A former student at ArtCenter College of Design, Mike Abbink is the executive creative director at IBM, and designer of IBM Plex, the open-source font family designed to convey the IBM identity on everything from product packaging to the ibm.com website to development code.
His illustrious career includes award winning typeface design at Meta Design, San Francisco (most recently for FF Kievit), and Design Director roles at Wolff Olins (San Francisco & New York) and Apple Computer, where he designed packaging (the first PowerBook G4, Power Mac G5, iSight Camera, and OSX Panther) and directed a major update to the company’s corporate identity when Apple changed their typeface from the classic Garamond to the more austere Myriad—a decision that affected every piece of collateral.
Believing it is important to mentor the next generation of designers, Mike teaches at the San Francisco Academy of Art and Art Center College of Design (at night), and has been invited to lecture at Sweden’s Hyper Island School for New Media.
At VOP POP London’s Empowerment, Mike will present how to empower the design process by designing a typeface that is truly bespoke. IBM Plex, designed by Mike, is based on building a framework for design decisions that empowers both the functionality and meaningful expression of a typeface.