Posts tagged “Nicole”

31 Jul 2017

It’s Pique Week

A couple of Pique things turned up at once so here we are. Check out Nicole Dotin’s typeface in use for an important NYC Health campaign and then watch two videos about its design. While we’re at it, go ahead and take 10% off any license of Pique offered on the site until end-of-day Friday, August 4th (that’s the ‘week’ in Pique Week). Just use the coupon code ‘piqueweek’ at checkout.


In Use: Bare it All
Thanks to Quentin Schmerber for tipping us off to this NYC campaign, after spotting Pique on the subway. “Bare it All” encourages LGBTQ patients to have open discussions with their doctors. And to spread the message, Pique boldly sweeps in across black and white images in print ads and their video.


How was it made?
In the latest Fontribute video, Erin McLaughlin and Thomas Jockin deconstruct and discuss Pique and Lokal Script in some detail.

After watching the video, Nicole picked up her brush marker to (re)construct Pique and show how the marker underpins the design.

To learn more about Pique, visit Pique’s page. #piqueweek

17 Apr 2017

Yep, stop clicking…

© Norman Posselt (Monotype)

© Norman Posselt (Monotype)

More than a week ago, I was in Berlin leading a workshop on bash shell scripting at the TYPO Labs 2017 conference (get a run down of my workshop on the TYPO blog). Shell scripting definitely sounds mysterious and impenetrable if you’ve never indulged. However, it’s a relatively straightforward way (or it can be) of telling your computer what you’d like it to do in a text file rather than clicking around a GUI. What’s great about it is that even writing simple scripts, however inelegant they may be, can save you valuable time.

I started learning bash shell scripting by looking at other scripts that dealt with fonts. So, I’m posting the script we wrote in my workshop to help someone else get started.


The script: make-specimens.sh
The script takes a folder of TrueType fonts and creates an HTML webfont specimen for each one. The specimen is a pre-written HTML file that gets copied over into a specimen folder, along with other required files, and a find/replace is performed to insert the name of the font in the @font-face path. There is also an option to run the fonts through TTFAutohint, but it must be installed for that to work. There are instructions on how to run the script in the script itself (just open the file in a text editor) but they assume a small amount of knowledge.

Keep in mind the important thing isn’t necessarily what the script does, but the methods it presents — looping through fonts, using and modifying variables, or writing if statements, for example. They are useful beginnings.

Download the script and supporting files: Make-Specimens-Script.zip


Learning More
There are more shell scripting tutorials then you could possibly ever read. Here are some I’ve bookmarked at varying levels of depth:

Writing Shell Scripts
A quick guide to writing scripts using the bash shell
Shell Script Basics
Bash scripting quirks & safety tips


One Last Thing
In my workshop, I started by showing a script I wrote that packages our fonts — creating folders, putting the right fonts in the right folders, injecting a license into each one and finally zipping them all up. Here are lines for two important steps in that process:

One license for each folder

The line below copies a file into every folder in the working directory. It will not copy the file into subdirectories of those folders. Change <path to license file> to the path of the file you want to copy into each directory.

echo */ | xargs -n 1 cp -R -p <path to license file>

Zip each folder

This line zips every folder in the working directory and puts the zipped folders in a folder called ‘xFinalZips’. It will zip the ‘xFinalZips’ folder too but who cares, just delete it! You have to create the ‘xFinalZips’ folder for this to work, so that’s what the mkdir line does. The folder name can be changed to anything you want, of course.

mkdir xFinalZips
find . -type d -d 1 -exec zip -r xFinalZips/{} {} \;

Happy scripting! — Nicole

In the spring of 2012, eight students at North Carolina State University’s College of Design participated in a new course to curate, edit, design and publish The Student Publication, a journal that reports on important issues in the field of design. While they had the support of Dean Marvin Malecha, FAIA and were guided by the expertise of Assistant Professor Tania Allen, the students (Michael Carbaugh, Dwight Davis, Eric Flood, Anna Gonzales, Craig Maxwell, Rebekah Zabarsky, and Leigh Anne Zeitouni) managed every aspect of the project including selecting and inviting contributors, authoring content, designing the publication and managing its promotion. The result, Volume 35: Transformation: New perspectives on design methods and processes, was printed and released this fall.

