Wednesday, August 1st
Thursday, August 2nd
Friday, August 3rd
Saturday, August 4th
Sunday, August 5th

This information is subject to change.

Wednesday, August 1st

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

View the workshop schedule for details.

Thursday, August 2nd

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

View the workshop schedule for details.

9:00 am – 5:30 pm

Type & Design Education Forum

View the forum schedule for details.

10:00 am

Urban Lettering Walk with Paul Shaw

View the special events schedule for details.

7:00 pm

Gemma O’Brien

Presentation & Reception

Presented by Type Directors Club

8:30 pm

Electric Letterland: A Walking Tour of Downtown Portland’s Historic Neon Signs

View the special events schedule for details.

Friday, August 3rd

9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:30 am

Opening Remarks
State of the Union

9:50 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:50 am

Lila Symons

#FontsMadebyWomen: A Look Into the Typefaces Created and Developed by Women at Hallmark

Several years ago, a graphic designer decided to make a radical change and leave New York City to design fonts for a well-known Midwestern greeting card company.

Much to her surprise, she discovered that a majority of the fonts she was developing were based off of lettering created by female illustrators, designers, and lettering artists.

Join Font Designer Lila Symons for an engaging and informative introduction to the numerous women with whom she has collaborated with over the years at Hallmark Cards.

She will share “what it’s like” to be a female in-house typeface designer and how working alongside pre-eminent female artists and makers has resulted in the production of many new fonts for Hallmark’s proprietary type library. Learn how these collaborations have inspired her own lettering and font work both as a developer and lettering source.

10:10 am

Gloria Kondrup

FEMINAE: Typographic Voices of Women, by Women

“… The legal subordination of one sex to another — is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a system of perfect equality, admitting no power and privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.”

— On the Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill, 1869

FEMINAE: Typographic Voices of Women, by Women is an exhibition, and soon to be published catalogue, of political posters from the archives of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. The works, created over the past 50 years, examine issues such as feminism, choice, gender equality, war, immigration, and violence against women. Artists include Barbara Kruger, Sister Corita Kent, the Guerilla Girls, and others from the US, Mexico, Europe and Australia. Language is a sustainable, cultural artifact, and typographic voice has long held historical importance. The words we use are significant to defining ourselves, impacting how issues are conveyed. Typography empowers communication whether as hand-painted signs, silk-screened messages, or letterpress printed words. FEMINAE presents a visual history of critical social issues.

10:30 am

Randall Ann Homan & Al Barna

Neon: Letters from the Night Sky

Six neon donuts fall out of the sky, a flashing letter inside each one spells out D-O-N-U-T-S. The final donut splashes into a neon cup of coffee; the sky goes black and the donuts start to fall again. When letterforms are illuminated in a vintage neon sign, the visual allure is irresistible. Take a journey with us to examine some of the most fascinating neon sign survivors and lost icons in the Western states. The evolution from advertising to art is on full display in these handcrafted beacons of light and imagination. We use historic photos and cinematic clips to trace the trajectory of neon’s reputation from glamorous to hideous, from disposable to precious. A typographical feast for the eye, these signs burn bright and beautiful in an alchemical synthesis of glass, gas, and electricity.

10:50 am

Glenn Fleishman

London’s Hidden Typographic Archives

London has a long connection with printing and as a hub connecting the spokes of type design and production. Two remarkable archives remain: the St Bride Printing Library and The Type Archive. Underfunded, open limited hours, and little known outside type circles, these two collections offer insight into five centuries of printing.

The St Bride Foundation Institute was founded in the 1890s as a trade printing school, and its formative library included a 2,000-volume set purchased intact—including the furniture—from a recently passed printer and scholar, Williams Blades. The building sits in Fleet Street, the one-time heart of English printing. While the school decamped in 1922, the library abides, and has tens of thousands of unique or rare volumes, as well as remarkable artifacts, such as Pouchée stereotypes. In 2010, it opened a letterpress shop for teaching.

