Faenza – Second Visit
21 August, 2017

Thanks to the Kerning Conference, I’ve had the fortune to visit Faenza Italy two times now. These are a few of the nice letters I snapped while visiting this last June.

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Faenza Ceramics Museum
6 August, 2017

Besides type, ceramics is another major personal interests. On my second trip to Faenza I had the pleasure of visiting this substantial ceramics museum. Since this site is dedicated to type, I’m only sharing the few relevant images that overlap with this core focus. But I should mention that these few excerpts weren’t actually the major highlights of the museum… never-the-less, these typographic specimens are still pretty nice.

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Kerning Conference 2017
7 July, 2017

I had the fortune to attend my second Kerning conference last month. On both occasions I had a lovely time in the tiny village of Faenza alternating sips of espresso and wine while hanging out with some of the best people in type. Even though the conference itself is quite small (one day of talks, maybe roughly 200 attendees), there are two bonus days of workshops, and a few days before and after the conference to extend the experience. We happened to be there for 4 days and enjoyed every minute. It’s a testament to the IRL fun we had seeing as how I took hardly any photos. There were so many lunches, dinners, aperitivos, late night bars, etc. and I didn’t take a single photo. Nor did I take any inside the conference other than during the talks. It’s sad for showing off here, or for digital memories, but it was a great time.

Shoutouts to Antonio Cavedoni, Dan Rhatigan & Dan Reynolds who gave my three favorite presentations.

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Faenza’s Giant Cemetery
10 November, 2014


Here are a few of my wonderful finds from Il Cimitero Dell’Osservanza in Faenza, Italy. This beautiful and sprawling cemetery takes hours to properly walk through, it is full of countless inspiring inscriptions, and it’s absolutely worth a visit. Maybe the Kerning conference will organize a tour of the grounds one of these years.

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Faenza Signs
2 August, 2014

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Kerning Conference 2014
7 July, 2014

I missed the first Kerning Conference in 2013, but I made it to round #2 this year. My very short review of this short conference: it’s a great excuse to visit Italy. I decided to go just a week before mostly thanks to finding an extremely affordable flight and reasonable hotel deal (and the conference itself was rather cheap). The speakers or talks weren’t such a draw for me (which turned out to be a good thing, else I would have been somewhat disappointed). But with this mindset I was able to simply enjoy my trip, and not be dependent on incredible/inspiring conference performances.

The organizers did a wonderful job. Everything seemed smooth, the coffee was decent, food was tasty, location was great. But I must say, after attending, it’s not clear to me exactly who this conference is made for. Is it for Italians – to strengthen and inspire the Italian scene, or is it for foreigners to come see Italy? It seems to have been in some undefined middle ground. There was only one Italian presenter, and the others were very typical big names that you see at many other conferences. As a non-Italian visitor I would have liked to have seen more local voices, or at least different people from every other conference. But from an Italian perspective, Kerning is a nice excuse to lure the bigger names to this small city.

My only other organizational complaint was the lack of wifi. Us poor non-Italians didn’t get to contribute to the #keming twitter discussion. In lieu of not tweeting during the talks, I’ll offer up Twitter-styled commentary on each presentation. (The reviews were written a month later, and having not taken notes at the time, these are ultimately the long-lasting impressions.)

@ Francesco Franchi
It was great to see Francesco speak. He can make any news item interesting. I think he and Jan could work well together.

@ Ellen Lupton
Was way less crappy than at ATypI Lisbon. That was a relief. Her themes of narrative and  storytelling were fairly interesting.

@ Vincent Connare
Dalton Maag portfolio review.

@ Jan Middendorp
Jan was the highlight of the day with a non-typical design talk. We should open our eyes to the world around us, ignore less, care more, & do more.

@ Jessica Hische
Jessica is a charismatic presenter.

@ Erik Van Blokland
I’ve already seen this talk, but it’s totally re-watchable. Erik is such a hardcore nerd it’s utterly fascinating.

@ Elliot Jay Stocks
“Let’s look at the state of web typography now… Check out these blog posts of mine from 2 years ago… they are still relevant, nothing much has changed.”

@ Frank Chimero
My first time seeing Frank, I was hoping to finally understand what he’s about, but I didn’t. He’s great with Kickstarter tho.

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AV Kerning
26 June, 2014

I noticed something odd in Faenza, Italy but unfortunately I barely documented it. For some reason, the letter pairs of AV & VA are often super kerned. The first few times I saw it, it seemed like an oddity, but eventually I was noticing it everywhere. It wasn’t always over kerned, but it was generally tighter than it needed to be (and tighter than the overall spacing of the rest of the letters).

The question now is: why? And is this phenomenon localized to this area of Italy? I don’t recall seeing this in the other Italian cities I’ve visited.

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Faenza House Numbers
12 June, 2014

They are almost always hand painted numbers on ceramic tiles. Sometimes they are fairly funky too!

This gallery has been updated in 2017 to include a few new images from this year’s trip to Faenza.

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