I’m going to be in SF (to give a talk at CCSF) from May 1 to 3. Tell me what to do. hhp
What’s your talk on?
“Nature & Nurture in Typeface Design” What it takes to be a type designer. It’s basically intended to help people decide if it’s something they should jump into or not; what to expect in the nether regions of the craft. hhp
Here’s what NOT to do: go to William Stout Architectural Books at 804 Montgomery St. Last time I was there, I got Alan Bartram’s Five hundred years of book design, Peter Burnhill’s Type Spaces, two of Keith Smith’s binding books, and a huge whack of other stuﬀ. They also have copies of the full-sized edition of the translation of Hypnerotomachia Poliphilia that has to be seen to be believed. That place has been horrendous for my credit card. It’s the best bookstore I’ve found for new design and architecture titles (although their selection of stuﬀ on Daniel Libeskind is strangely deﬁcient, given how much work he’s done in SF). Gang of Four is playing the Fillmore the evening of the 2nd. If that’s the night of your talk, you could go to the show afterwards! It’s gonna be hot! Also, you should get some sushi. I suggest Takara in Japantown (with a stop at Kinokuniya to ﬂip through the copies of Idea and Relax) or Ryoko’s in the Tenderloin. Not as trendy as some of the other places people mention (Blowﬁsh, Ebisu) but amazing ﬁsh. And you should check out some of San Francisco’s bizarre little parks. My favorites are the south peak of Twin Peaks (i.e. not the one where all the tour buses go) and Golden Gate Heights. Really, I could do this all day. What are you looking to do?
Sushi wise, I’m partial to Akiko’s on Bush St., Ariake on Geary Blvd., and Murasaki on Clement St. (in the Inner Richmond district), but then Murasaki is my preferred neighborhood sushi place, being just down the street from my apartment. I suggest a San Francisco Typophile Dinner take place, maybe after your talk, or just during your visit. Who’s game? I’ll throw out a potential dining place to start things oﬀ: Korean Village Restaurant on Geary Blvd. in the Inner Richmond. Great Korean food, which I selﬁshly admit I can’t get enough of right now.
Actually, I meant tell me what to do with you guys. But thanks for the recommendations too. — Forrest, thanks for the warning. I actually tried but failed to make my way to Stout on my last two trips to SF… Right now I’m saving my money for this: http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/72/68851.html > sushi I thought all the sushi joints were converted to Dennys after the internet implosion… ;-) Seriously, I’m so up for sushi, any time. Dan, if you guys plan something, I’m there. I’ll be coming in Sunday afternoon, my talk is Monday at 6:30pm, and I’ll be heading back before noon on Tuesday. hhp
As a design student/aspiring type designer in NYC, I am very interested in the topic of your talk, although unfortunately I cannot attend that or your summer class at Art Center. It would be wonderful if you could post the text or an outline afterwards. Some questions I have are: How important are traditional drawing skills? Would you suggest putting in lots of time tracing, hand-lettering, and learning calligraphy? How much do you need to learn about all the other typefaces out there, and the nuances of optical adjustments, etc. before you create your own? Just do it? What if you end up with something derivative? What technical knowledge is needed? Should we all become Python programmers? How do you make a living? Designing type on the side while working another job, or working for a foundry? It seems as if there is a continuum of type design: one end deals with technical computer stuﬀ like coding for OpenType and the other is more traditional and craft-oriented, like creating beautiful hand-lettering. And then there is the curatorial side
Good questions! I’ll try to answer them after the talk — I’ll have improved my own outlook as a result too. Thanks for the interest. hhp