TypeCon NYC 2005
13 August, 2015

Somehow I never got around to posting my photos and summary from this TypeCon. So now 10 years later (and during TypeCon 2015 that I’m sadly missing) it seems like the perfect time to finally post a bit of the memories.

This was a major event for me. Not only was it my first type conference, but I was participating with a solo exhibition of my ceramic sculptures, and it was held in my favorite city! Honestly I can’t recall so many of the talks, but do I remember meeting many great people that would soon become good friends.

First and foremost, I met Dan Reynolds in person – I had known of him online from his prodigious amount of comments on Typophile and for being “the Linotype Guy”. (I learned several years later that during TypeCon he had only just began his Linotype internship!) He did soon become a legit Linotype Guy tho, and he was the reason that I ended up at Linotype for a year myself – and that in turn lead me to start Mota Italic and stay in Germany for six more years, AND Dan is responsible for Kimya and I meeting… (so I owe quite a lot to meeting Dan!). Dan’s no longer a Linotype Guy; he has moved on to be part freelance type designer and part educator. I hope he can channel some of his former self-marketing prowess to make it big on his own. Go checkout his freshly updated website, and hire him to do something for you!

I was also fortunate to get to meet with Gerry Leonidas. I spoke with him about the possibility of attending Reading’s MATD program the following year (he actually tried to deter me from it)(he later said he uses that technique to get more hardcore applicants). I did end up at Reading University from 2006-2007 and it was an incredible, life-changing experience.

Yves Peters was another Typophile star that I still clearly remember meeting. We didn’t speak so much then, but I did say enough clearly demonstrate I was a silly American. The first conversation started something like: ME: (spoken with a sense of awe) “Oh, hi, you are Why-Ves!” YVES: “Hi, yeah I’m Yves.” (actually pronounced Eves (don’t be ignorant like me)). He is a wonderful friend that I am lucky to gotten to know better in the last decade.

I didn’t actually meet Dan Rhatigan during the conference, but I did get to see him topless and hear a lot about him during a presentation about typographic tattoos. Little did I know then that we would be roommates for the next year in Reading! He’s a great guy – even though he works at Monotype.

For much of the conference I was occupied with an exhibition of some of my ceramic sculptures. Once I heard the conference theme was “Alphabet City” I immediately contacted SOTA about the possibility of showing some of my work. I created a series of sculptures called “Alphabet Cityscapes” made of pixel typefaces extruded into 3D, city-like structures. The show was a lot of fun to do and I am still honored that they invited me to participate. Thank you again to Tamye and Shu for all the help in making this happen!

I have been lucky to attend six TypeCons in the last ten years – and hopefully I’ll get to see many more still! If you are ever considering going, I can highly recommend it. There are so many great people there and you never know who you will meet there or what may become of the friendships. That is true of anywhere of course, but TypeCon has an especially fun and inspiring atmosphere that you certainly won’t ever regret being a part of.

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TypeCon Washington D.C. 2014
7 August, 2014

This is not a proper review of the conference, but just my few highlights:

• Kimya and I gave a workshop on Devanagari type design on the first day. Unfortunately we didn’t take many pictures because we were a little too busy cramming in 2 days of material into one. We began by giving a few different presentation on Indian scripts and on the current state of lettering and type design in India. Then we unloaded a huge bag of books, specimens, newspapers, and ephemera (a la Fiona Ross) and the participants poured over them for a bit longer than we had budgeted for. Then once they had a better idea of how Devanagari looks and works they got into handwriting practice followed by calligraphy training. Finally the day was concluded with about an 1-1.5 hour demo and explanation of Glyphs 2 and how you can easily generate Devanagari fonts.

Tobias Frere-Jones gave the opening keynote presentation and it was really wonderful. Especially nice to see everyone’s support for him (but that was by no means a surprise).

• The famous Type Quiz was hosted by Stephen Coles and Nick Sherman. Thank god it wasn’t Allan Haley again. These guys did a great job, and I really hope they will do it again.

• Fiona Ross received the SOTA Typography Award. Congratulations, it’s much deserved!

• Had a great time :)

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TypeCon Milwaukee 2012
11 October, 2012

I was a bit nervous about this TypeCon after last year’s killer event in New Orleans. But I have to say that overall it was also quite fantastic, although utterly different. Unlike New Orleans, we saw almost none of Milwaukee; most of the time was spent in the conference hotel. We only briefly ventured out in the heat briefly to a few restaurants nearby… But the time in the hotel was perfectly enjoyable… they made it easy to not leave.

I registered for the conference so stupidly late that I missed out on the workshops Hamilton Wood Type Museum. I guess they were awesome – even if you were in the group with stuck on the broken down bus.

Let’s name drop a few of my favorite talks. Dan Rhatigan is always awesome. Even though he works for Monotype. If Monotype ever stops sucking it will be single-handedly because of him. Cyrus Highsmith was also great (he’s certainly one of the most unique and innovative type designers since Dwiggins). Dan Reynolds is the other awesome Dan… He can always manage to take some boring old historical topic and present it in a fascinating and entertaining way. If only more professors were like him! Patrick Giasson and Kamal Mansour presented their amazing Arabic typeface Bustani. I’m impressed with Patrick’s composure to calmly deliver an eloquent talk after an incredibly rude introduction by his former colleague Allan Haley. I probably would have punched him in the face as I walked on stage… Jo De Baerdemaeker also gave another excellent talk about Mongolian type. He is so passionate and informed about his topics, he is always a pleasure to hear. It was great to finally meet Craig Eliason of the Daily Pangram fame. His presentation on his obsession with pangrams was wonderful. The Moran brothers, Bill and Jim, spoke about their Hamilton Wood Type Museum and alerted us to their financial troubles and the uncertain future for the museum… Antonio Cavedoni shared his funny custom Stop fixation. Steve Ross made Mayan Writing Reform interesting and educational (he was also a great guy to finally meet).

Looking forward to next year’s event! Where will it be?

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TypeCon New Orleans 2011
14 July, 2011

New Orleans! America’s second city (after New York)(my biased opinion). This TypeCon was awesome simply because of the location. It was ridiculously hot and humid, but between the ice cold hotel and the never-ending strips of bars with live music the weather was completely bearable.

The city had an interesting and unexpected effect on the attendees. Normally at every other conference after the last talk of the day people linger in the lobby for thirty minutes to an hour or more trying to figure out plans for the evening, where to eat, etc. Here though it was strange. Minutes after the final talks there was a rapid exodus and the hotel became empty. It was generally nice, being in smaller groups that varied from day to day. This made organization quicker as well as finding tables in restaurants easier. It was a welcomed contrast to the regularly 20-30 person groups wandering the streets for a large enough dinner table.

Since this was a conference I should mention a few highlights:

Ed Benguiat: Always a showman.

The Cherokee alphabet and a desperate cry for more fonts: Presented by Joseph Erb, Roy Boney, & Jeff Edwards, they explained the history and current typographic status of the Cherokee Nation.

The Type Crit: Extra special with Ed Benguiat giving his 4 cents at every opportunity. The spectacle concluded with a lettering showdown between Ed and John.

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TypeCon Buffalo 2008
21 July, 2008

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TypeCon Boston 2006
15 August, 2006

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