Graphic Designer / Artist (San Francisco, California)
Yusef Alahmad is a Saudi graphic designer and artist based in San Francisco, California while completing his MFA degree in graphic design at the Academy of Art University.
Yusef is currently working on his thesis: ‘Elevating Graphic Design Standards in Saudi Arabia’ and is a full time freelancer, alternating between graphic design projects, editorial illustrations, and art commissions.
In addition to freelance, his work has been featured in Print Magazine (US), Baseline Magazine (US), Alef Magazine (Qatar), Oasis Magazine (Saudi Arabia), Design Magazine (Saudi Arabia), Khaleejesque Magazine (Kuwait), among others and exhibited in numerous shows around the world, including, P21 Gallery x Kalimat Magazine (London),SoulSpace (Oakland, California), Loud Art: Executing Culture Shock (Saudi Arabia), Khaleeji Reinterpreted(Kuwait), Local Not Local: The Arab American Museum/The Levantine Center (Michigan/Los Angeles). Recently, he was a judge in the second annual Arabic Design competition in Saudi Arabia and was a guest speaker at Huna Art to discuss the hurdles facing art & design in Saudi Arabia today.
Yusef’s work is colorful and usually consists of Arabic typography and patterns. He also enjoys printmaking and mixing different media to come up with unique results. He often describes his work as a combination of his past and present–inspired by traditional elements from his childhood and Saudi background fused with influences from his present life in the US.
Company Owner, Founder & CEO (Venice, California)
The owner and founder of Knock Knock, Jen Bilik has a background in book editing, writing, design, and arts and crafts. Knock Knock’s witty, design-driven books, gifts, and stationery products are sold in 6,000 stores across the United States, including such retailers as Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters, and are also available in international locations spanning around 45 countries. For the first five years, Jen wrote, edited, and proofread just about every word on every product Knock Knock released. Since launching the company in 2002 Jen has performed every role and made every mistake—and lived to talk about it.
Type Designer (London)
Dr. Nadine Chahine is an award winning Lebanese type designer working as the UK Type Director and Legibility Expert at Monotype. She has an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. Nadine’s research focus is on eye movement and legibility studies for the Arabic, Latin, and Chinese scripts. She has numerous awards including two Awards for Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her typefaces include: the best-selling Frutiger Arabic, Neue Helvetica Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, Palatino and Palatino Sans Arabic, and Koufiya.
Nadine’s work has been featured in the 5th edition of Megg’s History of Graphic Design and in 2012 she was selected by Fast Company as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Graphic Designer/ Design Director (Amsterdam )
Designer (San Francisco, California)
Carolina de Bartolo is the designer, author and publisher of the award-winning typography textbook, Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting (co-authored with Erik Spiekermann) and its companion app of the same name.
Her retro-cool pattern font, TXT101, was created in 2013 in collaboration with Psy/Ops Type Foundry. An easy new way to create mock text and borders, TXT101 includes 52 styles in four weights.
A graduate of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Carolina is a systems thinker who also revels in details. She began her career designing statements and forms at Siegel & Gale in New York City and later worked on the Citibank banking machine user-interface design team at Two Twelve Associates. During her tenure as design history chairperson at AIGA San Francisco, she founded the chapter’s library. She has been an MFA thesis advisor and taught all levels of typography as well as design history at Academy of Art University in San Francisco since 2000.
Independent Graphic Designer (San Francisco, California)
Type Designer (New York)
Over 25 years, Tobias Frere-Jones has established himself as one of the world’s leading typeface designers, creating some of the world’s most widely used typefaces, including Interstate, Poynter Oldstyle, Whitney, Gotham, Surveyor, Tungsten and Retina.
Frere-Jones received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992. He joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art in 1996 and has lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2006, The Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague (KABK) awarded him the Gerrit Noordzij Prijs, for his contributions to typographic design, writing and education. In 2013 he received the AIGA Medal, in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of design. Tobias launched his new type design practice, Frere-Jones Type, in January 2015.
Brand Strategist (Pasadena, California)
Agustin Garza is a brand strategist with 25 years of experience in the global marketplace with particular focus on US and Latin America. He is the founder and CEO of Garza Group Communications, with offices in Los Angeles and Mexico City, the company is dedicated to helping clients be understood, remembered, and preferred by their audiences.