The Student Publication, Volume 35

Volume 35 of The Student Publication was designed by Michael Carbaugh, North Carolina State University Master of Graphic Design ’12.

Assistant Professor Allen was asked how building a course around the well-established publication enhanced the students’ learning experience. She explained that a dedicated course provided time and space for students to sit, think and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a potential topic and whether it merited an entire issue.

The Student Publication provides a forum for students to develop a comfort with writing and articulating an idea that might be more theoretical in nature,’ said Allen. ‘I have been trying to develop projects that give structure to creating an argument, introduce students to prominent (or not so prominent) thinkers and writers in the field and experiment with the writing process itself.’

Process 13, Casey Reas

Anchor and Elena are used exclusively throughout the publication.

While the Publication Course was new in 2012, The Student Publication has a sixty-year history. The College of Design published the first volume in 1951. Its purpose then was to act as a collection of voices, focusing on timely and important issues in the design field. Past contributors have included Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe and Buckminster Fuller. Then in 2006, a group of faculty and students in the College, including Denise Gonzales Crisp, Tony Brock and Bob Burns, proposed creating the Publication Course to formalize the project’s learning objectives and student experience. Allen’s Spring 2012 class was inspired by that initial proposal.

Allen commended her students for their ability to create a framework on which future classes can build on and expand. ‘The students really rose to the challenge. They developed a fundamental appreciation for this publication as part of a larger system that not only will, but must, evolve and change in future semesters.’

Walk Raleigh, Matt Tomasulo

In addition to providing a more holistic view of editing, designing and publishing a journal, the Publication Course has expanded students’ understanding of writing’s role in design both as content creation and critical practice. Rather than marginalizing writing at the edges of the design process – either as project brief at the start or explanation at the end – Allen wanted students to experience integrating writing into the whole process: to practice writing as a method to talk about how ideas develop through various stages and to enhance those ideas through the course of a project. To further clarify the connection between design and writing, Allen built visualization and making components into the students’ writing assignments. For example, they developed concept maps to find connections among contributed content and designed interactive pieces about the publication’s topic.

Elena, up close.

A detail – Elena up close.

For Volume 35, the students approached Nicole Dotin for an interview following the public lecture she gave at NC State the previous fall. Nicole presented on type design practice and the development of her typeface Elena (used throughout the publication for text alongside Anchor for headlines). The interview appears among contributions from educators, theorists and practitioners from various design disciplines: Eve Edelstein, Deb Littlejohn, Juhani Pallasmaa, Fernando Magallanes, Casey Reas, Matt Tomasulo and Erin White. Each of the eight contributors offers his or her perspective on how design methods and processes transform and adapt to new cultural and technological contexts. The student editors wrote that they hope The Student Publication creates a dialogue about how the field currently approaches design as well as how it might evolve in the future.

‘Today, I would argue that the incredible shifts in the field have precipitated an increasing need for us as designers to reflect not just on what we are creating, but how and why we are creating and what it is adding to material culture at large,’ Allen advocated. ‘The Student Publication is an opportunity to do that.’

This fall, a new set of students began working on Volume 36: Form + Fiction to be published spring of 2013. Find out more about The Student Publication.

— Guest blogger Erin Hauber is a graphic designer, educator and Master in Graphic Design degree candidate at North Carolina State University.

If you happened by the FontFeed recently, you’ll find an interview with Process Type Foundry partners Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin by Yves Peters. Go ahead, read the words. Sometimes, though, we just want to ogle the pictures. Here are photos from the interview along with extended annotations, outtakes and some extras.

Eric and Nicole
Eric and Nicole standing in the doorway of the Process Type Foundry studio.

