Zuzana Licko

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Zuzana Licko
Born Zuzana Ličko
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia,
Education University of California, Berkeley
Known for Graphic designer
Notable work(s) Fonts & Emigre magazine
Movement emigre

Zuzana Licko (Slovak: Zuzana Ličko; born 1961) is a typeface designer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Licko came to the United States when she was a child along with her family. She studied architecture, photography and computer programming before earning a degree in graphic communications at the University of California at Berkeley.[1]

Zuzana’s father was a biomathematician and at the University of California, San Francisco and through his job she became involved with computers during the summer months when she helped him with data processing work.[2]

When she first started attending the university her goal was to earn a degree in architecture but she then changed to a visual studies major because she believed becoming an architect was in her eyes, too similar to going to business school.[3]

While at Berkeley, Zuzana took a calligraphy class, which happened to be her least favorite because that she had to write with her right hand even though she was left handed. This experience later influenced her when she started working on type design, which was more computer-based.[4]

In an interview featured in Eye (No. 43, Vol. 11, Spring 2002), Licko described her creative relationship with Vanderlans:

Emigre[edit]

In the mid-1980s, Zuzana Licko and husband Rudy VanderLans founded Emigre, also known as Emigre Graphics. The magazine, Emigre, was then created in 1984. This magazine [1] designed and distributed original fonts under the direction of VanderLans, its editor. Licko was responsible for many successful Emigre fonts.

Licko was initially exposed to Macintosh computers with the first release in 1984.

Apart from adding new typefaces as a form of content, Émigré was also created as a way to share the typefaces with other designers that liked and wanted to use Zuzana’s creations. As technology advanced, Zuzana moved from bitmap fonts to high resolution designs and based the newer designs on the ones initially created for dot matrix printers.[7] In the mid-1990s, Licko worked on two notable revivals: Mrs Eaves, based on Baskerville, and Filosofia, based on Bodoni. Both are Licko's personal interpretations of their historical models and each features extensive ligatures. Mrs Eaves was named after John Baskerville's lover; it is a somewhat stylized revival of the Baskerville typeface. Along with ligatures, Licko stylized Baskerville through the use of small caps or "petite caps".[8]

Filosofia[edit]

Because of her admiration for Bodoni, she designed and came up with several variations of Bodoni, in the form of digital font for computer type and some forms were also used for text. Before working with computers, Licko's favorite typeface was Bodoni with its "clean lines and geometric shapes and the variety of headline style choices." Licko avoided using Bodoni for long texts, "as the extreme contrast made it difficult to read at small sizes.’”[9] Bodoni influenced Licko’s work on Filosofia, one of her typefaces. Like other revivals of typefaces, Licko’s revival of Bodoni focused on geometry and symmetry. She also incorporated things like slightly rounded serif endings. Licko’s Filosofia was also designed to be modified to either be used on text or on a computer. There is a “Regular” version of the Filosofia family which is designed to be used on text. The Filosofia Grand is designed for display applications and is described as more refined and delicate. To create Filosofia, Licko studied different styles of Bodoni, including the original print work and recent revivals, such as ITC Bodoni. Although the samples of Bodoni did have an influence on her work, Licko instead recreated Bodoni with her mind, judging by eye to keep the original measurements.[10]

Mrs. Eaves[edit]

In Texts on Type, Zuzana writes about her take on Bodoni and what Mrs. Eaves meant to her: “In my rendition of this classic typeface, I have addressed the highly criticized feature of sharp contrast. To a great degree, the critics were wrong; it did not prevent Baskerville from becoming assimilated as a highly legible text face, and in fact, the high contrast between stems and hairlines became quite desirable, as is apparent in typefaces such as Bodoni, which followed in the lineage.[11]

Awards[edit]

Zuzana and her husband, Rudy, won the Chrysler Design Award in 1994. Apart from winning this award, their work on Émigré also won the Publish magazine Impact Award in 1996. A year later, they got an American Institute for Graphic Arts Gold Medal Award. Soon after, in 1998 they were awarded the Charles Nyples Award in Innovation in Typography.[12]

Fonts designed by Licko[edit]

  • Lo-Res, 1985 and 2001 [2]
  • Modula, 1985 [3]
  • Citizen, 1986. [4]
  • Matrix, 1986 [5]
  • Lunatix, 1988 [6]
  • Oblong, 1988 [7]
  • Senator, 1988 [8]
  • Variex, 1988 [9]
  • Elektrix, 1989. [10]
  • Triplex, 1989 [11]
  • Journal, 1990. [12]
  • Tall Pack, 1990 [13]
  • Totally Gothic, 1990 [14]
  • Matrix Script, 1992 [15]
  • Narly, 1993 [16]
  • Dogma, 1994. [17]
  • Whirligig, 1994 [18]
  • Base Nine and Twelve, 1995. [19]
  • Soda Script, 1995 [20]
  • Mrs. Eaves, 1996 [21]
  • Filosofia, 1996. [22]
  • Base Monospace, 1997. [23]
  • Hypnopaedia, 1997. [24]
  • Tarzana, 1998 [25]
  • Solex, 2000 [26]
  • Puzzler, 2005 [27]
  • Mr. Eaves Sans and Modern, 2009. [28]

Essays by Licko[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Dooley, Michael. Graphic Design USA 18. “Critical Conditions: Zuzana Licko, Rudy VanderLans, and the Emigre Spirit.” 1998.
  • Cees W. De Jong, Alston W. Purvis, and Friedrich Friedl. 2005. Creative Type: A Sourcebook of Classical and Contemporary Letterforms. Thames & Hudson.

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rubenstein, Rhonda. "Zuzana Licko." Eye magazine No. 43, Vol. 11, Spring 2002 http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature.php?id=62&fid=272
  2. ^ VanderLans, Rudy, Zuzana Licko, Mary E. Gray, and Jeffery Keedy. Emigre: Graphic Design into the Digital Realm. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1994.
  3. ^ VanderLans, Rudy, Zuzana Licko, Mary E. Gray, and Jeffery Keedy. Emigre: Graphic Design into the Digital Realm. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1994.
  4. ^ VanderLans, Rudy, Zuzana Licko, Mary E. Gray, and Jeffery Keedy. Emigre: Graphic Design into the Digital Realm. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1994.
  5. ^ Eye, Number 43, Volume 11, Spring 2002.
  6. ^ VanderLans, Rudy, Zuzana Licko, and Mary E. Gray. Emigre, Graphic Design Into The Digital Realm. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1994.
  7. ^ The Font Feed.Stephen Coles, September 29, 2005. http://fontfeed.com/archives/an-interview-with-zuzana-licko/
  8. ^ http://typophile.com/node/12166.
  9. ^ Cees W. De Jong, Alston W. Purvis, and Friedrich Friedl. 2005. Creative Type: A Sourcebook of Classical and Contemporary Letterforms. Thames & Hudson. (223)
  10. ^ Cees W. De Jong, Alston W. Purvis, and Friedrich Friedl. 2005. Creative Type: A Sourcebook of Classical and Contemporary Letterforms. Thames & Hudson. (223)
  11. ^ Heller, Steven, and Philip B. Meggs. Texts on Type: Critical Writings on Typography. New York: Allworth, 2001. Print.
  12. ^ http://www.chrysler.com/design/design_influences/design_awards/1994/zlicko.html#