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Erin McLaughlin

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Erin McLaughlin
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21
  • Re: Diversification Postmortem

    Hi Stephen! I saw your FB post so I headed on over!

    As for me, my lack-of posting wasn’t a deliberate “I have been offended” or “I give up on this!” move. I just never think to come here! :) I am too busy with work and want to spend my free time on other things, rather than volunteering to critique peoples’ typefaces or to try to solve peoples’ technical issues.

    I think that there are a lot of other people who are equally skilled as me who enjoy volunteering their time to critique typefaces. (and I’d rather be paid to do it, to be honest!) Same goes for the technical issue requests. Because there are so many people willing to volunteer, I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down by not contributing. Plus, I don’t think there’s such thing as a “unique female perspective” in regard to answering the technical issues - I think it doesn’t matter who answers the question. 

    I might end up coming to TD if I can't find an answer to a technical question of my own elsewhere, but I would likely just ask a type colleague in a private email first, which I enjoy more than publicly shouting my ineptitude :)

    I’d say that most of the posts on TD seem to fall under those two categories - and maybe that’s one reason why achieving “diversity” on the message board doesn’t seem as relevant or important to me - important enough for me to make an effort to post when I'm otherwise not compelled to do so. I think the subjects in which personal perspectives are more likely to come into play are things having to do with business/education/cultural/historical and other people-centric topics. I would imagine that those types of discussions are where more interesting things are said, and where more diversity would be particularly helpful. Those don’t pop up too frequently, so I don’t find it worth the time to check for them, I guess.

    I know that a lot of the women who were involved with some of the TD and twitter discussions are spending time working on new Alphabettes initiatives and help one another and converse in that forum. I think that they feel it’s a more positive and friendly place. But I’ll let those folks speak for themselves on this thread! I think that some of them have had specific negative experiences here. I'm hoping they'll share their views, too.

  • Re: Suggestion: Stop pre-blocking users. Trust flagging and moderaters.

    Will those people know they're welcome? Should we actually tell them? I assume they aren't checking the website daily, trying to get in. Do we need to apologize?
  • Re: Using OpenType to distinguish tone letters?

    Hmm... I did a project once that kind of did half of what you're talking about.

    An English teacher wanted a typeface that could have phonetic markers appear above/below words. He had been doing it by hand by manipulating worksheets in Photoshop for a long time. (see below)



    I came up with a substitution system to do that work for him. For instance, to indicate a short e sound, you'd type "_e" after the character in the word. Like, the word "bet" would be typed "be_et" and the _e would be replaced with a phonetic marker glyph with a negative sidebearing, that would appear above the e.

    The client wanted short vowels to be red, long vowels to be blue. I didn't know anything about colorfonts 3 years ago, so I taught him how to do this by using "find/replace" substitutions that apply a character style in InDesign. He could search for instances of the underscore-based code and change the color of those glyphs.



    It was especially difficult because I needed to draw horizontal lines of varying lengths to span different combinations of letters that made a particular sound, and also different heights to accommodate capital letters.



    This project was crazy! But so satisfying :) Also, I must note that this is based off of Source Sans, the Open Source typeface by Paul Hunt. Props to him!

    So... I know this isn't completely what you mentioned, but I thought I'd share since I've never shown this anywhere :)
  • Re: Noticeably Absent from TypeCon

    'cause I know them, I'll say: A Hoefler or Tobias sighting at TypeCon has not been a common thing in the past 5+ (maybe 10?) years - just Tobias last year - and most of their employees also forego it. For the time I've known them, JH and TFJ have both only started participating in type/design events recently, (Hoefler, it seems, mainly to promote the new web type service, and Tobias to celebrate/carve out his new identity) so I don't think this year of non-attendance was out of the ordinary. I hope we'll see more of Tobias though! He and his wife were planning on coming, but they became too busy with work and also needed a childcare solution. (We'll hopefully see one for next year! Workin' on it!)

    I'm going to take a guess and say that for some established independent foundries, they might not see much of a financial/strategic benefit. They might not necessarily learn anything new from the talks/socializing that will help their business, they might not want to be hounded by fans or people wanting to ask business questions, and they might not feel that there are too many potential customers to woo (in contrast to a web dev/graphic design conference). So I imagine that the choice to attend might come down to whether or not they feel like socializing/taking time off from work/spending a over a grand in one weekend. :)