Posts in Category "Type Team"

January 21, 2014

An Unconventional Engineer: How fine art and computer smarts brought Ernie March to Adobe

Ernie March in Beaune.

Life is all about making good choices. Ernie March ponders the vast selection of Dijon mustards on display at an open-air market in Beaune, France, capital of the Burgundy wine region. After thoughtful consideration, he chose four delectable varieties to bring home. Selecting the tastiest condiments is nothing compared to the critical decisions Ernie makes daily in his role at Adobe. Photo by Ed Koizumi.

Ernest March, affectionately known as Ernie to friends and colleagues alike, does Quality Engineering and so much more for the Adobe Type team. Since he embarked on his typographic career in the 1980s, this self-titled “accidental type guy” has seen major upheavals in our field (and lived to tell the tale). Writer and typographer Tamye Riggs recently had a deliciously geeky chat with Ernie, and we asked her to share some highlights from his colorful past and present.

Ernie, you seem to wear a few different hats at Adobe. What’s your official title?
Senior Quality Engineer. I say that with a snicker in my voice because my dad was a mechanical engineer, and when I was going to college, he said, “Don’t be an engineer. It sucks.” So I went off to art school instead—180 degrees in the other direction. But even though I went to art school studying design and illustration, my job title still has engineer in it. They have to pinhole you into something—we tend not to take it too seriously.

Where did you go to college, and what did you study?
I went to Santa Clara University for my history degree. I was taking art classes as electives. I was enjoying it, and, as I got closer to graduation, I thought, what can I do with a history degree? I didn’t see myself teaching, so I thought, I’ll keep going to school. The head of the art department helped with my portfolio and I submitted it to Art Center in Pasadena. My portfolio was pretty piss-poor, but they let me in the door. You can actually train someone to be a decent artist! Continue reading…

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January 14, 2014

The Source Project and Open Source Collaboration: A work in progress

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Source*

Adobe Type team members Miguel Sousa and Paul Hunt discuss their adventures in open source font development.
Photo by David Sudweeks, TypeCon2013, Portland, Oregon.

In August 2012, Adobe released its first open source typeface family, Source Sans Pro. We followed up a month later with its monospaced companion, Source Code Pro. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and elicited a terrific amount of feedback from the open source community and the type and design world. Paul D. Hunt, principal designer/developer for the Source Sans and Code types, and Miguel Sousa, a significant contributor to the project, spoke at TypeCon2013 in Portland last August about their experiences with the project. Below is some of what Paul and Miguel presented to this annual gathering of type makers and type users.

The Source project has been an interesting one for the Adobe Type team. Not only was Source Sans our first open source typeface, it has also led to us changing our development process and tools. But one of the most important aspects of the Source project was that it gave us a unique opportunity to engage with the type and open source communities.

One of the most crucial pieces of feedback we received from the open source community after releasing Source Sans on SourceForge was that the project should also live on GitHub. (GitHub is extremely collaboration-friendly and boasts the world’s largest open source community.)

The gentle prodding went a little something like this:

weusegit2Continue reading…

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December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays

Along with my colleagues on the Adobe Type & Adobe Typekit teams, I’d like to wish all our readers a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.

This year we went back to our old tradition of producing a letterpress holiday card. The card, designed by Elliot Jay Stocks, Creative Director for Typekit, and printed by Norman Clayton of Classic Letterpress, is the first printed piece for the recently combined Adobe Type and Adobe Typekit teams. It is set in Garamond Premier Pro, designed by Robert Slimbach.

I’ve included a photo of the card below to spread our holiday greeting beyond those to whom we sent a printed copy.


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December 9, 2013

Languages, logos, and letters: Frank Grießhammer and his road to type design

“Be Frank™” — photo by Tânia Raposo, motivational composition by Stephen Coles

“Be Frank™.” Photo by Tânia Raposo. Motivational composition by Stephen Coles.

“Many things just happened by coincidence in my life. In fact, practically everything.”
—Frank Grießhammer

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1983, Frank Grießhammer is many things: a pianist and lover of jazz music with an affinity for languages; a photographer with a toolkit of obsolete film cameras; and a thoughtful curator of a singularly splendid adapter collection. His career might have gone in any of a dozen different directions, but an early obsession with logos and a series of happy coincidences led Frank to his home with the Adobe Type Team.

What was life like growing up in Germany?
My childhood was great. I grew up in Hof, a mid-sized town in the north of Bavaria. My parents brought their two boys up in a creative household, where a lot of tinkering and building stuff was going on. I was given the possibility of musical education, and the family just traveled a lot. This may seem like nothing, but it really shaped my path for the future, and my view on the world. Of course, this is something you don’t quite realize as a kid—only much later did I come to understand how important it was.

Continue reading…

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November 20, 2013

From Slavophile to Typophile: The cultural journeys of Paul D. Hunt

Paul and big P
Paul D. Hunt joined Adobe as a typeface designer in 2009, but his path to San Jose has been anything but typical. Valedictorian of his high school graduating class of 25 (just down the road from a famous Route 66 landmark), Paul was well on his way to a high-powered career in international business. But he fell in love with language, then type, somewhere along the way. And the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you make your debut on Planet Earth? 

