Tag Archives: employees

Typography Travels

Team members in the FontShop San Francisco office have been trekking the globe this winter. Of course, even on our vacation, type is never far from our mind. Designer Anna Eshelman and Meghan Arnold, Communications Manager, recently visited El Salvador and India, respectively. Below are a couple typographic highlights from their travels.

El Salvador

I found that the city of San Salvador offers many interesting and beautiful displays of lettering and typography, especially in its graffiti art and storefront signage.

But at the summit of Izalco Volcano, 6,398 feet in the sky, were surprises aplenty – besides the heat under my feet from the steaming rocks, this rough blackletter lettering on stone captured my attention.

Whether it be initials carved into a tree or artful scrawl on a bathroom wall (or letterforms painted atop a mountain of fire!), stumbling upon interesting lettering in places where we least expect it is a treat.


This was my second trip to India and visually it’s a bit like being stuck on hyperdrive in the space-time continuum. Ultra-modern and classic design swirls in a sea of shapes and colors – typography doesn’t escape this whirlpool. Sanskrit and Roman lettering co-exist, just as English, Hindi and regional languages are verbally intermixed.

The signs above were spotted in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, where I traveled for a friend’s wedding. Not surrounded by the crowds of tourist destinations, wandering through the bazaar on a weekday allowed me time to scavenge for handmade signage. The timeless feel of these two signs really popped out at me. I love the flourishes on the misspelled sign. On the other, the word “Tailors” is so whimsically painted, in such a bright yellow, it brought a smile to my face.

Have you had any great letterform encounters on your travels? Share your story in the comment.

Want to learn how to make your own handmade signs? Register for TYPO San Francisco and take the Friday workshop from New Bohemia signs.

FontShop SF is Hiring

Looking for a great job opportunity in San Francisco? If you’re a creative, talented person with the skills to fulfill one the positions below, we want to meet you. We’re currently looking for:

Reflections on TYPO London

Earlier this week we made the exciting announcement that TYPO, Europe’s most successful design conference, will be coming to San Francisco. With the week winding down, two of our SF staffers reflect on the TYPO London conference held last weekend.

Says First Officer, Michael Pieracci:

TYPO London felt just like past TYPO Berlin conferences. The speakers had great stories to tell, compelling experiences and ideas, and their presentations were impeccably designed. I loved seeing attendees and speakers mingle outside the auditorium during breaks. My favorite presentation was from Kutlu Çanlıoğlu on how the BBC accommodates a huge number of language on their many sites. And the most exciting moment was receiving an autograph from King Bansah.

Reflections of Meghan Arnold, Communications Manager:

This was my first TYPO and I’m so excited that we’ll get to experience this in the states next year. I’ve never been so creatively inspired in an auditorium before, by such a diverse group of speakers. The mix of students and design notaries created a most amazing vibe. I loved seeing the inspiring women who presented and their use of color and storytelling in design. Of particular note to me were Nat Hunter, Marina Willer and Morag Myerscough. And let’s not forget the killer sketch notes of Eva Lotta-Lamm!

You can find more wrap-up of TYPO London on their blog.

Did you attend the conference? What were some of your favorite moments? Who would you love to hear from in San Francisco?

Remembering Steve Jobs

The design world lost a great visionary yesterday and many employees in our San Francisco office lost a personal hero. We wanted to share some of our personal memories with you today. We’ll take just a moment to look back briefly before we return, as Steve Jobs inspired us, to looking forward.

Anna Eshelman, Designer

I always opt for a window seat when I fly. I remember one flight I took when I was 13 the clouds were spectacular out my window during takeoff, but instead of watching them, I couldn’t take my eyes off a small device the gentleman in the seat next to me had in his hand. It was a newly-released 1st generation iPod Classic. I’ll never forget talking with him about it and thinking, “Wow… that is so, so cool. And not only that, it looks beautiful, too.” That was the start of my appreciation for Apple’s elegant, intuitive, (oftentimes invisible) design. From that point on Apple products began to slip into my life and into my work as a designer – and I’m thankful for it.

