Monday, 8 November 2010


Born out of the digital uprising of Macintosh computers in 1984, Emigre are the typography design duo of husband and wife Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko. An independent type foundry based in Berkeley, California, Emigre originally developed fonts on and for the computer. They have designed a large array of typefaces, and hold license to over 300, many belonging to various contemporary designers.
The duo published an independent magazine for 21 years entitled ‘Emigre magazine’ that voiced their criticism and thoughts on type through essays, as well as displaying their vast array of experimental, cutting edge typefaces that took into account the bitmap, dot matrix and vector based design ideals of the era.

various issues of Emigre magazine

The final issue of Émigré magazine was published in 2005, although the type foundry itself carries on to this day and has published a number of books related to graphic design. An issue of Emigre magazine is today seen as somewhat of a collector’s item, and are held in high regard by many designers and anyone who has even a vague interest in typography. Vanderlans used the magazine as a platform for his essay writing abilities, discussing significant works and ideas in the design field he felt were of some importance or had to be shown, even when some of his observations were on those of people not yet out of design school.
The dawn of the blogging era is what appears to of caused the end of Emigre magazines existence, with its ability to showcase work in a much faster format and to a much wider audience. It seems both a cruel and bitter blow for a type foundry that’s own ethos was based around the evolution of the digital era. However the magazine’s influence it seems still lives on, as does Emigre itself and the typography both Vanderlands & Licko continue to create under its name.

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