July 24th, 2019

Changes to the Board of Directors

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) would like to wish everyone a happy and relaxing summer. As we turn the pages of our calendars, so the Board of Directors turns as well.

Neil Summerour concluded his term as Chair of the Board at the end of 2018. The Board thanks Neil for his devoted guidance and immeasurable contributions during the past three years of Chairpersonship. Neil will remain on the Board and continue to lead the planning of TypeCon.

Assuming the role of Chair will be Sharon Oiga. Sharon brings notable skills and experience to the position, having served on the SOTA Board for nearly six years, most recently as Vice Chair and prior to that, as Secretary.

Returning to the Board is Christopher Slye, of Adobe Fonts. Christopher will serve as an Ex-Officio member, assisting in the developing success of pre-conference planning as well as assisting during the actual conference.

Delve Withrington relinquished his position as Secretary and stepped down from the Board to focus on other professional endeavors. The Board thanks Delve for his six years of service, enthusiasm, and many contributions to SOTA and TypeCon, including his organization of both the Catalyst Award and TypeGallery. He will be deeply missed.

Former Treasurer, Mary Catherine Pflug, is taking a temporary leave of absence from the Board while she completes a graduate degree. Neil Summerour will assume the role of Treasurer.

Erin McLaughlin has been appointed Secretary.

Stepping into the role of Vice Chair is Theresa dela Cruz.

Assisting the Board this year as Friends of SOTA are Jess McCarty and Nick DiStefano.

A message from the incoming Chair

When I joined the SOTA Board almost six years ago, it was to take part in running the Type & Design Education Forum. I didn’t envision becoming Vice Chair, let alone Chair of SOTA. But here I am, thanks to my fellow Board members, and I’m absolutely thrilled! It’s my trust in the vast capabilities, tireless energy, and commitment of every member of the Board that gives me the confidence to serve in this capacity. It’s also all of you, who continue to support and participate in TypeCon, that make it a true honor to serve.

Together, we’re doing important work and accomplishing so much — discussing, teaching, and always learning more, expanding the field and advancing the profession. On behalf of the Board, we’re truly excited to bring you the next TypeCon, in beautiful Minnesota!

Cheers to a wonderful new beginning!

— Sharon

A message from the outgoing Chair

Dear Friends of TypeCon,

I have always loved TypeCon — for what it teaches me and the friendships it helps me form. Since the very first time I attended, I embraced what TypeCon was and could be, and admired those with SOTA who put on an amazing conference each year. Having served as Chair for the past three years, I have increasingly become aware of the monumental effort and stress (and satisfaction) required to see it through each year. Past, present, and future board members are amazing people, who tirelessly volunteer their time so that we all may benefit. To each one that came before me and those I have had the pleasure to serve with, I have humble thanks to give, some terribly cheesy jokes, and my undying gratitude. With all of that work and effort, I feel every chair needs to have a shelf life so others can take it and make it their own.

And fondly put, I’m reaching my expiration and proudly hand over the keys to Sharon Oiga — a good friend and gifted educator. I’m looking forward to settling into my new role on the board in hopes to assist Sharon and help TypeCon grow in scope. I will continue my efforts to boost representation of women, persons of color, and other underrepresented groups within the type and creative industries … and I am eager to see everyone experience this new face of TypeCon. To everyone who attends, supports, and volunteers at TypeCon, I can only extend a heartfelt “thank you∏ now … come find me in Minneapolis, and I’ll happily extend a hand or a hug.

In gratitude,

— Neil

About the Directors

Theresa Dela Cruz

Theresa Dela Cruz is a font licensing expert with a background in visual communications, music, and ethnic studies. She started her typographic career with FontShop in 2007 as part of their Sales and Support team. She is known for supporting the typographic community, championing type designers, saying “no”, and for her love of coffee. She currently works at Monotype on their Enterprise Solutions team and creates content for TypeCon.