David Sudweeks, Type Expert

The Steve Jobs approach to design and manufacture not only brought us the great products that he and his atelier produced, but upped the standards generally, and in so doing, changed everyone’s expectations and their relationship to computers, and ultimately to each other.  Starting with the why, and then building the user experience—carefully planning from the end to the beginning and each step in between, and doing it consistently—is what separated Steve from everyone else in the industry.

Jacob Swartz, Front-End Developer, shared the video below of Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech. Around 3:23, Jobs touches upon typography and its way into computers.

Jason Vagner, CEO

My childhood coincided perfectly with the dawn of the personal computing era.

My first computer was an Osborne 1. My first modem ran at 300 baud. My first hard drive came in a Northstar Horizon, and my first social networks were BBSes, FidoNet and Usenet. I can remember riding my BMX bike to local computer stores to drool over and demo early Macintosh, Amiga and Atari ST models.

My first Steve Jobs machine was a NeXT cube, with the titanium case. Truth be told, it was neither more beautiful nor better than the Sun Microsystem and Silicon Graphics machines I also worked on.

I came to Apple products late in the game. I knew who Steve Jobs was, followed his story, but didn’t buy his products. My first Apple purchase was an iPhone 3G. It replaced the horrid Nokia E61, a machine I had wanted so badly that I wandered the electronic stalls of Singapore in hopes of scoring an early model.

The release of the iPhone coincided with the preschool years of my son. I’ve never given him any instructions on how to use an iPhone or an iPad, but his facility and command of its features are always surprising. As he’s grown older and developed an increasingly voracious brain, the iPhone has become an integral part of my parenting life. When he starts a conversation with, “I have a question!” he will surely test my knowledge until he’ll finally suggest, “Dad, let’s look it up on your iPhone.”

My son is growing up in a world where any question, asked at almost any moment, can be answered instantaneously. This is profoundly different than my childhood. This is very different than even 5 years ago.

Steve Jobs was there at the dawn of personal computing, and he became even more inventive and surprising as he grew older. He left our world at the peak of his powers, long after the other geniuses of his era stopped shaping our world. Without Steve Jobs and his vision of mobile computing, our present Internet life would have been in the hands of Nokia and RIM and Blackberry and the early Android initiative. Think back to what those last models looked like before the first iPhone was released. And even now, in death, Steve Jobs has probably delivered another first in my son’s life: the first computer he will speak to regularly. I can’t wait to see what questions he asks.

Mayene de Leon, Sales and Support

I remember being about 2 years old and my parents started allowing me on the Mac SE we had; I was so fascinated with MacDraw! Even if I could only use black and white, it was a much better (and neater) solution for my parents than letting me dip my hands in paint or draw on the walls in permanent marker (which I did anyway).

Meghan Arnold, Communications Manager

Not only did Steve Jobs innovate, but he encouraged and empowered us all to be innovators ourselves. Through intuitive products that even a kid in the pre-internet era could figure out, he’s shaped the communicator I am today.

One of my earliest childhood memories was writing a computer game on our Apple IIE with my dad. He’d been using a Macintosh Plus while back in school for engineering, but the IIE was our family machine. Little nerd that I was, I spotted a programming for kids book at the library and Dad and Idecided to make a go of it so both of us could learn. We both figured out that coding wasn’t for us, but the joy of using the computer to tell a story and communicate interactively stuck.

I soon figured out how to do this using Print Shop. I exhausted our dot matrix printer by creating cards and banners for everything. I demanded the companion for Christmas so I could have access to more fonts. I used the different type and graphic combos to craft stories and exercise my creativity. I’m so glad my parents encouraged this at home, as it helped me excel when I got to use the shiny new Apple and later Mac products at school.

Educational games so easily playable on the IIE and then the GS helped me absorb a ridiculous amount of trivia, as well as sparked curiosity about the world and learning. I rediscovered my love for Macs in the communications programs I enrolled in at college and spent a summer working with one of my professors teaching a new generation of kids how to tell stories via the first edition of iMovie. When I graduated my parents offered to gift me a downpayment on a car or an iBook. Guess which I chose?

