For the Love of Type

Miguel Sousa, Adobe Team Lead for Type Development, dedicates his sabbatical to supporting the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

Miguel Sousa, Adobe Team Lead for Type Development, dedicates his sabbatical to supporting the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

One of the perks Adobe offers to its employees is paid sabbatical leave every five years. Going on sabbatical—taking a strategic pause from the everyday work routine—provides boundless opportunities for in-depth research, broadening skills, and recharging mental batteries.

A native of Portugal, Miguel Sousa began his career with Adobe in 2006, after graduating from the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. When it came time to take his first sabbatical, he considered a number of options. He knew he wanted to challenge himself, enrich his practical education, and give something back.

In the summer of 2012, Miguel attended the TypeCon conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a prelude to the main event, he participated in an intensive letterpress workshop held at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, located in the little town of Two Rivers, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee. The museum, a non-profit, volunteer-driven labor of love, houses a collection of more than 1.5 million pieces of wood type. For those who are unfamiliar, wood type is essentially the use of wood to create letterforms for printing purposes.

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“I spent a couple of days there and barely put a dent on their long list of items. I was particularly interested in wood type specimens, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint,” Miguel said. “I saw a series of gorgeous pages, one after another. The level of craftsmanship of the type but also of the printing was mind blowing. One hundred percent eye candy!”

The museum went through some trouble when it was asked to move to a different building—and move tons of type with it. Miguel volunteered to help out, and the Type Team also pitched in with the Adobe Cupcakes-in-a-Jar event. With other volunteers, Miguel was part of an enthusiastic crew that swept and scraped floors, unwrapped and moved pallets, and unboxed and distributed mountains of type.

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Miguel also hand-printed promotional material for the museum, including a limited edition poster, available online. To read more about Miguel’s typographical adventures, visit the Type Team blog.

Blog post contributed by Nicole Miñoza, Product Marketing manager for the Adobe Type Team.