Thomas Phinney to leave Adobe?

Florian Hardwig's picture

On German Fontblog, Jürgen Siebert just announced that Thomas Phinney is to leave Adobe.
If it is true that Adobe cut his job, then – well, I don’t know what to say. That would be sad news for the typographic world.

Janic's picture

Every company is reducing costs, it is the times we live in now.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

In Thomas’s words (as posted on the OpenType List):

Hi all,

Well, I never knew if or when this day would come, but I am leaving Adobe after 11 1/2 years. Adobe HR made me an offer I can't refuse, so away I go. On the plus side, I needed to spend some more time with my family due to my younger daughter's medical needs anyway. I will be looking at consulting, writing and teaching gigs, and perhaps going back to a full time job at some time next year. Let me know if you have any good prospects for somebody with lots of type background/skills and an MBA from UC Berkeley. :)

It has been both a great pleasure and an honor to work with so many smart, knowledgeable and decent people in my time at Adobe, and to help make some great typefaces and applications.




(End of citation)
Still, I hope to still see around you in future, T. Maybe at the next TypoBerlin? (Cite tags not working, sorry)

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

blank's picture

Best wishes to Thomas.

And I hope we still get a Hypatia Sans italic!

John Nolan's picture

I too, would like to extend my best wishes to Thomas. What a loss for Adobe!

I don't know anything about his daughter's problems, but I certainly pray that she gains full health soon.

Thomas, our thoughts are with you.

William Berkson's picture

That's a shock. I'm grateful that Thomas has been so generous with his time to the type community. All the best, Thomas!

eliason's picture

Si, your link didn't work for me but this one does.

bojev's picture

He will indeed be missed - and I join James in hope for a Hypatia Sans Italic

fonthausen's picture

Good luck Thomas.

// Jacques

Dan Petter's picture

a significant loss – for Adobe. i'm confident Thomas will visit these forums as frequently as he did in the past.

dezcom's picture

Good thoughts for you, Thomas, both for your career and the health of your child. You have always been helpful to us in the type world and very giving of your time and energy. Adobe is losing more than an expenditure in accounts payable. They are losing leadership and a good human being.


steve.mackley's picture

I too would like to extend my best wishes, and hope to continue to see Mr. Phinney's sage advice on these boards.


Nick Cooke's picture

I hope this is the start of a great new adventure for you Thomas. Hopefully Adobe's loss will be your gain.

Nick Cooke

speter's picture

Thomas, best of luck to you and your family. I hope we will continue to see your (virtual) face here.

charles ellertson's picture

Thomas, you are one of the exceptions to the old aphorism "Those that can't do, teach."

Wishing the best for you and your family,


billtroop's picture

This is sad news! From about 1995 to 2000, David Lemon was Adobe's universally admired online type community voice, and since then Thomas has filled his shoes so well. I have been a well-known thorn in his side for most of these years, but as Thomas's technical and institutional wisdom grew with every year, it has become harder and harder to find fault. I do think it's a shame for Adobe to part with someone who has done so much for the company in so many ways, and whose loyalty is so admirable. It is impossible to think of the contemporary online type community without Thomas's unflagging generosity. Very best wishes, Thomas!

Thomas Phinney's picture

Thank you all for the kind words and good wishes.

I have every intention of remaining involved in the type community, including here on Typophile. I am just a little busy these first few days with the transition. Amazing how many sites and services have my Adobe email address... and my inbox and phone have both been very busy.

(I've tried to post several times today, but somehow my web browser and Typophile are not liking each other today.)



Sye's picture

all the best thomas, for you and your child.

i look forword to seeing you around here still.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Best wishes, Thomas!

chank's picture

hey THOMAS! THANK YOU so much for all the incredibly geeky font tricks you've shared with us on Adobe's behalf over the years. I just solved a HUGE font problem of mine by tracking down a post you made about six years ago and it really saved the day. Thanks a ton for all the info, advice and insights. Looking forward to your continued presence in a new position in the type world. good luck to you and your family!

Ale Paul's picture

T, best wishes and good luck in everything!

Thomas Phinney's picture

I forgot to say, the Hypatia Sans italics are something like 80% done, and my colleagues will be finishing them up and they'll still be released. I hope to still have some involvement to keep an eye on things. Hmm, somehow I avoid the nightmare of kerning yet again - starts to look like a pattern! (Does anybody actually enjoy kerning a 3000-glyph typeface?)


lunde's picture

I'd like to use this opportunity to go on record to state that I am deeply saddened by Thomas' departure, and that he will be genuinely missed. I know of no one who can fill his shoes. I think we should all take comfort in knowing that he will continue to be active in this field.

It was a pleasure and honor to work with Thomas for many years. I raise my glass in your name.

Dr. Ken Lunde
Senior Computer Scientist, CJKV Type Development
Adobe Systems Incorporated

Si_Daniels's picture

Looks like the blog will keep going! From this...

Typblography, the Phinney-us Blogg

to this...

Typblography, the Phinney-less Blogg


Best regards, Si

William Berkson's picture

This makes me worry a lot about the management of one of America's great companies.

beejay's picture

good luck with your next chapter Thomas!

Si_Daniels's picture

>This makes me worry a lot about the management of one of America’s great companies.

They're probably banking on a bail-out like everyone else. ;-)

Dan Gayle's picture

Look on the bright side, one of you type foundries or developers is going to gain a super knowledgeable team member.

And lest we not forget, Thomas is still the Treasurer for ATypI.

Nick Shinn's picture

This makes me worry a lot about the management of one of America’s great companies.

That's capitalism.

A company with billions in annual revenue and dominant in its field, that has enjoyed a lengthy period of growth and profits, cooly lays off thousands of workers ("everyone's doing it, we're matching average industry rates" according to the boss) when there's a downturn in the economy. Somewhat callous, but sensible business practice apparently, although there are always apologists lamenting that those companies are losing their best and brightest.

From the employee perspective, loyalty is not reciprocated, but on the up side, it's during recessions that discarded workers form the start-ups that become the kernels of the next wave. I was laid off during downturns a couple of times, long ago before I started working for myself, and it was always a great opportunity.

innovati's picture

I'm excited for your new adventures and glad you're gonna be sticking around!

Enjoy the change in pace Thomas :-)

Thomas Phinney's picture

Nick: To be fair to Adobe, "only" 600 people were laid off this month, not thousands. :/

And while one hand taketh away, another giveth. You see, "college hires" are a different bucket than all other employees at Adobe.... (I'd comment more, but that would be out of place.)

Dan Gayle wrote:
Look on the bright side, one of you type foundries or developers is going to gain a super knowledgeable team member.

That would be cool, but I think everybody's hurting right now, business-wise. Makes it hard to hire anybody....

So mostly I'm going to try to enjoy a much more relaxed holiday season with my family who really need my time right now. At work I was always famous for not being able to stop answering email and such, even when nominally on vacation. Not actually *having* work email will make that easier, I guess. :)



Diner's picture

The news of your leaving Adobe is sad but your talents and contributions to our industry gives me great optimism that we will in fact be enjoying your future successes that much more . . .

The best to you and your family Thomas . . .


RahimSnow's picture

May the road rise up to meet you. All the best to you and your family, Thomas.


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