His clients include the cities of Los Angeles and Mexico City, Reichmann International, American Express, Coca Cola North America, Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cisco Brothers, Mexico Tourism Board, Luxe Hotels, and La Quinta Inn’s & Suites, among others. He has served as Destination-Brand Consultant for two presidents of Mexico and served on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel. Agustin is an AIGA Fellow and served as AIGA President of the Los Angeles Chapter. His work has been published in numerous publications and is part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. For 11 years, Agustin taught at the prestigious Art Center College of Design and was founding professor of Art Center Europe.
Agustin is also an exhibiting artist whose work reflects on decay and transformation. His work intertwines organic matter and man-made waste and examines the natural processes that blend natural debris with industrial waste.
Agustin serves on diverse boards dedicated to cultural and environmental preservation. As part of a lifelong interest in anthropology and the role of design as a force for change, Agustin travels extensively with a focus on areas where isolated cultures in extreme natural environments struggle to survive and preserve their heritage. Agustin was born and raised in Mexico City.
Design Partner (San Francisco, California)
Nataly Gattegno is a founding design partner of Future Cities Lab, an experimental design studio, workshop and architectural think tank based in San Francisco, California. Future Cities Lab has designed and fabricated a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of art and design with advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, responsive building systems and public space. Nataly is also an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate program in Architecture at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Founding Partner & Creative Director (Copenhagen, Denmark)
I’m 36. Creative Director, Windsurfer and Father.
I founded Stupid Studio in 2006 – an independent digital creative agency set out to do stuff for good companies, who believe they can change stuff to the better, funnier, or simply more comfortable.
I’ve been working with motion graphics and digital concepts within culture and television for longer than I can reasonably remember, and it has given me a user-centered approach to what I do. It’s all about creating something of value, that means something to people.
I’ve appeared on many conference platforms waving my arms enthusiastically and shouting stuff about the stuff we do, and I’m a proud board member of Design Denmark and the Advisory Board of the Danish School of Media & Journalism, where I ruthlessly decide the future of young students (usually while laughing frantically).
Recently I pulled the plug and went travelling with my family for 5 months. To get away. To focus and find myself again. To find out what matters.
I never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Graphic Artist / Book Designer (Santa Cruz, California)
Five years in the field, Adam Lewis Greene is a word-of-mouth freelance designer with no web presence. So he was shocked when his first independent publishing endeavor, the typographically driven Bibliotheca, was met with overwhelming success by way of a viral Kickstarter campaign launched in mid 2014. The fundraising goal was surpassed forty times over, totaling $1.44 million and making Bibliotheca one of the Top 50 Kickstarter campaigns to date (out of over 197,000).
The project aims to free biblical literature—cornerstone of Western culture and storytelling—from the dense, encyclopedic typographic conventions to which it has been relegated for centuries, and to give it fresh expression as a multi-volume set of elegant, traditionally designed books conducive to enjoyable reading.
Being more or less a student of the age-old disciplines of type design, typography, book design, book illustration, calligraphy and print, Adam is fascinated with the dissemination of ideas via the book and the letter, as well as the history and future of writing and print. Confronted with an increasing tendency in design culture toward the superficial away from the substantive, he is interested in finding and creating artifacts that possess intrinsic beauty and goodness; and he thinks a well-made book is just about the best example of this.
Graphic Designer (London, England)
Sarah Hyndman is curious about the emotional life of typefaces and how we respond to them as type consumers. She launched Type Tasting in February 2013 with an evening of typographic swearing ’n’ cussing. Her explorations have taken her from making edible typefaces to researching how type can alter the taste of the food we eat. Also from surveying the personalities of fonts to finding out which ones you would date, ditch or be friends with. Sarah turns up to workshops with jars of smells, food, sounds and ‘font fortune’ goody bags, all of which are designed to start conversations about the experience of type.
Since the launch Sarah has organised and curated a creative typography exhibition at the V&A with the London Design Festival, given a TEDx talk, she is talking at SXSW in March, she has been interviewed on Radio 4’s Today and has published her first book ‘The Type Taster’.
Before setting up Type Tasting Sarah ran her own design company, With Relish, which she started in 2003 with clients including the Almeida Theatre, London and Coutts. Sarah completed an MA in Typo/Graphics at the London College of Communication in 2001. She was subsequently invited back as a guest tutor to set up and run the yearlong Experimental Typography evening course, which she did for six years alongside her commercial practice.
