Back from Europe

I have recently returned from the regular trip to Europe I do around this time of the year, where I visit the schools in Reading (England) and in The Hague (Netherlands) that have a masters degree in typeface design. I spend about a week in each location, doing a workshop with the students which focuses on using the software tools available in our Font Development Kit.

Despite the amount of work involved, this is an event I enjoy very much doing: I get to interact with students, see their projects, teach them a few things, provide advice and feedback, and also learn some things from them. It’s definitely a win-win situation for everyone involved: the students, the teachers, the schools, myself and Adobe.

This year there was a total of 30 students — 18 in Reading and 12 in The Hague — which meant two pretty full classes. As usual, their nationalities were from all over the world, spanning from Asia to the Americas. I was particularly impressed with the breadth of their projects, several of which covered three different scripts (e.g. Latin/Arabic/Armenian) and others included various complementary styles (e.g. sans, serif, ornate display).

Another thing I appreciated witnessing was the camaraderie and healthy competition that reigned among both groups. This was a happy surprise, given the large number of elements in each of the classes, but it’s definitely the right attitude to have since it benefits and empowers all of the participants.

In addition to my time in England and the Netherlands, this year I also stopped by Portugal, my native land. I went there to present at a conference held in Tomar, at the school were I earned my bachelor’s degree in Design and Technology of Graphic Arts. It’s an annual event named ARTEC which is organized by the senior students since the ’90s, and where themes related to Design, Photography, Multimedia, Advertising and Marketing get discussed.

I signed up to deliver two presentations. The first was about my journey since my school years in Tomar until my present work at Adobe. And the second focused on a subject that interests me a lot: Digital Publishing. Both presentations were well received, and I hope that the first one was particularly inspiring to the many students in the audience. I’m grateful to have had the chance to share the story of my successful path.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the organizers of ARTEC for such a memorable edition of the conference. You made this alumnus proud. Thank you for such a wonderful time. And I want to extend my gratitude to the groups at Reading and The Hague: you were very good hosts, and I surely won’t forget the barbecue and the fussball matches we had.

Miguel Sousa

Type Production Manager at Adobe Typekit. Responsible for devising solutions that get things done. Mostly font developer, but also typeface designer, time permitting. Deeply fascinated by the symbols that represent the spoken word. Hates the cold and thrives in the face of challenge. Chocolate junkie & t-shirt aficionado. @forcebold on Twitter

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