As an adult, Apple products have dominated the story of my life. My dream of giving a soundtrack to my daily activities has been achieved through the iPod/iTunes. The app revolution helped me completely reshape my outlook on health and fitness, by making managing my activities fun and intuitive. My iPhone has allowed me to personally and professionally communicate from relaxing in my pajamas on a rainy morning, riding a bus in Milwaukee or huddling outside a Starbucks in Europe.

My parents and I no longer code together or print silly cards for one another, but we communicate daily on our MacBooks, iPhones or iPads. Our family is not so much one of techies, but storytellers. Empowered to easily tell tales both written and visual, our creativity continues to be stirred thanks to the vision set only just before my life began.

Michael Pieracci, First Officer (pictured right, in his Apple t-shirt)

Many things bring happiness to my life. Two of them are Apple and Star Trek. When I watch Star Trek, I wish I was there. Through the years as I’ve used so many Apple computers and devices, I’m always one step closer.

And with everything that Apple has achieved through the years, now everyone benefits more and more with the functional beauty they created and the innovation they inspire every day.

Theresa de la Cruz, Sales and Support

I started as an intern at FontShop in June 2007, the same time the first iPhone was release. A few FontShoppers bought the magical device when it came out and I remember gathering around their desk to watch them unwrap it. Everything was looked at, down to the packaging, and it was crazy wonderful.

Confluence of Conferences

This is a big weekend for conferences in the type and design worlds. FontShop is proud to sponsor two events on both sides of the pond.

For the typophiles who made it to Iceland for ATypI, keep an eye out for the FontFont gang over the rest of the weekend.

Those who are heading to San Francisco for Under Consideration’s Brand New Conference can look for the crew from our office here.

Make sure to say “hi” at either event. Feel free to leave comments about your experiences below!

FontShop Friday Five: What’s New

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Please find below five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

New Typefaces

David Sudweeks recaps the fonts joining our library this July and August (including new webfonts).

More Employee Faces

Meet Mayene, the new face on our Sales & Support team.

New Tips Column

Theresa explains it all to type newbies in her new Theresa’s Tips column.

New Album Cover Reviews

Yves Peters’ latest My Type of Music installment is rocking as always in its take on album art.

New Newsletter

We’re starting September with a great newsletter next Wednesday. Put signing up for it on your weekend to-do list.

Friday Five Fonts: Gala Triline and Gala Regular by Canada Type

Meet the Fontshopper: Mayene Joins Our Customer Service Team

Earlier this month you met Theresa, who has spent four years assisting customers with support issues. Joining Theresa (and the other new faces at FontShop San Francisco) today is Mayene (pronounced “Mayan”), who will also be working on our Sales & Support team.

Mayene has a hamster named Donut that freaks out a lot, enjoys making oreo truffles and chocolate covered bacon for others (we’re excited to have her here for that alone), and likes board games and video games. Mayene shares a little about joining the FontShop team below:

How did you come into the customer service field?

It goes along with being a graphic designer. You deal with clients on a daily basis, so you have to have some customer service skills. I teach violin too and you have to be there for your students. Finally, as an owner of an Etsy shop, I get a lot of customer requests.

What are you most looking forward to as a FontShop employee?

After college I got really into fonts. As a designer you get a lot of questions about typefaces from friends. Being able to help people with their font needs, professionally, is pretty exciting for me.

What is your favorite typeface at the moment?

At the moment is a good clarification! FF Scala. It’s such a huge family and includes both serif and sans serifs. Pretty classic looking.

FontShop Friday Five: New Faces

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

Meet David

We’re very excited to have a new type expert on board in our San Francisco office. Meet David here.

Actually Meet David

Join us on August 24 at our Designer & Developer Meetup.

Meet Others

If you’re in The Netherlands in September, Yves Peters recommends you check out the “Now We Are Talking” festival. Then join others in London this October at TYPO London: Places.

If You Can’t Meet, Tweet

Are you following us on Twitter? How about Facebook? Keep the typographic conversations going across platforms!

Or Just Watch a Movie Instead

Yves’ ScreenFonts column returns with some gems, including pointing out a “Crazy Stupid” design mistake.

