May 31st, 2022

Changes to the Board of Directors

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) would like to announce the following changes to our Board of Directors.

Sharon Oiga concluded her term as Chair of the Board at the end of 2021. The Board thanks Sharon for her guidance and immeasurable contributions during the past three years of Chairpersonship. She will remain on the Board, stepping back into the role of Vice Chair.

Assuming the role of Chair will be Theresa Dela Cruz. Theresa brings extensive experience to the position, having served on the SOTA Board for the past six years, most recently as Vice Chair and prior to that, as Secretary.

After nearly 13 years as a member of the SOTA Board, Grant Hutchinson has stepped down to dive deeper into other endeavors. The Board would like to thank Grant for his persnickety enthusiasm and his many contributions to SOTA and TypeCon over the course of his term.

Nick Di Stefano and Ian Van Mater have officially joined the Board of Directors after several years of incredible work as Friends of SOTA.

Assisting the Board as a new Friends of SOTA are Alice J. Lee and Reneé Seward.

A message from the incoming Chair

I remember my first TypeCon in Washington, DC. It was a space where I felt welcomed, and TypeCon became an event I looked forward to each year. When I was asked to be part of the SOTA Board, I was shocked that I was even nominated. It felt like I went from being on the outside looking in, to being welcomed at the table.

Looking back, I am amazed at everything we’ve accomplished and I’m proud of what we’ve built together. In my six years on the board we’ve standardized the first double-blind speaker selection process, hosted a sold-out conference where all the keynote speakers were women, started BIPOC initiatives during a pandemic, and more.

As incoming Chair, I am excited to be part of a team that continues to improve and build the future of SOTA and TypeCon. I thank the board for trusting me to lead and it brings me comfort knowing that our team is ready for the work that is ahead of us.

Our organization thrives because of the countless hours put in by our volunteers. We are a group that is focused on building a better future by carving out a space that supports the community and makes room for others. I urge you to reach out and engage with us so that we can build this space together.

Let’s do this!

— Theresa

A message from the outgoing Chair

After nearly three and a half years of serving as Chair of SOTA, it’s now time to relinquish my position and let the organization benefit from the ideas a new leader can bring. I’m incredibly proud and thankful of what our Board Members, Friends of SOTA, and other helpers accomplished in these past few years. Highlights include producing the 2019 in-person TypeCon in Minnesota (with museum rooftop mini golfing as well as conference puppy-petting break times); producing our first virtual TypeCon Together last year; introducing special BIPOC sponsorship opportunities and the 40 Free BIPOC Tickets program; and implementing the new TypeCon Educators pricing tier. As TypeCon 2022 is coming upon us, we are continuing our efforts in wellness and inclusion with full force.

Though it’s a bittersweet time for me, I at least know that I’m steering us into the highly capable and talented hands of my colleague, Theresa Dela Cruz. With her at the helm, I leave utterly confident at the prospect of prosperity and growth under the guidance of her leadership. I hope you all join me in embracing Theresa and in continuing to be part of this amazing community

— Sharon

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.

Nick Di Stefano

Nick Di Stefano is a Boston-based experience designer and consultant specializing in helping teams adopt iterative and human-centered processes to build complex systems and applications. With a background in installation and public art, he’s fascinated by the intersection of design, technology, and people. He’s a volunteer product designer and manager for US Digital Response and has been organizing the Boston chapter of Action Design since 2014. He will always say yes to coffee.

Molly Doane

Molly Beth Doane found her way to the typographic community through her degree studies in printmaking and book arts. She’s been supporting the type community in various roles at FontShop, Monotype, and since 2015, Adobe. Now based in Oakland, California, she is the Community Manager for Adobe Fonts, focused on creating content and coordinating sponsorships within the realm of type. A classic introverted extrovert, her time at home among plants, cat, books, and record collection is punctuated by live music, travel, and type conferences. Sometimes tap dancing is involved.

Xerxes Irani

Xerxes Irani is a third-generation creative professional. His career path has included time spent as an international ad agency Creative Director, and the founding partner of two successful design studios. He’s worked as a professor at both the University of Washington Masters Degree Graduate Program, and the Alberta University of the Arts for 10+ years. He was previously the Creative Director for Bill Gates’ media licensing company, Corbis (and Veer), where he lead a network of creative teams across the globe, producing all marketing and advertising assets for the corporation’s four global brands. After working at Amazon for 7 years as Principle Creative Director on the Amazon homepage, in the Concept Lab and on the Amazon Music team, he is now the Director of Design Community and Culture at Google. He is also a husband of one and father of two incredible humans living just outside Seattle on Bainbridge Island.

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.

Sharon Oiga

Sharon Oiga holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University, and BFAs in Graphic Design & Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). At multidisciplinary design firms, including Studio/lab Chicago, she specialized in identity, brand strategy, publication design, and packaging with collaborators in science, education, arts, health, and business. Currently an Associate Professor and Chair of Graphic Design 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 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.

Christopher Slye

Christopher Slye is a type designer, developer and consultant living in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 1997 to 2020, he was a member of Adobe’s type team, beginning in type production and eventually managing all type-related business and licensing for the company. He was SOTA board chairman 2013–2015, and is a member of the board of directors for the Letterform Archive.

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.

Ian Van Mater

Ian Van Mater is a part time designer and letterpress printer with a degree in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. He currently serves as President of the Board of the Letterpress Depot, a non profit working to restore a 1915 train depot into a letterpress museum and community printshop. His day job is consultative sales for Apple, helping simplify technology buying decisions for customers. He collects books and vinyl, plays disc golf, drinks black coffee, and primarily hangs out with his cat, Brutus. He maintains several obsessions including typography, world travel, the 80s, and mid century design. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

About the Friends

Alice J. Lee

Alice J. Lee 이정연 is a second-generation Korean-American, graphic designer, researcher, and educator. Her research interests include alphabetic systems, concepts of interconnectedness, and cultural imperialism. Her practice is a mediation of interdisciplinary strategies that include interactive installations, books, 2-dimensional print, and time-based media that explore different dynamics of opposing technologies, formats, and ideas. It also includes community workshops, lectures, and presentations. She collaborates with cultural and educational organizations as a designer, creative director, and visual consultant. She received her BA from Yale University and her Master of Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She serves as Assistant Professor of Communication Design and Graduate Co-Advisor of the MFA program at Texas State University. When she’s not working, she practices yoga, watches films, and obsessively listens to her new favorite tracks and playlists over and over again.

Reneé Seward

Reneé Seward is an Endowed Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Communication Design program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She is a graduate of the Graphic Design program at the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and received her Masters from North Carolina State in 2008. Reneé has been teaching in the Communication Design program for the last fourteen years. Her research focuses on developing digital and physical tools that seek to address our society’s literacy problem. Currently, she has a company that sells her reading tool called See Words: School. When she is not working she loves running, cooking, and riding roller coasters.

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.