Home / About ATypI / Who we are / Elections 2023: ATypI board of directors / Board candidate David Lemon

Board candidate David Lemon

Portrait of David Lemon

We asked David to tell us everything ATypI members could ever want to know about him. He had a lot to share!

Please provide us with your bio.

I’ve been in love with letterforms since I learned to write; my first-grade teacher accused me of drawing the letters instead of writing them. After graduating in graphic design I gravitated to work that blended art and technology, landing in Adobe’s Type team in 1986. I helped get font software authorized for copyright protection, and later helped win a lawsuit that validated font copyrights.

At Adobe I produced hundreds of fonts, trained dozens of people to use Adobe’s font tools, and interacted with assorted other foundries and type companies. I helped specify and develop Expert sets, multiple master fonts, OpenType, and variable fonts. As team manager I pushed to expand language support in Adobe’s fonts and app’s, and encouraged ground-breaking designs. I’m a big fan of legibility and accessibility.

In my final years as manager of Adobe’s Type team I helped get variable OpenType fonts off the ground, and helped launch Adobe’s pan-CJK fonts. This required convincing Adobe to open-source some key technologies, collaborating with Google, Apple, and Microsoft, structuring deals with three Asian foundries, and getting significant new software tools developed.

I’ve learned that making fonts work well for everyone requires not only sensitive design and impeccable technology, but also collaboration, teamwork, and business strategy. I learned that managing a team is its own set of skills, and when I became one I tried to be the best manager I could. Over my 30 years in the Type team I came to treasure the many people I worked with, the companies we partnered with, the foundries we did licenses with, and the many people I came to know through type conferences.

I served three terms on ATypI’s board earlier, then stepped down when I no longer had enough time to contribute properly. Now that I’m retired I still want to contribute, and hope to give ATypI the attention it deserves. It’s been a great privilege, and I hope to give back now.

Give us a sentence that perfectly describes your love for type.

My work was always about trying to make type better for everyone.

Before this year, were you a member of ATypI? If so, when?

I have been a member since 1990.

Were you previously a member of the ATypI board, or a country delegate? If so, when?

I served three terms on the board in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Describe your experience/involvement with ATypI activities.

I have attended nearly every ATypI conference since Type ’87.

Tell us about your current and past involvement with other type and design organizations.

I’m a long-time member of TDC, SoTA, and Friends of Calligraphy.

Describe your leadership experience with other nonprofits and work with conferences, workshops, publications, teaching, or other activities in the type, design, tech, and related communities.

I’ve been a consultant on a handful of books, and assisted in an introductory typography class. I helped write the specifications for multiple master fonts and OpenType and was a member of the variable fonts working group.

Why should ATypI members elect you to represent them on the board of directors?

I’d like to use my industry experience and familiarity with making collaborative agreements to help ATypI become an ever more international and inclusive organization.

We asked David for one more thing…

David Lemon is asking for your vote.

Please make a short video explaining why you want to be elected to the board, what makes you a good candidate, and why your skills, experience, and ideas will serve and help our community thrive. Something memorable that our members will think of when they are choosing who to vote for.

Answers and materials were provided by the candidate as part of their self-nomination for the ATypI board election. Candidate is a paid ATypI member in good standing and agrees to remain so if they are elected.