I was born in Winslow, Arizona (from the popular Eagles’ song). I wasn’t born on the corner, though—I was born in the hospital! I grew up in a rural town called Joseph City and went to public school there. With just 1,200 people in the town, there weren’t many opportunities to do much of anything interesting, but when there were, I tried to maximize them. For example, when our school briefly offered some satellite courses through UW in foreign languages, I took that opportunity to start to learn Russian.

Aside from the incredibly easy task of learning Russian, what else did you do for fun growing up? 

I was involved in dancing, in the form of clogging. My younger sister and I did it for many years throughout my youth. I worked at the school auditorium doing light and sound and stagehand stuff. I was in choir, and I did a little bit of acting in community productions. Our show choir did Oliver! and I played the villain, Bill Sykes, when I was a senior (probably because I was the only one who could grow a beard and pull the whole thing off).

In 1995 as Dickensian villain Bill Sykes in his high school’s presentation of Oliver!

So how did you transition from aspiring clog dancer and super-villain to type designer?

I was always interested in language and culture—and later, design—and how these things all come together. I wanted to continue with dance and studying Russian—part of the reason that I chose to attend Brigham Young University was because they have very good language programs and an international folk dance ensemble. In the summer of 2000, I was part of a team that toured around elementary schools in Utah doing all kinds of dance—Ukrainian, Hungarian, Polish, French Canadian, Israeli, Bulgarian—a lot of Eastern European stuff, which is what I like most. Bulgarian rhythms, costumes, and music always make me excited. That’s my favorite, just because it’s so energetic and completely different from [what people usually] think of European folk dancing. Continue reading…

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October 24, 2013

When type geeks and alpacas collide


This summer, our managers Caleb Belohlavek and David Lemon decided it was time we hit the road for a hardcore offsite planning session. We wanted to share our extreme team-building experience with our readers—we hope you enjoy this glimpse into our life at Adobe. 

The decision to get away for a team offsite was easy; figuring out where to go was not. The location needed to be somewhere fairly close to minimize travel and maximize brainstorming time. We were also looking for a place that would promote bonding and camaraderie beyond what’s possible in a traditional office setting.

As luck would have it, Caleb is the proud owner of a beautiful log home set on 20 acres in Grass Valley, a historic Gold Rush town nestled in the western foothills of Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. A scant three-hour drive from San Jose, the artsy-yet-pastoral charms of this rural oasis are far removed from the steel-and-glass towers and traffic jams of Silicon Valley.

When Caleb offered his home to our team for an offsite, we jumped at the opportunity to get out of the city and into a quiet place for a heavy-duty planning session. We settled on July 10-12 for the trip and cleared our calendars. Caleb set to work prepping his house for an influx of guests—deck washing, hot tub prep, and stockpiling a ton of provisions.

We all arrived in Grass Valley on a Wednesday afternoon and were greeted by wide-open spaces and a menagerie of friendly natives. There’s nothing quite like a huge yard full of alpacas, goats, horses, dogs, cats, and chickens to welcome city dwellers to country living. Continue reading…

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October 3, 2013

Adventures in Wood Type: Miguel Sousa lends a helping hand (or two) to the Hamilton

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.

Continue reading…

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March 1, 2013

For the love of type


A few weeks back my co-worker Miguel Sousa blogged about the fundraising adventure our team embarked on to help raise money for the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. Now that we have all of the donations tallied and matching requests submitted, I am happy to announce that our crazy idea of selling cupcakes in-a-jar for Valentine’s Day raised $7,500 for the Hamilton Museum. As lovers of type, and supporters of the Hamilton Museum, we couldn’t be happier with how this fundraiser turned out. Continue reading…

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February 11, 2013

Our fundraiser for the Hamilton Wood Type Museum

Hamilton Fundraiser

As you may have heard, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum has been asked to vacate its current site, and so is seeking for donations to help pay for the move and purchasing a new facility. The museum is located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and houses the world’s largest collection of wood type, estimated to be over 1.5 million pieces. The building that bears its name is the place where the long extinct Hamilton Wood Type company began producing type in 1880 and within 20 years became the largest provider in the United States.

Continue reading…

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December 19, 2012

Season’s Greetings!

This year’s holiday card was set entirely in Source Code Pro, designed by Paul D. Hunt, making use of its monospaced nature. Design and layout was done by Frank Grießhammer, who is a big fan of Unicode’s Box Drawing characters (U+2500 – U+259F).

Happy Holidays, and the best wishes for 2013 from the whole Adobe Type team:

Caleb Belohlavek
Frank Grießhammer
Gu Hua
Masataka Hattori
Paul D. Hunt
David Lemon
Ken Lunde
Ernest March
Nicole Minoza
Ryoko Nishizuka
Read Roberts
Steve Ross
Robert Slimbach
Christopher Slye
Miguel Sousa
Taro Yamamoto

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