Typographer (Berkeley, California)
Alastair Johnston is a partner in Poltroon Press, Berkeley. He taught college level courses in typography for over 30 years. He has published scores of books and won the Award of Excellence in the AIGA Just Type Show. His published works include bibliographies and discographies, as well as Alphabets to Order: The Literature of 19th-century typefounders’ specimens (The British Library, 2000), Nineteenth-century American designers & engravers of type by William E. Loy (co-editor/designer; Oak Knoll Press, 2009), Hanging Quotes (Cuneiform Press/University of Houston, Texas, 2011), Typographical Tourists: Tales of tramping printers (Poltroon Press, 2012) and Transitional Faces: The Lives and Work of Richard Austin, type-cutter, & Richard Turner Austin, wood-engraver (Poltroon Press, 2013). He has also translated and published works of Jan Tschichold and Hendrik Vervliet.
Writer / Graphic Designer (New York, New York)
The history of book design can be split into two eras: before graphic designer Chip Kidd and after.
Time Out New York, Nov. 2005
Chip Kidd is a writer and graphic designer in New York City. His book jacket designs for Alfred A. Knopf (where he has worked since 1986) have helped spawn a revolution in the art of American book packaging. In 1997 he received the International Center of Photography’s award for Use of Photography in Graphic Design, and he is a regular contributor of visual commentary to the Op-ed page of the New York Times. In the fall of 2006, Kidd’s work will be included in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s third National Design Triennial.
Mr Kidd has also written about graphic design and popular culture for McSeeney’s, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Entertainment Weekly, Details, The New York Post, ID and Print. His first book as author and designer, Batman Collected (Bulfinch, 1996), was given the Design Distinction award from ID magazine, and his second, Batman Animated (HarperCollins, Fall 1998) garnered two of the Comics Industry’s Eisner Awards, as did his 2002 book Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz.
As an editor of books of comics for Pantheon (a subsidiary of Knopf) Kidd has worked extensively with some of the most brilliant talents practicing today, including: Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, Kim Deitch, Charles Burns, Mark Beyer, Ben Katchor and Alex Ross.
A comprehensive monograph of Kidd’s work, CHIP KIDD: BOOK ONE was published in October of 2005. The introduction is by John Updike and the 400 page book features over 800 works, spanning two decades, from 1986 through 2006. It’s first edition sold out a week before publication and it has since gone into two consecutive re-printings.
The Cheese Monkeys, Kidd’s first novel, was published by Scribner in Fall of 2001 and was a national bestseller, as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is currently at work on his second novel, tentatively titled The Learners. Both books use the design process as a means to construct a compelling narrative.
Principal / Managing Partner (Oakland, California)
Jeremy Liu is a practicing artist, real estate developer with experience in completing complex public-private projects, and chief executive with a unique background in urban, community and environmental planning, affordable and mixed-income housing, commercial real estate, creative placemaking/arts and cultural planning, and technology development.
As an artist, he has received both an Artadia Artist Prize and a First Place Ribbon at the Topsfield Fair, the country’s oldest county agricultural fair. He is the co-founder of the National Bitter Melon Council which promotes the literal and poetic possibilities of Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) while delving into the uncharted territory of bitterness as a foundational emotion in society.
He is also a co-founder and principal of Creative Ecology Partners, a design and implementation lab for urban, economic and community development innovation. In addition, he is the co-founder and managing partner of Creative Development Partners (CDP), a “Community Benefits by Design” real estate investment and development company that delivers unique solutions for urban-based developments delivering financial returns for investors, sustainable solutions for the environment and benefits to the community that create jobs, stimulate the economy and enhance cultural vitality.
Jeremy previously served as the executive director of two nationally-recognized community development corporations that focused on housing and commercial real estate development and management as well as community economic development. He has written for Shelterforce Magazine, ZeroDivide, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and KCET ArtBound. He is a board member of The Center for Neighborhood Technology, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Interaction Institute for Social Change. In 2015 he will be the Senior Fellow for Arts, Culture and Equitable Development at PolicyLink with support from the Kresge Foundation.
Writer / Curator (New York / Baltimore)
Ellen Lupton is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. After joining the museum in 1992, she mounted her first exhibition, “Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office.” Since then she has organized numerous exhibitions, publications, and public programs at Cooper Hewitt, including “Beautiful Users” and “Process Lab” (December 2014 – April 2015) and “Graphic Design—Now in Production,” co-organized by Cooper-Hewitt and the Walker Art Center (2012-2014) and the National Design Triennial series. Lupton also serves as director of the Graphic Design MFA Program at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in Baltimore, where she has authored numerous books on design processes, including “Thinking with Type,” “Graphic Design Thinking,” and “Graphic Design: The New Basics.” Her latest book is “Type on Screen” (2014). She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union (1985) and a Doctorate in Communication Design from University of Baltimore (2008). She received the AIGA Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.