The Type Archive acquired in the 1990s the remnants of British typefounding across all major branches: metal, wood, and Monotype. It also houses the large collection of type designer Berthold Wolpe’s papers, and continues to produce new metal matrices for Monotype casters worldwide.

Glenn offers a quick visual tour of both collections from a visit in fall 2017, narrating a history of type production in England, and describes the worry among type designers, letterpress printers, and historians there about the accessibility and future of both institutions.

11:10 am

Coffee Break

Compliments of Frere-Jones Type

11:40 am

Louise Fili

Keynote Presentation

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

2:20 pm

Bill Moran & Jim Moran

Renaissance Wood Type & The Grammar of Ornament

The wood type cutters of Renaissance Printing were a crafty bunch. Working in a space typically smaller than 1 inch square, they produced sublime works of typographic art for books produced in the wake of Gutenberg’s moveable type. And, oh yeah, they did it backwards in relief. This presentation will showcase this extremely rare collection of ornamental type cut in wood by engravers throughout Europe between 1470 and 1700.

These printed capitals, donated to the University of Minnesota by the head librarian of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, Claus Maywald, represent one of the largest extent collections of ornamental capitals known to exist. Bill Moran, artistic director at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum is documenting and classifying these letters with the help of experts from around the globe.

Printed as part of books published in Latin, these letterforms contain historical figures, mythical beasts, biblical scenes and demonic characters seldom seen outside of rare book libraries. We’ll take a tour of flourished and floriated types, Arabesques and antiquated scenes, all in the span of characters that are smaller than a postage stamp. As part of its mission to preserve the art of letterpress, Hamilton Wood Type is cutting new wood type from these historical models. Bill Moran of Hamilton wood type will be printing with them during Typecon.

2:40 pm

Amy Redmond

Hello My Name Is… Most Likely Not Futura (A Letterpress Adventure in Metal Type Identification)

The Panama Papers made waves as “Font Gate” in mainstream media last year, illuminating how forensic typography can authenticate documents in the digital age. But for letterpress printers working with analog type collections, an entirely different set of forensic techniques are needed to identify imposters.

In this reverent tale of an apprentice continuing the work of her mentors, Amy Redmond shares how a routine inventory review of Stern & Faye Printer’s metal house face, Futura, uncovered questions about its accuracy. Learn the techniques she used to unearth the true identities of its family members, and why she felt compelled to embark on an adventure in conscientious type stewardship.

Connecting the dots between Portland and Seattle’s living letterpress history, Amy shows how each generation bears the responsibility of custodianship and shares how amateur type-sleuths can help ensure these treasured collections get passed forward with their ancestry intact.

3:00 pm

Nancy Bernardo

Typographic + Printing Renegades

Many of the graphic design movements that came after the Industrial Revolution criticized the way type was used in letterhead, business cards, posters, advertising etc. during the early part of the 20th century. The criticism stemmed from the fact that printers were not designers and didn’t know how to properly use type. Some type foundries were criticized for creating “monster fonts”; highly stylized typefaces that, for example, resembled architectural details of the time. To add to the “fussiness” of these designs were ornamental borders and motifs that were scoffed at for being over the top. These over the top designs were typically created by the printer and client, not a graphic designer.

This presentation will explore the role of the early 20th century printer as designer, punchcutters such as Herman Ihlenberg, and how these early renegades have influenced the type and design landscape of today.

3:20 pm

Kathy Fry

Social Impact and Type in the Built Environment

What role does type play in the built environment? To direct and inform, of course, but can it also foster an emotional connection and communicate universal values? Carved in stone, cut from steel, frosted on glass, or fabricated in acrylic, the permanence of material brings with it a responsibility. What will stand the test of time in form and material?

Type has the power to engage, delight and serve those who inhabit public spaces. We’ll look at local Northwest examples, including libraries, bridges, and social services facilities where type makes a meaningful social impact. We will study how the use of scale, placement, color, message, and materials seek a universal connection between people and place.

