TypeCon2011 Recap #2

Mornin y'all! I've got a lot to cover so I'm just gonna jump right into my recap of the last 2 days at TypeCon2011. I'll start off by saying that New Orleans is proving to be as colorful and warm as I had imagined. It's hard to stay focused when everywhere you walk is a rainbow of characters, costumes, and signage. And yes, it is quite humid here, but the warmth I'm responding to comes from the locals. Everyone waves, greets you with a smile, and offers you a cold drink ("to go"). I think I may actually move here.

Those of us lucky enough to arrive on Wednesday were greeted with a presentation by the delightfully foul-mouthed and fabulously talented Jessica Hische (former employee of Louise Fili, featured in UPPERCASE Issue #9). If you're like me, it's hard to look at Jessica's work without your stomach hurting from jealousy and your eyes burning from awe. And yet she is so humble, down-to-earth, and warm. Being a designer-turned-illustrator, she made a point that we need to "advocate the specializers," whether they be letterers, font designers, web developers, etc.

Thursday began with a full-day workshop at Loyola University with the crazy awesome Friends of Type fellas, Aaron Carámbula and Erik Marinovich. If you've never seen their work, then stop what you're doing right now and check out their site...your mind will be blown. With the help of Aaron and Erik, we sketched and refined a word or phrase (looooots of tracing paper), and then scanned in the drawings and digitized the work. Aaron and Erik were extremely patient with all of our questions AND super generous with their knowledge, sharing their process, nifty tricks, and shortcuts...the kind of thing a friend would do. If you're interested in seeing the final results, check the FOT site next week!

(Workshop photos provided by attendees JonSelikoff and Molly McLeod)

As if Thursday could get any better, that evening THE
Ed Benguiat was the keynote speaker. If you met him you wouldn't think he had designed or refined the major typefaces we use today, but rather you'd think he was the charmingly cheeky and eccentric uncle of a friend (which he actually may be), proclaiming "Screw readable! Type should be beautiful!" To say he owned the audience would be an understatement...we were hanging on his every word and wink.