Licko founded Emigre magazine with her husband, fellow typographer and graphic designer Rudy VanderLans, in 1984. The magazine was lauded for its attention to truly innovative graphic design experiments, and it became well-known for its fonts, designed by Licko on the first Apple Macintosh 128K computer. The Mac revolutionized font design: “It forced us to question everything we had learnt about design," Licko has said. She made Oakland and several other of her early digital fonts as bitmap designs. These fonts had "limited applicability," and were "soon to be rendered obsolete with the impending arrival of high resolution computer screens and printers," she has explained. However, bitmap fonts are enjoying a resurgence, used for nostalgic effect, mostly in print. Licko's fonts and those of other designers are sold through Emigre, Inc., a digital type foundry. The magazine, whose entire run is in MoMA's collection, ceased publication in 2005.
Gallery label from Standard Deviations, 2011.