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.
GL: I research and teach typeface design, mostly at the University of Reading. I also work with companies and other institutions on knowledge transfer projects, which means I help them build their processes for learning and growing.
My desire to keep on learning drove me to research
What brought you to this industry?
GL: A love of language and communication, which has been expressed through the printed (and, nowadays, rendered) word. I set up my first magazine when I was 9 years old, and seem to be involved with things like that ever since. My desire to keep on learning drove me to research, and my curiosity about how others learn to teaching.
Any current projects you can openly talk about?
GL: I think that the most important project I am working on currently, in terms of long-term impact, will be some collaborations with universities in Asia, and supporting some companies through periods of growth.
How do you spend your day off?
GL: As much as possible, cycling and trail running.
The role ATypI can play for the typographic community worldwide.
The first ATypI conference you joined?
GL: 1997, in Reading, and every single one since. Tokyo will be my 23rd.
What brought you to be a President of ATypI?
GL: I spent a few years on the Board after 2004 focusing on education, then took a break in 2010, which helped me reflect on the direction of the Association. I was elected again in 2013 as a vice-president supported José Scaglione through a period of internal change. I decided to put myself forward for the presidency with the aim to drive ATypI into a new phase in its growth on a global scale, and an opening up of the portfolio of its activities. At the heart of this strategy is a different idea of how membership can engage, and the role ATypI can play for the typographic community worldwide. I am fortunate to have some excellent colleagues with whom we share our thinking: this is very much a collective enterprise.
What would you expect to ATypI 2019 Tokyo?
GL: I would like this event to make a mark in two directions. Firstly, to create new connections between the Japanese and the international typographic communities: this can create an environment for sharing expertise and developing potential, both in the corporate as well as the education areas. And secondly, I would hope that the conference encourages a new generation of Japanese designers to be globally active. Often an ATypI event helps the local community be more open about its potential, and be more proactive in reaching out; the same I hope for Tokyo.
Please give your message to people who are looking forward to ATypI 2019 Tokyo.
GL: For over 60 years, ATypI is above all a community of like-minded people who approach their work with care and respect, and are motivated to help each other. This community is excellent for mentoring new professionals, as well as for lifelong learning. In its very first years it was described by an attendee as "entres amis", amongst friends -- and this is exactly right.
How would you differentiate ATypI conferences from other typographic events?
GL: Firstly, its truly global nature: ATypI is the only association in typography that has an explicit goal of connecting a worldwide community, and actively pursues this with events and other activities. Secondly, its long-standing connection to education: learning and research are at the heart of our agenda, which helps building up the next generation of our members, and reinforces the importance, complexity, and depth of what we do. ATypI has survived and flourished for so long exactly because it evolves to match the concerns and needs of its community.
Tea or coffee?
GL: Espresso, on its own. Tea with appropriate food.