Thessaloniki 2007

Posted on 23 June 2007 in:

Bank Gothic Thessaloniki 03.jpg

For the past five days, I’ve been in Thessaloniki for the 3rd International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication at the University of Macedonia. This has been a fun event; however, the heat makes everything taking place outside of the air conditioned lecture halls or hotel rooms a swealtering undertaking. Still, I’ll miss Greece once I leave tomorrow—this was my first time here.

Earlier this afternoon I gave a short presentation entitled Bend it like Benton: A swan song for Bank Gothic. This recounted my process of designing Morris Sans, and was slightly related to another talk I gave in Berlin in May.

Because of the heat, my quest to make plentiful photographs the conference and the surrounding city have come to naught. But Dan Rhatigan has been more diligent—view his images here. There is also the requisite conference Flickr group.

This was the abstract for my lecture (not sure if this was printed anywhere, or if I even covered all of the points in it ;-) ):

Love to hate, or hate to love it—the digital era made the Bank Gothic typeface ubiquitous. What began during the Great Depression as an engraver’s alphabet for small print exploded into a phenomenon that would spin off numerous variations. So why did Linotype choose to revive it in the 21st century? Morris Sans, the resulting effort, may just be another example of design by committee; or, it could represent the first advancement to meet this classic design since the advent of scalable type. Regardless, Dan Reynolds is pleased to present Linotype’s Morris Sans and explain the story behind it—how its beginning was inspired by marketing instead of aesthetic reasons, why it did not end up as just another squared-off addition to the Eurostile family, and whether or not it will ever receive a Greek extension.

I haven’t found too much blog coverage about the conference yet, but this post buy Gary Hustwit on his Helvetica film blog is worth every second –