3:40 pm

Coffee Break

Compliments of Adobe Typekit

4:10 pm

Kris Sowersby

Ten Thousand Original Copies

European concepts of originality and authorship form our current understanding of typeface design. Typographic history is written as a series of “originals” created by “authors” in a discrete sequence. But can “copies” be equally as important?

For example, we know Claude Garamont well because of the relentless copying of his fonts, collectively named “Garamond”. If we accept that copies keep the original alive, perhaps we can see type design through another lens.

“The Chinese idea of the original is determined not by a unique act of creation, but by unending process, not by definitive identity but by constant change.” — “Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese”. Byung-Chul Han, 2017

What if we considered Garamond not as an instance of individual creation, but as a way of shaping letters to be continually practiced and updated as necessary? If we accept that his fonts don’t exist as an isolated genius but as a single point on a continuum, we might re-frame contemporary practice and consider that “originals” are only as important as their revivals, remixes and copies.

4:30 pm

Aaron Bell, Jess McCarty & Erin McLaughlin

Titles in Translation

Film title typography plays a huge role in the identity of a film. It portrays the mood, sets the scene, and helps the film stand out in a sea of face-filled movie posters. But when a film is released into an international market, while its dialogue is dubbed or subtitled into another language, very often the film’s title typography is “Lost in Translation”.

Why have many attempts at cross-script title design failed? Which approaches can be considered successful? Just how hard is it to translate a title design concept into multiple scripts?

Sit back, bring your popcorn, and enjoy the story of 3 type designers, each specializing in a different script, who embarked on a weekly challenge to translate iconic film title designs from around the globe.

4:50 pm

Craig Welsh

Industrial Chimney Lettering

Brand identities in the industrial age were often communicated through the use of vertically-stacked masonry chimney lettering.

Several years of research have provided access to source materials from the leading chimney construction company of the period — Alphons Custodis. The company remains active and we have forged a relationship that fuels ongoing research via materials from the company’s archives.

We have amassed a collection of several hundred photographs of industrial chimney lettering and ornamenting/patterning. Additionally, we have roughly two dozen archival engineering drawings which provide exact specifications for the masonry construction and lettering styles — ranging in size from 7- to 21-course designs; a ‘course’ is a single row of bricks.

In our presentation we will:

01) Review the historic aspects of the materials, size/scale, and lettering styles of chimney lettering — using archival engineering drawings, photos, etc.;

02) Share how a digital version of industrial chimney lettering has been optically adjusted to consider the proportions of the ‘face’ (outer surface) of the bricks and mortar thickness (joints between bricks).

5:10 pm

Catalyst Award Presentation

The Society of Typographic Aficionados will bestow Frida Medrano with the 2018 SOTA Catalyst Award, followed by her presentation.

5:30 pm

Jessica Hische

Special Presentation

Jessica is extremely excited to premiere the animated trailer for her upcoming children’s book, Tomorrow I’ll be Brave — a collaboration with the Portland based animation studio Oddfellows. Together, they’ll present a brief present a brief overview of the creation process and then show the finished piece for the very first time.

5:30 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

6:30 pm

The SOTA Spacebar

Sponsored by Adobe Typekit
View the special events schedule for details.

Saturday, August 4th

9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:30 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:30 am

Paul D. Hunt

Language, Culture, Emoji

Day or night. Good or bad. White or black. Male or female. Fact or fiction. Text or imagery. For better and for worse, our dominant Western philosophical tradition is largely based on dualistic logic. With the recent advent of emoji, our collective, discerning consciousness has struggled to categorize it. Is it language? Are they pictograms? How and when are they suitable for communication? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The intended purpose of both language and emoji usage is to promote better understanding between correspondents. Traditional, binary logic reinforces the perception that language and emoji are antithetical to each other. A more holistic view focuses on how language and emoji are similar and successfully supplement one another to promote the goal of comprehension.

