Welcome Miguel Sousa to Adobe type dev

I’m five or six weeks late, but I’d like to publicly welcome Miguel Sousa to the Adobe type development team. He’s the new hire we came up with from the search I blogged about way back in January.

You’ve seen Miguel’s name in my blog once before, when I mentioned him as one of the winners of the TDC 2006 type design competition.

Miguel is a recent graduate of the University of Reading’s MA Typeface Design program, offered by their Department of Typography and Graphic Communication.

I and my colleagues at Adobe have been really impressed with this degree program. Each student creates a typeface with at least three variants (bold, italic, etc.), generally supporting at least one non-Latin writing system (e.g. Greek or Cyrillic in addition to English and its western friends). In my estimation, the typefaces I’ve seen created for their degree projects have mostly been equivalent to saleable retail typefaces from a reasonably major type foundry. Some of them have been so good that I wish we’d had a chance to consider issuing ourselves, such as Veronika Burian’s FF Maiola (FontFont, distributed by FontShop). The head of the program, Gerry Leonidas, is a well-known expert on Greek typefaces, and is in high demand for consulting/review work from several major font developers, including Adobe.

Being duly impressed with the program, we also like to support it, so in the last few years I’ve dropped in at least once a year to give a guest seminar on some typeface development topics (something appropriate to where the students are at when I visit).

Anyway, back to Miguel. I’m kind of glad that I waited to write this, because I have an even stronger appreciation of his talents now. Miguel is one of those rare people who genuinely combines a strong design sense with deep technical ability. I have been slowly growing a deep-rooted suspicion that he’s more talented in both those areas than I am, which as fears go is a great one to have, if you know what I mean. Anyway, as time passes he’s just digging into stuff voraciously, asking intelligent questions and already offering useful information and insights. I think we made a great choice.

There is one catch, though. As a Portuguese citizen, Miguel isn’t immediately able to work in the USA. So for now he is working from our London office (Uxbridge, actually, near Heathrow). But we got a visa for him that should allow him to join us in San Jose in October, right after the ATypI conference in Miguel’s home town of Lisbon. Until then, that makes two of us working long-distance from the rest of the Type group, with me in Seattle.

I hope you will all join me in congratulating Miguel and welcoming him aboard. We have some interesting things in the works right now, so I think it will be a fun ride for him here at Adobe.

Thomas Phinney

Adobe type alumnus (1997–2008), now VP at FontLab, also helped create WebINK at Extensis. Lives in Portland (OR), enjoys board games, movies, and loves spicy food.

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