Eric, Nicole and Erik
At some point, our photo shoot started to sour after taking shot after shot. There was nothing left to do but lighten the mood. Obviously, Eric grabbed a house number designed by Erik Spiekermann and placed it where it belonged.


This is Charlie, the silent third partner of Process, in the studio along with Bob Dylan, an old Mac Cube, our record player and various drawings by 3-year-olds.

What will he think of the work?
After posing for his photo, Charlie popped by Nicole’s desk to see what she was working on and offer insight. Or, he might have been looking for a treat.

Designed and published by Ryan and Tina Essmaker, The Great Discontent features various weights of Stratum 1 alongside body text set in FontFont’s Meta Serif. More importantly, it features interviews with the makers of today.

The Great Discontent, Olga Bell.
“Do you guys know that thing that Ira Glass talks about? Where you start out and you know your taste is really good, but your ability needs to catch up to that taste?” An interview with Olga Bell on The Great Discontent.

This is a creative space.
Bryant and yellow belong together. This bag was one part of a larger rebrand of Raffles, a design school based in Sydney, Australia. Find more of the identity using Bryant on the Naughtyfish website, the firm that handled the redesign.

Elena Italic test print.
A test print for Elena Italic. Most of Nicole’s test prints are marked up in colored pen. Red, pink, blue and green are favorite colors for making messy, almost indecipherable notes for later decryption and then correction. The arm of the k needs … finesse.

Marco Arment's app Instapaper.
Elena found its way into Instapaper, a popular app by Marco Arment for collecting and saving content to read later. If you happen to click on the link above for Marco, notice his personal site is set in Elena too (at the time of posting).

Seattle Met cover featuring both Capucine and Anchor.
It’s no secret we love seeing our fonts in use and used well. It is a secret however, that we hope to one day see every font in our library used in a single magazine. As far as we know, Seattle Met is the front-runner in our imagined competition. Capucine, Anchor, Bryant, Bryant Compressed and Colfax have all graced the magazine since design director André Mora took the helm. Only 13 more fonts to go, Mr. Mora.

Anchor in Seattle Met.

Colfax on the cover of Seattle Met.

Limited edition poster for Anchor.
During the summer of 2010, we jumped into the seemingly rarefied world of print and made a limited-edition poster celebrating Anchor (long since sold out). Designed by Abi Chase, it was a three-color screenprint featuring an unusually pastel palette when compared to our typical propensity towards CMYK.

Wants for Sale.
And last but not least, a random bonus. >Wants for Sale was started in July of 2007 by Christine and Justin Gignac. A couple of months later, they took the same basic concept and started Needs for Sale. The concept? The couple paints pictures of needs, anything from basic necessities like food or shelter to research for curing diseases. The paintings are offered for purchase and 100% of the sale is donated to a charity whose mission it is to meet that need.

Wants for Sale's companion – Needs for Sale.
Anchor is used for all headlines and titling.

Needed: a good meal.
A nice way to end, right?

When I want to share something with someone these days, I send a quick email or a tweet. My time is often limited and my attention pulled in multiple directions so I’ve come to value the quickness and ease of communicating by digital means.

Yesterday though, my mom sent me a recipe hand-written by my grandmother who passed away some time ago. Even though she sent it by email, the minute I saw my grandmother’s handwriting a flood of memories came to me about her – her sizable collection of shells, the tiny Keds she wore, her love of a particular shade of green that pervaded the interior decor of her home and the game Boobytrap I used to play only at her house. All of that, from just her handwriting.

Ginny's Buckwheat Cakes Recipe

Her writing style was utilitarian and deliberate probably stemming from her days as an elementary school teacher. Certainly nothing remarkable. Those letterforms were uniquely her own though – a combination of her culture, how she learned to write, her personality, career, age and all the other aspects that create a person’s distinct hand.

In a world saturated with digital messages often conveyed by an assortment of repetitive and preselected typefaces, writing creates a direct link to the person and not just the content. Send out those tweets and status updates, but don’t neglect to write it down every now and then.

PS: Ginny’s Buckwheat Cakes Recipe
ND