Portland Typophile

brampitoyo's picture

A quick search on the web yields the conclusion that there is no notable typographic community (or the existence of type geeks) in Portland, OR.

There has got to be a typophile ’round here besides PLAZM and the Extensis boys. I wanted to start a local type group. Anyone up for it?

dropkick's picture

Yep. Yes I am.

fontplayer's picture

I'd like to be there. I used to live near 21st & Lovejoy back when Bill Walton was running around in Washington? Park playing soccer with the (relatively) little brown guys.

brampitoyo's picture

Excellent. I got one more interested guy from outside Typophile as well.

Dropkick and fontplayer, we should definitely keep in touch and see what happens. Any ideas of what the group's activities and events should be?

Do you still live here, fontplayer?

fontplayer's picture

Do you still live here, fontplayer?

No, but I have nothing but good memories from my time there. Some day maybe...

brampitoyo's picture

Well, if this thing ever fly, you're more than welcome to stop by (for a cup of coffee, of course ;-) and say hi.

fontplayer's picture

I wish you luck with that. Although I live in a fairly populated area, judging by the traffic, I have yet to meet anyone in person who cares the least little bit about fonts. Like I needed to feel more like a freak than my other interests make me.

Dan Gayle's picture

Portland is only a little ways away from Seattle, why not hook up with some of us up north? There's actually quite a group here, as some of us figured out at Typecon. And I guess if push comes to shove, we could always come down there.

Zara Evens's picture

Hi Bram!

I would love to be a part of a PDX type group, though I could only participate a couple of times per year when I visit :) I will definitely move back someday, but it might be a few years down the road.

I think I have told you this before, but Mike Kippenhan, a teacher of mine from PSU, was working in typography/type design at one time I believe. He is partially responsible for my turning to the dark side of type :) And there is Pete as well, who you have already mentioned, from Plazm.

@Fontplayer: I used to live in your old 'hood! I was on Burnside and NW 22nd place for a spell, and then about 3 different apartments on St Clair, right on the SW side of Burnside (behind the Chevron there).

I miss portland :(

fontplayer's picture

I miss portland

I'd sure like another go at the Rose Test Gardens, with a camera this time. It was at the end of my hippy days that I lived there, so I may be over-romanticizing my memories of it.

brampitoyo's picture

I gotta get in touch with Mike, then, who probably know Lis Charman (an ex-Emigre), the associate professor there.

Dan, I'm sure I will come up there sometimes and join you guys. How are the meetings so far, in terms of attendance and topics? I'm not ready to commute 2.5 hours routinely, but we'll see :)

canderson's picture

It was at the end of my hippy days that I lived there, so I may be over-romanticizing my memories of it.

The Rose Garden is still fun. Whenever I go there, I get the "Tiger's Blood" flavored sno-cone, which is a mix of raspberry and coconut. Forest park is pretty cool too. You can be surrounded by dense forest only a few minutes from downtown. I'm not a "zoo bomber" but I have ridden the route from the Max station at the zoo into downtown. In, my case, I did it on a normal bicycle with decent brakes. My impression of type wonks in PDX is that often they're too busy actually doing stuff to lurk in online forums.

I thought Pete's presentation at TypeCon was great, btw. We should have TypeCon in Portland.

Dan Gayle's picture

Meetings? Pttpp... Nada. We're planning on having a post-Typecon meeting with a bunch of the volunteers from the local colleges as well as the planning committee folk on the 29th, I believe.

Other than that, people keep pretty busy. I'm sure if someone were to organize something, a bunch of us could get together.

antiuser's picture

I live in Seattle but go down to PDX a lot, since two of my best friends live there.

fontplayer's picture

The Rose Garden is still fun. Whenever I go there, I get the “Tiger’s Blood” flavored sno-cone, which is a mix of raspberry and coconut.

Mmmm, that sounds good.

Forest park is pretty cool too. You can be surrounded by dense forest only a few minutes from downtown.

I remember that well. I was partly because of a flute player up in a tree when I was walking through that I switched to flute when I gave up the music business.

It took about 3 days to produce a decent note, between seeing stars from too much oxygen. And then in about two months I was good enough that some people asked to join their band. Later I added electronic effects (and ended up making more money playing flute part-time than I did before as a 'pro': life can be strange).

brampitoyo's picture

Forest park is pretty cool too.

You mean the Hoyt Arboretum?

I[t] was partly because of a flute player up in a tree when I was walking through that I switched to flute when I gave up the music business.

One of my vision for a type club is actually to make it less hardcore/exclusive and more casual/outreaching. I looove type talks, but I would also like to do something more fun and interactive. Somehow, the idea of forming a band that sing songs about type and design seemed genuinely appealing—much like what Burn Back did for advertising and Jonathan Coulton for sci-fi.

So, you know, any music help is always needed :-)

Dan Gayle's picture

I play guitar, bass, drums, sing, whatever. I'd be willing to write something.

brampitoyo's picture

No kidding. I play drums, bass, guitar and sing as well—in that order or proficiency :-) Let’s work something out.

Dan Gayle's picture

We should start a new forum asking for auditions and/or lyrics. That should be fun.

We can do an online collaboration, then get together to work out the kinks.

canderson's picture

Do any of you interact with people from Stumptown Printers or Textura? They seem to do some cool print-related stuff in Portland. For Stumptown, I think a significant amount of their income is related to music packaging.

Here's a Portland moment: Today I went downtown to visit the Powell's, the largest book store on Earth. As usual, I spent a few minutes looking through the rare books room. In particular, I asked to examine a 1591 printing of Aldus's Institutiones grammaticae. It's possible that it was printed by Aldus' grandson, I don't know very much about old books. I made a sincere effort to look like I was being very careful with it. When I was handing it back to the clerk I mentioned how amazing it is that books like that are for sale. He shrugged and explained that as a Buddhist, he didn't personally own very much stuff. "I guess it's kind of ironic that I work with rare books." he said.

I didn't buy the book, although it's an interesting idea. If it was easy to resell, it might be much easier to just buy books like that if I want to look at them. I know that libraries have rare books available for examination, but they seem to get nervous if you don't have an obvious reason for looking at stuff. And, obviously you can't check them out.

brampitoyo's picture

Dan: freaking amazing idea! Never tried collaborating music online, but it should be quite an experience. Will you post an audition call (if you don’t mind, have time)? Speaking of lyrics, all I have now is various geeky one-liners and song titles, like:

  • Baby, kern me closer to you
  • (Yves) Peters, give me one more chance
  • The Futura Is Now

Awfully bad, aren’t they ;-)? And I have one sort of lyric, but am too embarrased to post it publicly.

Carl: Not personally, but have heard about them/seen their stuff more than once. I know the good guys at Pinball Publishing somewhat better.

I heard that there is an organization that held letterpress classes in Portland as well. I checked it out about a year ago but never got around to participate.

Hmm, I never know that Powell’s had Institutiones grammaticae. Haven’t been much in the Pearl room. I have to check it out sometime.

About having the TypeCon in Portland: definitely! We have more than enough graphic designers that are curious about type. Seen them all over at the last Helvetica screening (including some familiar faces.) Did you have a chance to watch?

And would you be interested in joining the type club, if this thing ever takes of?

Zara: I tried emailing my only contact at PSU, Lis, but haven’t got a word back. Know any direct way to contact Mr. Kippenhan? Maybe his email? The guys at P22 might have it, but I’m not sure.

brampitoyo's picture

Another bit of good news, Oblation Papers and Press will soon offer letterpress, papermaking and book arts workshop.

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