The evolution of writing, from hieroglyphics to our modern text+emoji hybrid system, reveals how linguistic and visual metaphors that have developed to help humans conceive, create, and comprehend the connections between the natural world and the realm of symbolic thought. These connections become more self-evident when we adopt a non-binary view of language and emoji imagery. :^D

9:50 am

Mary Catherine Pflug

Results of the 2018 Font Purchasing Habits Survey

It’s back and better than ever! The third annual Font Purchasing Habits Survey explores font customer behavior and their reception to a variety of font marketing tactics. The survey has been expanded and improved, building on the results of the previous two years. The first public reveal of the data will be at TypeCon 2018 — join me to learn more about what type customers and users really want!

10:10 am

Jean François Porchez

The Visible Invisibility of Words

Why is typography a vital asset for business communication? Visual identity is built from the colors and typefaces that make up the most fundamental expression of a brand, yet the design of typefaces must remain invisible for the convenience of the reader. How does the typeface designer reconcile such inherent contradictions, while also meeting the needs of their clients? Jean François Porchez will deliver a talk about his experiences and nuggets of typographic wisdom in designing custom typefaces for some of the world’s most recognizable brands: Le Monde, the Paris Metro, Louis Vuitton, Galleries Lafayette, Sephora, YSL Beauté, The Boston Consulting Group and Nespresso — as well recent typefaces published by Typofonderie.

10:30 am

Travis Kochel & Lizy Gershenzon

It’s Okay to Make Mitsakes

Perfection is a great thing to strive for, but it can prevent growth. It encourages us to stay within the bounds of what we can do well, and discourages taking risks. What are we really scared of, and how does it hold us back? What can we gain from making mistakes?

This look at risk taking and mistakes will be framed around the typeface design process, and what we’ve learned from creating Future Fonts. It will include a new twist on an age-old question, “Do we really need more fonts… that are half-finished and probably have mistakes?” We can’t promise answers, but we sure will have fun with the analysis.

10:50 am

Qiu Yin & Ming Wei

Status Quo of the Font Industry in China

Chinese characters, with complex structures and time-honored aesthetic features, requires font designers to have years of training. The huge number of different Chinese characters has also long been a great obstacle to designers. For these two reasons, few people have been brave enough to delve into the design of Chinese fonts. As computer comes to our aid, the huge quantity of characters is no longer a problem and the creative industry in China has welcomed its historic opportunity. Thus, Chinese font design has thrived and embarked on a separate journey away from the path followed by Western peers. This is a point call for our attention.

11:10 am

Coffee Break

Compliments of MyFonts

11:40 am

Nina Stössinger

Keynote Presentation

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

2:20 pm

Sergio Trujillo

Heavy Metal Type

The graphic imagery featured on the cover of heavy metal albums (specifically in regards of letterform design) couldn’t be further from the principles and conventions that typographers and type designers abide by. Characters are bent, twisted, combined, and get more and more distorted the heavier the music gets. As a consequence, precepts as balance, rhythm, and legibility are discarded in service of originality and graphic impact.

This talk will serve as a historical and graphical tour throughout the enormous creative playground that heavy metal has allowed for. Beginning with the precursors of this music genre (whose artwork was influenced by the psychedelic movement of the 60’s), going through the bands that popularized it (with logotypes that are inspired by or directly taken from gothic calligraphic models), and finishing with the metalheads that are taking both the music and the imagery that accompanies it to the extreme (showcasing the work of graphic artist Christophe Szpajdel).

In spite of the graphic differences between traditional typeface design (or even lettering) and heavy metal logo design, the advent of a new font format might have brought this two worlds closer together. Perhaps variable fonts could serve as the entry gate to the gothic underworld of heavy metal type, with design proposals that change and react to the music itself, providing a plethora of hauntingly beautiful possibilities.

2:40 pm

Underware

Hoitech

The major challenge of type design in the 20th century was how straight lines could become curves. With fonts becoming variable, the same problem just arose again. Only this time it’s not about the outlines, but about the interpolations, creating those outlines.

