A much longer road than normal brought Micah Stupak to Ascender. After graduating high school, his intention was to become a diplomat, but the sheer boredom of it got the better of him and he left to try his hand at...well, he didn't have a plan, but he ended up in New York City as a music journalist. He helped found two magazines and had a good run for about four years, but he knew all along that the music industry is no place to earn a living if you want to be happy and/or sane. So he found himself doing prepress in a digital printer's, and, after a few years, he decided to return to school to get a degree.
At the Rochester Institute of Technology, he intended to get in and out as quickly as possible, but three professors forced him to reconsider his interests and intentions: Michael Riordan, Matt Bernius, and, last but not least, Chuck Bigelow. He worked very closely with Chuck (designer of the Lucida family, amongst others) on a few projects, most notably a project to digitize Kiksht, a Native American language of the Pacific Northwest, which he and Garret Voorhees presented at a conference at Yale in February 2009.
Languages have always been a passion of his, and his RIT classes in publishing, type, and design revitalized his interest in type which had gone ignored for years. He first noticed type in the work of designers like Peter Saville, Anton Corbijn, the Designers Republic and Tomato in his record collection, and Peter Greenaway's film The Pillow Book showed him the power of letterforms. Love of music, film, and foreign cultures continues to influence every moment of his day.
At Ascender, Micah focuses on hinting work, in addition to other font production tasks. Nearly 100% of the people he speaks to have no idea what he does, and he explains he is not a designer, more of a "typographic engineer." The ones who do know what hinting is feel sorry for him -- he doesn't know why, because he gets to work with type every day. Pretty sweet gig.