ATypI write-up on ILT

I was very lucky at this year’s ATypI conference. All of the awesome A-list type bloggers were not in attendance. This means, unfortunately, that the typo-blogosphere is bereft of helpful insight from Stephen Coles, Florian Hardwig, Jan Middendorp, or Jürgen Siebert. Yves Peters did write an article for the FontFeed. Although he was not there himself, his writing is convincing enough that I thought he must have been in Reykjavík for at least part of the conference. The absence of the A-squad did lead to quite a silver lining for me, however. I could totally make my own write-up about the conference, with much less competition for readers.

Anyway, my article is up over at I Love Typography. I was super stoked that John Boardley asked me to write it. All of the photos are from Frank Grießhammer; thank you again, Frank, for letting me use them!

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ATypI 2010, Dublin (Part Three)

Top of the Irish Proclamation
One of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, currently on display at the National Print Museum, Dublin. Photo by Kunihiko Okano (Shotype).

This is part three of a four-part recap of the 2010 ATypI conference in Dublin. Follow these links for part one, and part two. Writing my third installment feels different from the first two; it has been almost a month since the event took place, and I have had a long vacation in the interlude.

Like most design conferences, the content at this year’s ATypI had several threads running through it. There were loosely-grouped talks about legibility, web fonts, collaboration in design, and the Arabic script. But two umbrella themes stick out in my memory: I’ll call these “the heavy hitters” and “the Irish track.”

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ATypI 2010, Dublin (Part Two)

PreFace photo from Atilla Korap
Designers in Track A of the PreFace listen to Steve Lee’s presentation, “Development of a web font service—lessons learned.” Photo by Atilla Korap.

This is the second part in an article series of indeterminate length about the 2010 ATypI conference. Interested in reading part one? Today’s post includes a few thoughts about the PreFace and the opening night of the main conference.

1. TypeTech vs. PreFace
Many recent ATypI conferences have been preceded by a two-day series of technical talks, workshops about various aspects of font production, and font creation software demos. These used to be called TypeTech Forums. The only TypeTech Forum that I atteneded in its entirety was in 2004, although I was able to hear some forum sessions in 2005, 2006, and 2007. This year, the TypeTech Forum was renamed the PreFace, and the focus was broadened to encompass more than just font production-related topics. Webfont distribution strategies were presented, for instance, as were talks on legibility. There was also a calligraphy workshop led by Santosh Kshirsagar. I am not sure of the ATypI’s figures, but I have the impression that this year’s PreFace was better attended than any of the TypeTech Forums. Florian Hardwig suggested to me over lunch that this might have to do with the name of the event. Without the word “tech” in the title, potential attendees are less likely to be scared off. It sounds a lot less nerdy. On the other hand, there seems to be less differentiation now between this, and the content of the main conference.

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ATypI 2010, Dublin (Part One)

Paul Stiff
Paul Stiff, “Material texts: typography and reading in everyday life.” The first presentation to take place at the ATypI conference Dublin on Friday, September 10, 2010. Photo by Nina Stössinger.

Almost a week has past since this year’s ATypI conference ended. The Association Typographique International, founded in 1957, travels annually to meet in a different city. Right off the bat, I’ll state that—out of the six that I have attended—the 2010 event in Dublin was the best. Over the past week, I have scribbled down a lot of notes about what happened, things that I saw, and words that were said. Unfortunately, I took very few photographs. I will try to edit, compile, and break these notes down over the next several weeks, posting them here in reasonably sized articles.

I’m not sure what my exact timeframe will be. On Tuesday, I’ll be flying to Italy for a two-week vacation. This will be my first longer-than-four-day vacation in over four years. I am really looking forward to it, and have decided not to be online during that time. Also, after I return to Berlin, I think that I will be getting a dog. This will probably slow down my further publishing plans somewhat.

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Letter Drawings From Lisbon

Some type designers make beautiful drawings. Some of these make their beautiful drawings everywhere they go. Restaurants who have paper tablecloths or paper napkins are likely to inspire them, especially if they brought their pens with them. A beautiful series of letter drawings from the 2006 ATypI Conference’s Gala Dinner is on display at

TypoTechnica 2005, in London
See, designers do this sort of thing all the time.

The image above was taken after one of the dinners at Linotype’s TypoTechnica conference in London, 2005.

Free Font Manifesto Discussion

Rarely is there a time that I can manage to be articulate enough to carry on a sensible discussion when the topic of free fonts is brought up. Because of this, I am often quite relieved to read the contributions of others on this subject.

In response to Ellen Lupton’s Free Font Manifesto, presented at the 2006 ATypI Conference in Lisbon, Brook Elgie has crafted a well-worded response.

While you are on his site, among the other quality posts, don’t miss his response to “An Open Letter to John Warnock.”

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More ATypI ’06 Links

To the left Ben Kiel demystifies python scripts, why to write them, and how to use them. His slides seem to be designed with United, from House Industries, for whom he now works.

Since my first ATypI 2006 photo/link entry, which I posted while I still in Lisbon, a number of newer goodies have shown up online that recount parts of the conference very well. For instance, there is the Russian-language blog, whose site I hadn’t seen before. They’ve posted images from several of the lectures held at this year’s ATypI conference. They clearly have better digital cameras than I do. Very few of my lecture photos came out well. But I don’t have to worry about that any more.

Below is my second round of ATypI Lisbon links…

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Photos from ATypI Lisbon

The ATypI President at the 2006 conference in Lisbon.
Jean François Porchez, current president of the ATypI.

At the moment, I’m still at the 2006 ATypI conference is Lisbon. The city is beautiful, and the organized (and unorganized) events have been excellent. I’ve already managed to take several pictures and upload them to my flickr space. There is also an ATypI Lisbon 2006 group with more (and better) images.

Below are links to a few websites and resources that I noticed for the first time during this year’s conference…

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Reviewing e-a-t

To the chagrin of typographers the world over, museums have historically avoided mounting exhibitions devoted to type design. In recent years, however, this situation has begun to change, and the traveling e-a-t exhibition (Experiment and Typography) is a step in the right direction. e-a-t, which I viewed at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague during the 2004 ATypI conference, is a retrospective of Czech and Slovak type design from roughly 1984 through 2004.

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