Tag Archives: Typecon

Home from TypeCon

I’m back from Milwaukee. After spending five days and nights participating in lectures, critiques, and generally staying up late chatting about type design, the type industry as a whole, the webfont market in particular, religion, and politics, I re-embrace the steadier pace of home-and-work life. And while the model here is more sustainable for personal growth and getting things done, I miss already the chaotic and inviting atmosphere of TypeCon. I’m amazed each time at how many new friends I’ve made, and what great connections have happened, and what great direction and advice I’ve gotten both as a writer, and designer.

I’ll now step you through some of the more memorable moments I had during the program, beginning with Thursday night’s intro to the single track conference.

On a side stage, audiovisual production manager JP Porter dissolves to the first title slide of Christian Helms’s talk.

Not only do TypeCon presentations have an all-star cast, they also have an all-star audience. It’s hard to attend the event without literally bumping into an accomplished designer or industry leader like Kent Lew, Steve Matteson, or Daniel Rhatigan, only to name a few in the above shot.

Graphic designer and studio proprietor Christian Helms walks us through his typographically rich and personally invested approach to working.

Educator and type designer Craig Eliason steps through a series of pangrams he’s written, remarking that to him, the perfect pangram is not the one that’s most compact, but the one that most subtly includes all the letters of the alphabet. Number 1113 is my favorite in this regard.

Just outside the conference hall doors, Bill Moran and company from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum make and sell letterpress posters while you wait.

Mike Parker is recognized for his work advancing the type industry—separating the distribution of typefaces from the technologies that output them. He receives the Society of Typographic Aficionados’s SoTA Award Friday evening.

Saturday night, Alan Haley directs the infamous Type Quiz. If you’ve not seen it first hand, imagine all the front-row-sitting nerds you remember from college—the ones who corrected your art history professors on the obscurest details—packed tightly into the first six rows of the venue, licking their lips at the thought of testing their knowledge and taking home t-shirts and other prizes as a result. With both a crowd-response portion, and a written section, needless to say it could get out of hand.

The Type Quiz re-earns its reputation each year.

In one of the more fun talks of the conference, type designer Antonio Cavedoni points out the ubiquity of customized Stop, ending with this parting thought from its designer Aldo Novarese, “It’s better to be criticized than ignored.”

And Sunday afternoon’s Type Crit was a complete success, exposing young and enthusiastic type designers and their work, myself and my work included, to the wise comments and suggestions of Roger Black, John Downer, and Akira Kobayashi.

Designer Roger Black commented afterward that the past five years have been marked by a dramatic uptick in quality from new type designers.

In sum, there’s no business like the type business, where people whose work you’ve admired your whole life welcome you in, put an arm around you, and help you to become the designer you wish you were. Thanks to the organizers and TypeCon attendees for making another great one happen this year.

At TypeCon: Education Forum and Official Kickoff

TypeCon’s stellar lineup has made it hard for me to get a spare-moment blog post in edgewise. It’s been just fantastic meeting and talking with people who devote themselves to the type and letter-making disciplines—becoming friends with the people whose work you quite admire. At TypeCon, young and old talk shop and discuss how to solve the visual problems their projects present—over lunch, or a drink.

During yesterday’s TypeCon Education Forum, lecturers like Gerry Leonidas, Jay Rutherford, Craig Eliason, Sumner Stone, Dan Reynolds and more discussed what’s changing, what remains the same, where typography goes from here, and specifically, how to convey these concepts to eager minds in the classroom. A letterspacing exercise was conducted using black masking tape on white paper, led by sign painter and type designer John Downer. Note Nick Sherman’s enormous wood type leaned against the wall in the background of the photo above. He printed with it too.

Just outside the main hall, a gallery of type-related design work shows what we’ve all been up to over the course of the past year. I would refer to this as a conference highlight, but there are so many it kind of doesn’t make sense to present everything as a highlight. There have been many, including last night’s talk by Austin designer Christian Helms on doing great work through incorporating elements you love, and this morning’s lecture on the working parts of good typography by educator and type designer Cyrus Highsmith. Keep an eye on this blog for more from TypeCon.

Dispatches from TypeCon

David and Meghan from FontShop San Francisco are in Milwaukee this weekend to attend TypeCon2012: Milwaukee Shift. FontShop is pleased to sponsor this event (look for our Taste Guide inside attendee bags).

The keynote kicks off tonight, after a group of attendees returns from the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. David is helping with the Education Forum today and will report on that later. Meghan suggests you build a time machine and go back to Wednesday evening for The Heads of State special presentation, which beautifully (and hilariously) highlighted the relationship between illustration and typography using the Bob Ross model of design principles. End goal: end up at the happy cabin of creative satisfaction.

A former Milwaukee resident, Meghan was thrilled to see local young talent highlighted at the Just Our Type exhibit at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

Meet us in Milwaukee at TypeCon!

FontShop is pleased to be a sponsor of TypeCon2012. David and I (Meghan) from our San Francisco office will be there, so find us and say hello. As our resident type expert, David is excited about all the programs, but here’s his three “not to miss” for TypeCon newbies (and returnees):

  • Cyrus Highsmith’s talk on Friday morning. He’ll be discussing the concepts at work in great typography through focusing on the negative space. Word is Inside Paragraphs, Cyrus’s new book on the subject, will be available there too.
  • Saturday night’s Type Quiz separates the casually type-obsessed from the committed with questions like ‘Put the following five faces in order of their release.’
  • Sit down with John Downer, Akira Kobayashi and Roger Black Sunday afternoon while they review your latest design at the Type Crit. Stick around to see other type designers’ work and make some friends.

Tomorrow (July 7) is the last day of early bird registration…save some cash to splurge on the new designs you learn about at the conference!

FontShop Friday Five: New Fonts & Highlights

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

New Fonts Recap

Miss buying your new fonts for June? Visit our list.

Gallery Highlights

We pick our fave submissions to the FontShop gallery.

Swiss Miss Likes the FontFonter

Recently we told you about updates to the FontFonter. Design maven The Swiss Miss takes a look on her blog.

Speaking of Webfonts…

This week’s Webfont Wednesday looks at the use of FF Enzo Web by Impose Magazine.

Conferences Galore

Yves Peters recaps his rockstar experience at Ampersand on The Font Feed. While on the topic of conferences, FontShop is a proud sponsor of next week’s TypeCon in New Orleans.

Friday Five Fonts: Acta Symbols by DSType and Sweet Sans by Sweet

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