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1/02 2012

7 years at Linotype

One day I decided to take the bus, and because of that I am sitting here at this desk today.

On the morning of September 27, 2003 I was in a flat in Vancouver with some of my classmates from the MA at Reading. We were there to attend the annual ATypI conference and I was scheduled to give a talk and be on a panel about Arabic typography. Typical me, I wanted to sleep in that morning so I can be fresh and ready for the big talk that afternoon. So, all of my friends went ahead and I took my time to get ready.

And then there was the bus. The conference was taking place at quite a distance from where we were so I wanted to catch the bus that ATypI organized to take us there, but instead I only found a group of people wearing the same conference badge like me and waiting outside the conference hotel. I went up to them and asked one of the gentlemen if they were waiting for the bus too, and he said no, but offered me a ride in their car as they had an extra space.

That group was the Linotype delegation and the gentleman was Bruno Steinert, who was Linotype’s managing director at the time. We got to talk about type, my typeface Koufiya, Arabic and Latin, the dialogue of cultures, and I then invited him to come to my lecture. He did, and very quickly offered me a job right after.

So, I am here thanks to John Hudson, who invited me to give a talk at AtypI.

I am also here because of the encouragement of Jean-François Porchez. He had told me then: Nadine, there are 2 gods in type design, Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf. They both work with Linotype, and Zapf comes to the office twice a week.

I am also here because of Bruno Steinert. He believed in me, when no other foundry was interested in any kind of non-Latin, let alone Arabic. And Bruno was right. Arabic typography is flourishing now, and the work that we have done here has met with an amazing response from designers and clients both in and out of the Middle East. Joining the Linotype team was the best career decision that I have made.

I would not have stayed here, if it were not for my colleagues and my supervisors both at Linotype and Monotype Imaging. I am lucky to be able to do the job that I love, and to be given the space to do it. And for that I am very thankful.




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