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It’s TypeCon Week, which in the land of type geeks, means days and nights filled with typographic inspiration, scholarship and debauchery. Unless, like me, you’re not going to TypeCon this year. As my social media feeds fill with the hashtags, the inevitable filtered shots of Portland signage and the local typographic faux-pas, I’ll be watching enviously and refreshing my browser incessantly from the sidelines. For those of you who are about to embark on your TypeCon voyage, here is some unsolicited advice on what to do (and not to do) from a six-time offender.
Unless you’ve been living in a secluded yurt for the past few days (although you’d probably still be checking your phone, don’t lie), I’m likely not the first person to tell you about Matthew Butterick’s Practical Typography, a new read in a long line of essential reads on typographic rules. Butterick’s writing is especially refreshing and particularly useful for explaining these sometimes confusing and cryptic details to the novice or the first-year design student.
With type conference season in high gear, designers everywhere are uttering sighs of disbelief at the prohibitive costs of getting one’s geek on.
The discussions over conference fees, travel and hotel expenses are understandable. And given the variety of international type conference options available these days (ATypI, TypeCon, TYPO, Ampersand, TypeTalks, ICTVC, Typography Day, Granshan, Kerning, oh and this), how does one even chose what is worth attending?
After dropping off my son at daycare on Monday morning, I took a big gulp of coffee, did that interlocking-finger-knuckle-cracking-thing, and sat down at my computer, ready to get some work done. Instead, I checked Twitter. Of course, my feed was immediately confronted with the week’s latest distraction (NSFW), a Tumblr entitled Fonts & Boobs.
The concept is pretty simple. Combine a ‘high-quality’ typeface with a picture of a ‘cute chick’. Oh yeah, and she’s basically naked and positioned in a variety of provocative poses. All of this is described by the Tumblr’s author, as a ‘useful tool for graphic designers’. Right.
It’s been raining heavily in New York’s Hudson Valley for what seems like weeks now. Oppressive humidity has blanketed the air with a thickness that thwarts all efforts to be a productive member of society. And the extended forecast doesn’t indicate it is going to end anytime soon.
Today’s long-awaited announcement of Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Cloud.typography came as a welcomed procrasti-distraction from the constant hum of desk fans, window ACs and cranky, bored offspring.
Do typographers and type designers have an unfair advantage when reading eye charts? While sitting at my optometrist’s office last week, I wondered if my years spent researching and using letterforms gave me some sort of visual acuity performance edge.
Optometrist: Can you read Line Three, please?
Me: (Sigh) Well, I know the second letter is a P. But I’m not sure if I’m actually reading the P or if it’s just because I know it’s a P by the heavier typographic color of the bowl in the top right area of the letter.