Lettering Artist / Designer (San Francisco, California)
Erik Marinovich is a San Francisco based lettering artist and designer, and is a co-founder of Friends of Type. Since 2009 he has drawn letters, logos and type for nice folks like: Nike, Target, Google, Hilton, Facebook, Sonos, Sharpie, The Criterion Collection, Air Canada, Gap, Ford Motor Company. In 2012 he co-founded Title Case, a creative work space that conducts workshops and lectures. Between client work, teaching and side-projects, you’ll find him on the road promoting Keep Fresh Stay Rad and Let’s Go Letter Hunting, two new releases from Friends of Type published by Princeton Architectural Press.
Typographer / Vice President @ FontLab (Portland, Oregon)
Thomas Phinney is President of FontLab. Previously he worked at Extensis (web fonts and font management tools) and Adobe (as product manager for global fonts and typography). Thomas is also a type designer, teacher, writer, and consultant on fonts and typography. He teaches type design with Crafting Type and has been a repeat guest lecturer for MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading. Since 2004 he has been a board member of ATypI, the international typography association. His typeface Hypatia Sans is an Adobe Original with over 3000 glyphs per font. Thomas lives in Portland, and in his leisure hours plays table tennis and board games.
Graphic Designer (Ojai, California)
Louise Sandhaus is the former Director and current faculty in the Graphic Design Program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Her book, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936–1986, was recently published by Metropolis (U.S.) and Thames & Hudson (U.K.) Her design office, LSD (Louise Sandhaus Design), partnering with other designers and teams, has designed and curated museum exhibitions on California design, art, and artifacts for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, and Los Angeles Natural History Museum among others.
(San Francisco, California)
Rob Saunders has been collecting letterforms and design for forty years, while pursuing a career as a designer, teacher, publisher, and management consultant. He recently founded the Letterform Archive to share his collection with fellow designers.
Media Designer (Berlin, Germany)
After graduating from the academy of fine arts in Berlin, Joachim Sauter studied at the ‘German Academy for Film and Television’, Berlin. Since the early 1980s, he has been working as a media artist and designer. From the beginning, Joachim Sauter has focussed on digital technologies and is experimenting how they can be used to express content, form, and narration. Fuelled by this interest, he founded ART+COM in 1988 together with other artists, designers, scientists and technologists.Their goal was to practically research this new up-and-coming medium in the realm of art and design. Until now, he is leading this interdisciplinary group.
In the course of his work he was invited to participate on many exhibitions. Beside others he showed his work at ‘Centre Pompidou’ Paris, ‘Stejdilik Museum’ Amsterdam, ‘Museum for Contemporary Art’ Sidney, ‘Deichtorhallen Hamburg’ , Kunsthalle Wien, ‘Venice Biennial’,’ICC’ Tokyo, ‘Getty Center’ Los Angeles, MAXXI Rom.
He received several awards like the ‘Golden Lion, Cannes’, the ‘D&AD Black Pencil’, the ‘Ars Electronica Interactive Award’, the ‘British Academy for Film and Television Interactive Award’, ADC New York and ADC Germany Gold, the ‘Grand Clio’, the ‘Red Dot Grand Prix’, the “Designaward of the Federal Republic of Gemany” and many other national and international awards’.
Since 1991 he is full professor for “New Media Art and Design” at the ‘University of the Arts’ Berlin and since 2001 adjunct professor at UCLA, Los Angeles.
Type Designer (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Mark Simonson is an independent type designer working out of his home in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Although he got interested in designing typefaces while studying commercial art in college during the seventies, Mark spent the first few decades of his professional life as a graphic designer and magazine art director.
In his spare time, he dreamed up ideas for typefaces and read everything he could find related to type design. Thanks to the availability of desktop font-making software, he was finally able to get a few fonts published in the mid-nineties. By 2005, he had over a dozen font families on the market and was doing type design full time.
He is probably best known for designing the popular typeface Proxima Nova.
