A milestone for Adobe Type: Team celebrates 20-year average tenure

As of September 2016, the members of the Adobe Type team have been on the job an average of twenty years. Each has been part of the team anywhere from five years to almost thirty, with a number of us well past the twenty-year mark. Each of us has learned a lot and is doing things that are entirely different from when we started. This kind of deep experience is rare today, especially in the tech world, so we’re delighted to celebrate this special milestone.

The Adobe Type team has gone through many changes over Adobe’s 34-year history, fluctuating in size as the nature of its work has shifted with the times. In many respects, today’s team is the cream of the crop — world-class experts in their fields, supplemented by talented up-and-coming newer members. It’s a small team that nonetheless manages to produce an impressive amount of material, set the bar for type design, and keep pushing font technology forward.

For this milestone occasion I’ve asked each team member to look back at what they were doing twenty years ago, and how it relates to today’s world of type.

Frank Grießhammer, Type Developer

5 years 7 months
Twenty years ago I started learning French as my second foreign language — the joy of broadening my horizons through languages arguably helped bring me to where I am today.

Paul D. Hunt, Sr Type Developer

7 years 8 months
In 1996 I was in my first year of university studying International Relations and Russian language. It would be several years later before my interest in Cyrillic script would prompt my first experimentations with modifying fonts to add Russian support.

Miguel Sousa, Manager

10 years 5 months
Twenty years ago I was about to start my first year of college to study Civil Engineering. I did so successfully until, two years later, I realized that a graphic designer was what I wanted to be professionally. So I moved to a new city, a new school, and enrolled in a 5-year-long Graphic Arts program. There I fell in love with typography, and the rest is history.

Ryoko Nishizuka, Chief Type Designer

19 years 5 months
In 1996, I graduated from an art university, and started working at a graphic design studio. I made posters, logotypes, packages, etc. I designed typefaces meant to be used for my graphic designs. Having learned from my experience in those days, whenever I start to design a typeface, I picture in my mind how it will be really used by the users.

Masataka Hattori, Sr Font Developer

22 years 3 months
I wonder if I could have imagined the type world after 20 years in 1996. Probably not; I was just a new assistant designer hired to develop Kozuka Mincho, which is the first Adobe original Japanese font. But this experience really left an impression on my memory, and gave me a fascination with type development and motivation to stay on the Adobe Type team for such a long time.

Ernie March, Quality Engineer

22 years 9 months
I was celebrating my third year as QE Engineer, helping get as many Type 1 fonts as possible out the door while looking at OpenType down the road.

Read Roberts, Sr Computer Scientist

23 years 1 month
Twenty years ago today I was on paternity leave, but was otherwise manager of the Windows and Macintosh engineering teams for Adobe Type Manager. At the time, Windows and Mac OSes did not support Type 1 fonts, so Adobe forced support on them by patching almost every operating system call!

Taro Yamamoto, Sr Manager

24 years 5 months
In 1996, I was working on Kozuka Mincho, Adobe’s first original Japanese typeface. It required my team members and me to design not just the typeface but the whole font development process from scratch. It was like groping in the dark for an exit, but set the innovative mindset that we have shared ever since.

Ken Lunde, Sr Computer Scientist 2

25 years 2 months
While I was still primarily focused on Japanese-related type issues, because there was plenty to do, I had already begun working on Chinese- and Korean-related things and thinking about developing Pan-CJK typeface designs, which eventually led to the development of the Adobe-branded Source Han Sans and Google-branded Noto Sans CJK typeface families. Much of what I have accomplished at Adobe was chronicled in my July 1, 2016, CJK Type Blog article.

Robert Slimbach, Principal Designer

29 years 6 months
Kepler and Cronos are now both about 20 years old. These projects represent a milestone in my development as a type designer, in that I was able to apply a more naturalistic approach in dealing with a modern style and formal sans serif types in a digital format. In a medium that tends toward icy precision, it is essential that we always remember the human element.

David Lemon, Sr Manager

29 years 10 months
Twenty years ago we had just started working with Microsoft on the new OpenType format, and I was scrambling to figure out what new kinds of layout features we’d want. We’ve had to tweak a few of those since, and there’s still room for improvement, but I think we got OpenType off to a great start.

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David Lemon

I fell in love with type in '77 and joined Adobe in '86. These days I manage the type development team. I like being at the intersection of art & technology, and am working to make good type easier for everyone.

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