once again this year, the tribe descended on Martha’s Vineyard, home to our peerless leaders, both David and Sam (for a little while longer, anyway).

The gathering consists of FB staff, consultants & “extended family,” and wise counsel (i.e., Matthew Carter ;-). It’s a once-a-year opportunity to get everyone together in the same place at the same time -- a time for a little reflection and a little projection: reviewing sales figures, discussing trends and opportunities, sharing recent accomplishments, and forging ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES · May 13, 2008

Font Bureau Offsite on Martha’s Vineyard

The first weekend in May marks Font Bureau’s annual offsite meeting on Martha’s Vineyard.

It’s when our staff come together to reflect on the previous year, and plan for the year to come. OpenType was very much on the table, as well as upcoming font releases, marketing directions, and website initiatives. Good times and food were also present, even though sunny weather was not.

Quotable quotes:

”Around this time every year I hear from brides and mothers of brides.”
— Mark, when asked about tech support

”You can’t prevent people from doing what they want, but you ...

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