Friday Five Fonts:  Alda by Emigre and Lush Script by TypeTrust

FontShop Swears In David Sudweeks, Type Expert

FontShop welcomes David Sudweeks to the San Francisco office. By way of introduction, he answers here a few questions selected by the staff.

How did you land upon being a “font expert”?

Most type people can trace their love for fonts back to their early years and in this respect I’m no different. I always enjoyed the perusal of alphabets available as iron-on letters, chenille patches, stencils, in embossed tape labelers and calligraphic style manuals, etc.. Picking up webpage design as a hobby during the internet’s first coming of age, and my own, led me into the design profession. Working different jobs in print design expanded my ability to identify faces and spec their appropriate use. Around the same time I began pursuing lettering and type design on my own, and this out of necessity got me involved with the Typophile community. Learning to write convincingly about the formal qualities of words & letters, and experiencing the warmth of the type world at events like TypeCon were the final reassurances I needed to know that I could make it in type.

Still, type expert? I guess so; though my first week here reminds me I’ve yet got plenty to learn.

What are you most looking forward to working at FontShop?

I’m here to do good writing and make good art. Anything else, like discovering with the rest of us what a Twenty-first Century type retail service shop looks like, will be icing on the cake.

What are your top three typefaces at the moment?

Williams Caslon from Font Bureau, rather than purporting to be another authentic revival type, is a beautiful portrayal of an idea called Caslon.

Next, Compendium from Sudtipos. It’s so much fun to use! The pains taken to establish a sophisticated fit and care put into character design guarantees this face never to fall flat.

Last, Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch. Folks who know me know that I like a good, deliberate blackletter when occasion calls for it. Rudolf Koch, Europe’s foremost type designer in his day, drew this one—maybe just for me.

And extra last, entry 4 of 3, I couldn’t pass up the chance to mention Marina Chaccur’s recent work out of the Type]Media program. (Permission to mention this just came in.) The Chic collection, comprised of a confident grotesque, a bold romantic display, and some fine lace, is designed to work together like the essential pieces of a well-dressed woman’s wardrobe. Before banging down Marina’s door please note that the collection is presently unreleased. Now bang down Marina’s door.

Meet the FontShopper: Behind the Customer Support Desk

Ever have a time when you were overwhelmed with the selection on FontShop and required some personal assistance? Needed help with your files? Or just had a question you wanted answered by a human being? Then you may have interacted with Theresa, a member of our Sales & Support team. Theresa has been with us for “Four Fontastic Years!” and shares a little bit of her experience below:

What are the top three questions you get from customers?

  1. What is the difference between OpenType and Pro fonts?
  2. Will OpenType work for both Mac and PC?
  3. How do I install the font?

We actually have a section in our help area that should help people understand about OpenType. As for installation questions, We have some great tutorials that I can help take people through.

What is a memorable time when you’ve really helped a customer?

I receive a phone called once a year from a customer who wants to buy a typeface for his PC with his refund from the IRS. He’s about 70 years old, retired, doesn’t have internet connection, but he used to own a print shop, and wants to make his grandchildren’s wedding invitations. I send him printed customized samples when he needs to see what a font looks like and once he decides on the typeface he’ll give me a call and I’ll place it on a disk to mail out to him.

What are some funny requests that you’ve gotten?

  • Do you have a typeface that looks like its on FIRE? We actually carry styles both on fire and then burnt out after!
  • Do you have a font that will let me type in different colors, like a rainbow? I had to explain to the customer that fonts are vector graphics and do not come in color.
  • I’m looking for a typeface, but I don’t have an image, can I describe it to you and can you tell me what it is? This is sort of like asking like “What’s that movie with that guy?” Unfortunately I’m unable to help these people, but I can try and give them some suggestions based on their project.

What is your current favorite font?

FF More is a new serif family that gives a designer many options because it is so massive – 30 styles! It also works well with FF Good. Both are by  Łukasz Dziedzic who also made FF Clan and FF Pitu. Great work all around.

Want to help customers with their typographical needs? We’re hiring an Entry-level Sales/Support Representative at our office in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood.