Prague’s Jewish Cemetery
27 June, 2014

After numerous trips to Prague, I finally made it to the famous Jewish cemetery right in the middle of the city. Every other time I went to visit, it was either closed or there was a long queue to get in. I must say, I hadn’t ever seen photos from the cemetery, or done any research on it, so I was quite surprised once I finally got in. And by surprised I mean disappointed. There was a rather expensive ticket to get in (about the price of a movie), then the ‘cemetery’ isn’t a traditional one as such. It’s a short, roped-off path around a collection of headstones moved and dumped at this location. Some are extremely old (1600s), but you can really only nicely observe those nearest to the path. It was not interesting to explore like most cemeteries, it’s only a tourist trap.

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Warsaw’s Neon Muzeum
24 June, 2014

I recently visited Warsaw for two reasons: the TypoPolo exhibition, and this museum. And I have to say, the Neon Muzeum was totally worth the entire trip.

In many ways, this museum is similar to Berlin’s Buchstabenmuseum which also focuses on neon signs and lettering. And it’s difficult to explain, but this museum has a totally different feel. Only opened for a few years, this privately funded museum has managed to collect and preserve much of Warsaw, and Poland’s, rapidly disappearing neon signage.

I was lucky to meet and have a long chat & tour with co-founder David Hill. He shared many interesting stories and background to the museum and Poland’s neon culture. One particularly interesting story was the unfortunate, ironic side-effect that the museum has had in Poland. In recent years these antiquated signs have been taken down and simply thrown out as junk or sold for scrap metal. But in part thanks to the museum’s interest in these as artifacts, the scrap signs now have a newly perceived value – so often times instead of preserving the signs and/or donating them to a good cause like this museum, the owners would rather hawk the old letters on ebay.

The museum not only host events, parties, publishes books, preserves a dying art, and educates, but they are also working to bring fresh new neon into the world. Just days after I was in town, there was the grand unveiling of a new neon sign made for a bridge in the middle of Warsaw! There’s another attraction to add to your map of “Warsaw’s Neon Signs Walking Tour”.

I’ve posted tons of photos here… Honestly it was difficult to narrow the collection down to these few (this isn’t even half of what I shot). If you can make it to Warsaw you absolutely should go find the museum and give it an hour or two. There’s so much more to see, and photos can’t convey the same experience as standing up close to the glass, metal, and electricity.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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TypoPolo Exhibition
22 June, 2014

“TypoPolo” is a notion which describes an aesthetic phenomenon, namely, the amateur designs of advertisements, signboards or informative inscriptions made for small businesses and crafts, which came into being in the Polish public sphere of the 1990s.

TypoPolo @ the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

I first heard of this special exhibition at Typo Berlin last month from the Hakabo talk. Not yet having been to Poland, it was the perfect excuse to finally go because of it’s concrete (and time-sensitive) typographic theme. The exhibition is still up for another week (I saw it on what was to be the last day, but then it was extended two weeks)(April 29 – June 29, 2014), so maybe you can hurry to Warsaw to catch it!

A few days later, I happened to meet a man in Brno, Czech while we were in a line to get a beer… I mentioned that I was just in Warsaw, and that I mainly went just to see this show (and the Neon Museum)… and that I really enjoyed it. He then introduced himself as Rene Wawrzkiewicz, the curator of TypoPolo! He was super excited to hear someone went all the way there just for the show :) He also apologized that there weren’t English translations of the text (due to the budget of course). But then shared the great news that TypoPolo will travel to Wrocław later this year, and they are planning a bi-lingual book to also be published. I’m very much looking forward to that!

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Type Talks 2013
10 September, 2013

This was the third installment of the Type Talks conference, organized by David Březina and Anna Giedryś, and they have once again made one of the best type events I’ve had the fortune to attend. I happy to concisely report that this Type Talks was even better than the first one (besides the fact that I spoke at it)(and unfortunately I missed the second conference, so I can’t say how awesome it was, but I’m sure it was also great).

The Highlights:

• The event began with “Type Shorts”, an informal Pecina Kucha style evening of many quick presentations.

• David donned his finest bow tie to host the day!

• The venue was incredibly beautiful.

• All of the talks were excellent.

• The food was actually great.

• For a couple days, Brno was the center of the type community.

• I want to offer some criticism of the event, but I simply had a great time and really enjoyed it all.

Organizing a day like this is no doubt stressful and takes months of planning. At the intersection of event organizational stress and relief of successfully pulling it off, David claimed that this is the last time they will do a Type Talks conference. I hope it really was just the exhaustion speaking and that they will do it again in a few years!

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4 December, 2012

From the archives: letters found in Barcelona, Spain way back in 2008.

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Some Views of Reykjavík
25 November, 2012

In my final installment of letters found in Iceland, are a few images found in an around Reykjavík. There’s a lot more to see there and I need to get back there to take more pics!

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Kuşadası Cemetery
18 October, 2012

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Eths in ðe Wild
10 October, 2012

Curious or confused about ðat strange letter ð?

It can be a bit difficult understand if you don’t get up close and personal wiþ it in person.

Ðese photos capture ðe elusive ð in its natural environment of Iceland. Inhabiting ðis little island are a wide variety of ðs. You may be surprised at ðe many different shapes and forms ðis special character can take.

You can also follow ð on Twitter: @the_letter_eth

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ATypI Reykyavík 2011
28 September, 2012

Super quick summary:

The best ATypI ever? Quite possibly. Certainly the best I’ve had the fortune to attend.

Slightly more:

Much of the appeal of this conference was thanks to the magical location – and of course the people.

The talks were certainly mixed as usual.

Seeing tons of old friends was the best part of the conference. It does have a strange ‘club’ feeling to it being 75% of the same people each year… But it’s nice. It’s also great to meet some new people as well.

The venue, a brand new building called the Harpa Concert Hall, was incredible.

Reykjavik was a beautiful little city. It had a different feeling to it than anywhere else I’ve visited… it’s hard to explain. I really hope to go back sometime.

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Reykyavík Cemetery
14 September, 2012

These images come from the Hólavallagarður cemetery in Reykyavík, Iceland. You won’t find the most innovative inscriptions here, but there are some cool techniques and some especially interesting forms of Icelandic-specific characters that are surprising. Also, a personal favorite of mine is when these damp, grayish cemeteries are covered in moss.

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Reykjavík House Numbers
14 September, 2012

Reykyavík is a wonderful little city. It has a quaint, homey, special feeling that I haven’t experienced from other places. It would certainly be a great place to spend more time – at least some months… then maybe it gets smaller… There was not an overwhelming amount of interesting house numbers there, but these few give a small taste of the place.

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Robothon 2012
30 March, 2012

I don’t want to be lazy or boring, but maybe I don’t need to say about Robothon 2012. I could list all the speakers, summarize their talks, critique the high and low points, etc. But to be honest, it’s rather unnecessary because the great guys behind the event have documented and archived everything online.

This was my second Robothon conference, and it was equally as engaging as the last time. I have nothing negative to say about the weekend. The entire time was packed with great people, interesting  topics, and it was all professionally coordinated. I wish I could be fair and balanced and point out some short comings, but I didn’t experience any. Maybe the coffee could have been better.

So for more on the conference, check out the official website.

And even better… All the the presentations are online! They are all worth a viewing.

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