Celebrating Women in Typography: Joana Correia
March is Women’s History Month, so we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate some amazing women working in the type design industry.
This week, we’re talking with Joana Correia of Portugal about her journey and insights as a type designer.
In conversation with Joana Correia
MyFonts: Tell us about your journey as a type designer and any challenges you had to overcome?
Joana Correia: I have been a type designer since 2011. I didn’t have to overcome big hurdles due to being a woman, but just a general feeling from the industry (that was made out of mostly men) that women are not so focused or technical for type design, which is overcome by experience whether you are a man or woman.
MF: What would be one tip that you will give other women who are considering becoming a type designer.
JC: What I would say is never be discouraged by other people and go forward and pursue type design. There’s no need to justify it to others. The skills take time, but focus on what makes your designs unique.
I think the best thing would be to find a mentor or to find someone who can guide you. There is a mentorship program by Alphabettes, that you can apply to during certain months.
MF: Can you share some insights on what more can be done to progress diversity in typography?
JC: I believe [the key] to having more diversity of type designers in the industry is to demystify [the idea] that this is such a technical practice, and that women are not good in technical issues. I know many type designers who love technical stuff and they are women. Education is also key to bring more opportunities to women.
MF: Did you go to school for design, and if so, which one?
JC: I did my MA in Type Design at the University of Reading and I am very happy I did. It changed my life in so many ways.
MF: When did you start your career and with what? When did you get into type design?
JC: I started right out of Reading in 2011, working as a freelancer type designer. I collaborated with type designers on some of the first Google Fonts and then slowly started to create my own fonts for other foundries. In 2018 I founded Nova Type to publish my own typefaces.
My first education was in architecture, but I left to go to graphic design school. I love architecture, but just to look at it, not so much to do it.
MF: What do you do besides type? Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
JC: I love going for walks with my dog, a lovely shiba inu. I do Pilates and meditation. My favorite thing to do is to read and sketch in my notebook. I’m very much a studious person, I’m actually doing another course right now — I’m doing an MBA.
Interview edited for length and clarity. Name displayed on the video is courtesy Zoom.