Type Designer (Rumsey, California)
Sumner Stone is the Founder at Stone Type Foundry Inc. located on Alphabet Farm in Rumsey, California. The Foundry has produced a variety of prize-winning typefaces as well as custom type designs, logotypes, and lettering. Sumner is a type founder, type designer, lettering artist, author, and teacher. From 1984–1989 he was Director of Typography for Adobe Systems where he conceived and implemented Adobe’s typographic program including the Adobe Originals.
Sumner has taught several different courses and type workshops in the Type@Cooper program at Cooper Union. He is presently teaching in the Extended program. He is the author of many articles about typography and typeface design, and has lectured widely on these topics.
*Portrait by Mary Ann Frye, 2014.
Elektrosmog - Graphic Designer (Zurich, Switzerland)
Marco Walser, b. 1973, studied Visual Communications at the Zurich University of the Arts, and spent a year in London with an internship at Graphic Thought Facility. In 1999 he founded the Büro Elektrosmog in Zurich, which he heads as Creative Director. The studio is designing books for artists, architecture magazines, visual identities for museums and posters for theaters. Marco Walser is giving workshops and teaches graphic design and typography at various institutions including the Zurich University of the Arts, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam or the University for Graphics and Arts of the Book in Leipzig. He has received many awards and prizes for book production, including the prize for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books and the Jan Tschichold Prize, 2005. Marco Walser lives and works in Zurich.
Chief Coaster Officer (San Francisco, California)
Tash Wong is the Chief Coaster Officer of Coastermatic. Coastermatic’s goal is to help you relive the moments you want to remember by putting them on coasters you’ll use every day.
Prior to founding Coastermatic, Tash spent time creating groundbreaking mobile frameworks for the hospitality industry, product consulting for the New York Times and NY-based tech startups, as well as developing communication tools for teams. She holds an MFA in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts in New York and lives in San Francisco.
Curator (San Francisco, California)
Ceci Moss is the Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University, her academic research addresses contemporary internet-based art practice and network culture. Her writing has appeared in Rhizome, ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, The Wire, Performa Magazine, and various art catalogs. Prior to her position at YBCA, she was the Senior Editor of the art and technology non-profit arts organization Rhizome, and an Adjunct Instructor at New York University in the Department of Comparative Literature. From 2000-2014, she programmed a radio show dedicated to experimental music, Radio Heart, on the independent radio stations KALX, East Village Radio and Radio Valencia.
(Los Angeles, California)
Kali Nikitas is principal of Graphic Design for Love (+$) based in Los Angeles. She is Chair of the Communication Arts Department and founding Chair of the MFA Graphic Design program at Otis College of Art and Design. She has been recognized by Type Director’s Club, ACD, AIGA, Graphis; published internationally; curated and co-curated international symposia; lectured and given workshops throughout the United States and in Europe.
Graphic Designer, Rock Drummer (Ghent, Belgium)
Yves Peters is a graphic designer / rock drummer / father of three who tries to be critical about typography without coming across as a snob. Former editor-in-chief of The FontFeed, he has found a new home on FontShop News. Yves writes about type and talks at conferences. His ability to identify most typefaces on sight is utterly useless in daily life.
Art Historian, Information Architect, Type Designer, Author (Berlin, San Francisco, London)
Erik Spiekermann is information architect, type designer and author. Two of his typefaces, FF Meta and ITC Officina, are considered to be modern classics. He founded MetaDesign (1979) and FontShop (1988). He is behind the design of well-know brands such as Audi, Bosch, VW, German Railways and Heidelberg Printing, among others; information systems for Berlin Transit and Düsseldorf Airport and for publications like The Economist. He designed exclusive typefaces for corporations like Deutsche Bahn, Bosch, ZDF (German TV), Cisco, Mozilla and many others.
Erik is Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts in Bremen and in 2003 received the Gerrit Noordzij Award from the Royal Academy in The Hague. In 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorship from Pasadena Art Center. He was made an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA in Britain in 2007 and Ambassador for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union for 2009.
In 2011 he received the German National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement and the TDC Medal as well as a Lifetime Award from the German Art Directors Club.
He was managing partner and creative director of Edenspiekermann with offices in Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Los Angeles until June 2014 when he moved from that position to the supervisory board. He now runs galerie p98a, an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin. Erik splits his time between Berlin and San Francisco and London, where his son Dylan lives.
A book about his life and work “Hello I am Erik” was published by Gestalten Verlag in 2014.
Photo: Dennis Letbetter