Are you curious about the happenings of the type world abroad? In this series, interviews provide a glimpse into their fascinating world through the lens of the designers, programmers, educators, vendors, and other members who make up the fabric of this type-loving community.
Please introduce yourself briefly.
Liron Lavi Turkenich (LLT)：
I am an independent typeface designer and researcher based in Israel.
I wear many hats, all under the typography umbrella. I design multilingual typefaces and specialise in Hebrew. Among them is Aravrit, an experimental hybrid writing system which merges Hebrew and Arabic. It has received wide recognition for its ingenuity and scope.
In addition to design, I write about letterforms, interview designers, teach, and research Hebrew type. I also lead the Alphabettes mentorship program, and a regular contributor to the blog. I serve as the senior level events coordinator of ATypI, organising the yearly conference and its routine activities. I love sharing my knowledge and experiences in lectures and workshops around the world. Mostly, I love traveling, talking with people, and searching for typographic treasures in dusty archives.
Working on multiple projects that all touch on different angles in typography is crucial for the progress of each and every one.
What brought you to this industry?
LLT： I discovered type design by accident. In the first year of my graphic design bachelor’s degree, we started learning about typography and while everyone around me were complaining about having to copy letters and set them, I loved every minute of it. When I discover that typeface design is an actual profession, everything clicked for me, and I finally understood why I wanted to become a designer in the first place. I have always loved words and language and along with being a visual thinker, this was the perfect place for me.
Your work is diverse and dedicated to the typography field. What do you mainly do these days?
LLT： For me, working on multiple projects that all touch on different angles in typography is crucial for the progress of each and every one. I become creative and energised when I organise events, speak on stage, write, design, research and teach. Everyday is different and life is extremely dynamic. As a child I have never felt bored, and I am lucky to continue being so full of activities.
Any current projects you can openly talk about?
I always love to talk about my huge project Aravrit. It’s been going on for 7 years already and nowhere near an end. After realising that I cannot read Arabic, which should be an integral part of my city and Israel overall, I felt like I have to take action. I designed a new hybrid writing system that combines both languages and can be read by both Hebrew and Arabic speakers at the same time.
This project spread beyond the borders of Israel, and became widely known as a project that sends a message of life together and the possibilities in creating a change through design. I am happy to have audience to it from all around the world, including Japan!
Meeting people and getting a feel of the “real world” and the possible opportunities
Any favourite latin alphabet character?
LLT： I absolutely love the character “O” . It seems so easy and straightforward to design, but it has so much complexity and endless possibilities.
Do you have any routines to start working?
LLT： I am a total geek of productivity systems and reviews. I have tested every possible system and my current favourite is to set only three important tasks for each day. Those are defined either in the night before or in the morning, and allow me to immediately get going. As a mother to two small daughters, every minute of my working time needs to be super productive. Organising my desk and making a good cup of coffee is another must.
The first ATypI conference you attended?
LLT： The first one I attended was in Amsterdam in 2013. Since then I have only missed one. That was a very exciting conference for me, since I just graduated from my MA studies in type design at the University of Reading, and I was ready for meeting people and getting a feel of the “real world” and the possible opportunities.
How you get involved with ATypI as a Senior Events Coordinator?
LLT： I have always wanted to work at ATypI (I have organised events in Israel in various opportunities). After my interviews of inspiring women that I have done on alphabettes.org, Marina Chaccur invited me to conduct interviews of speakers in ATypI Warsaw. The interviews went great, and when Marina was ready to move on, she and Tamye offered me to fill her big shoes. I felt fortunate for the opportunity and still feel like it until this day.
Please give your message to people who are looking forward to ATypI 2019 Tokyo.
LLT： I am looking to getting to know the local type community in Japan. The conference is a great chance to meet new friends and colleagues and find out about the similarities and differences in our work and learn from it. We have an amazing program lined up, and we are working hard on making it the best conference ever.
Tea or coffee?
LLT： Coffee absolutely!