Grant Hutchinson

Grant Hutchinson photographs suburbia, noodles code, accumulates gadgets, and sweats the details in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys black coffee, low-bit electropop, geometric shapes, single malt whisky, juggling, and the smell of a freshly tarred roof. A shelf in his office sports a Diploma in Visual Arts from the Alberta College of Art & Design (now the Alberta University of the Arts) and an Emmy Award for his technical work during the 1988 Winter Olympics. He is one of the founders of Veer, a partner in Butter Label, and fills the role of head glyph monkey at Typostrophe.

Xerxes Irani

Xerxes Irani is a third-generation creative professional. His career travels have included time spent as an international ad agency Creative Director, a professor at both the University of Washington Masters Degree Graduate Program, the Alberta College of Art & Design (now the Alberta University of the Arts) for 10+ years, and the founding partner of two successful design studios. He was previously the Creative Director for Bill Gates’ media licensing company, Corbis (and Veer), where he led a network of creative teams in Calgary, Seattle, China, and London, which produced all marketing and advertising assets for the corporation’s four global brands. Currently he is a part of the amazing Amazon Design Community as the Principal Creative Director of Amazon Music.

Frank J. Martinez

Frank J. Martinez is founder of The Martinez Group PLLC, a Brooklyn-based law firm specializing in intellectual property protection. A former designer and Design Patent Examiner, Martinez earned a BFA in Fine Art from Pratt Institute in New York and served as Production Director for Landor Associates prior to attending law school. Having worked closely with design professionals for many years in both design and legal capacities, Martinez understands firsthand the business and intellectual property issues faced by designers.

Erin McLaughlin

Erin McLaughlin is a typeface designer and consultant specializing in South Asian writing systems. She has developed custom Indic fonts for Adobe, Google, and IBM, as well as independent type foundries like Bold Monday, Lineto, and Type Together. Previously, she worked at Hoefler & Frere-Jones, after graduating from the MATD program at the University of Reading, UK. She was recipient of the 2011 SOTA Catalyst Award and now serves as a SOTA board member. Soon, she will launch a new foundry for Indic script fonts, Fontwala. Sharon Oiga

Sharon Oiga holds BFAs (Graphic Design & Photography) from the UIC School of Design and an MFA (Graphic Design) from Yale University. At multidisciplinary design firms, including Studio/lab Chicago, she specialized in identity, branding, publication design, and packaging with collaborators in the science, education, arts, health, and business sectors. Currently an Associate Professor at UIC, Sharon’s work—and her students’ coursework—is consistently recognized through awards, publications, exhibitions, and funding. A two-time recipient of major funding by Sappi Ideas That Matter, Sharon was also honored to receive the student-voted UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award. She has written about her teaching in Designer Magazine, a UCDA publication. In addition to SOTA, she serves as a Director of the Chicago Design Archive. Also, she is allergic to cats.

Mary Catherine Pflug

Mary Catherine Pflug works as the Foundry Manger for Monotype and MyFonts. She is a recent graduate with honors from Rollins College, with a degree in International Business and a thesis that focused on font sales, marketing, and distribution, This is her fourth year as a board member and is currently taking a temporary leave to complete her graduate degree. Past work has involved managing events for Mama’s Sauce Print Shop in Orlando, design and marketing work at a variety of publications, and typeface design. Hobbies include: searching for the perfect doughnut, volunteering with AIGA, and cycling. And yes, she is one half of Type Sisters.

Neil Summerour

Neil Summerour obsessively creates letters. His Positype foundry carries the flag for his typefaces while Swash & Kern allows him to put a face to much of his custom lettering. As equally comfortable looping around with corporate commissions as he is personal projects and foundry releases, he is always at home in the studio. He teaches, lectures, workshops, mentors, and loves type and lettering. He’s a maker with Fairgoods, a maker of bad jokes, and a devoted follower of creativity. He lives in Georgia with his family, with always one foot in Japan.

About SOTA

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, study, and support of type, its history and development, its use in the world of print and digital imagery, its designers, and its admirers.