Slovak, born 1961.
Type designer, co-founder of Emigre, and provocateur. Emigre and Licko were semi-unwitting members of the vanguard of postmodern typography, and through Emigre the foundry and Emigre Magazine found herself on the forefront of type design in the late 80s and early 90s.
Licko’s early typefaces betray a fascination with low-resolution output, being outline font versions of the fonts then in use on dot-matrix printers. Inspiration from those sources is also evident in the “Base” typefaces, more abstract explorations of simplified typeface design. Over the the last 15 years Licko’s designs have grown less extreme, although no less radical.
Licko’s most significant achievements to date are her two playful text families, Filosofia and Mrs Eaves. Filosofia is a Didone / Bodoni revival with many alternate characters and a frequently-used unicase face. Mrs Eaves, named for John Baskerville’s lover, is a mildly stylized Baskerville revival known for its profusion of colorful ligatures and “petite caps”, a unique variation on the theme of small caps. Mrs Eaves is a technical tour de force, formerly being accompanied by a program from LettError intended to help designers manage its unwieldy set of ligatures, and recently being converted to an overwhelmingly full-featured OpenType family by John Butler. Both type families are beloved by graphic designers and regarded with mild suspicion by typographers.