While most type designers are working with interpolation based design-spaces to design large families or even Variable Fonts, there still seems to be a limited conception of the possible meaning of this ‘design model’. There is for example the strange contradiction that while type designers know exactly that stretching form is a bad idea, they are accepting that linear interpolating manually designed masters is exactly doing that for all the weights in-between. No matter if this interpolation is used for generating static fonts, or within a Variable Font. And while un-wanted results could be fixed manually afterwards for static fonts, there is no afterwards in the realm of Variable Font.

Despite the potential risk of getting intimidated by advanced technology, the real problem may not lie so much in the technology itself, but in the way we use it to define and create our ideas. Instead of thinking through technology, we could also reverse this process and make the technology think for us.

So what is a design space actually really about?
And what if there is no space at all?

3:00 pm

Lynne Yun

Reviving a Calligraphy Hand

When I found a beautiful antique manuscript written in gothic cursive from the 1600s, I was instantly enamored. Before long, I set out to teach myself how to write it. The process starts from analyzing the historical documents, standardizing the forms, modernizing them, then practicing until the letters flow from the hand on to the paper. The process can be similar to reviving an old typeface, but there are additional aspects to consider since calligraphy is composed of physically written forms. How we can adapt the historical letterforms to the modern calligraphy tools available to us? We also need to consider the work in context. Were the scribes fine-tuning their writing to be smaller to save costs on precious parchment? In our present day when paper costs are much less, would we adjust the letterforms for writing at larger sizes? Although the many questions may seem daunting at first, there is a method to this madness of training your hand and eye. And with some hard work, dedication and a lot of practice, eventually a new calligraphic hand can come within reach.

3:20 pm

Cassie Hester

Practice Makes (Im)Perfect

In risk-averse contexts such as professional graphic design practice, final outcomes are often evaluated far more than the processes that informed them. Although final artifacts can be criticized as successes or failures via a variety of criteria, applying these same terms to developments in the creative process is a mistake. ‘Failures’ are simply iterations that deviate from predetermined expectations; all steps in the process are valuable and inform the outcome. Developing the ability to recognize the potential inherent in the unexpected and appreciate the role of chance in the design process is critical to creative growth. ‘Playful’ investigations— that are more concerned with processes than outcomes—are essential in challenging perceptions about the role of failure in the development of design solutions. Methods for facilitating chance and engaging the play instinct include, but are not limited to, adopting limitations and constraints, creating and modifying tools, synthesizing both new and ‘dead’ technologies, and engaging in collaborative exercises. Guided by the psychologies of flow and play, Practice Makes (Im)Perfect is a focused collection of exploratory methodologies for generating happy—and somewhat intentional—accidents.

3:40 pm

Coffee Break

Compliments of Typostrophe

4:10 pm

Karel Haloun

Once Upon a Time in the Hop Garden

In the eighties, in times of the totalitarian Communist regime was the club Na Chmelnici (Hop Garden) a one of the few islands of freedom on the outskirts of Prague in Czechoslovakia. The aim of the presentation is to show posters, music covers and other typographic creations for this music and cultural club. Work in this period explain the context and show that even during times of an oppressive totalitarian regime, high quality works were being done outside of the mainstream. But also to show that it wasn’t as easy as it may seem now in hindsight. You could probably call the presentation an adventurous tale of a journey to maintaining artistic freedom in unfavourable times. That might come in handy in the not-so-distant future

4:30 pm

Irina Koryagina

Typography in Exhibition Design: Designing, Typesetting, and Producing Type for Museums

When it comes to exhibition design in North America — especially in the fields of science, history, and culture — there’s usually a lot of text involved. Printed, stuck on or, if you’re fancy, silkscreened. On title walls, on side walls, on artifact labels. Key to exhibit narrative, it needs to be visible, engaging, and clear. It needs to work hard, but also look good.

I knew little about this entering the industry as a graphic designer and typographer a few years ago. I didn’t realize you might not have much else to show beyond the text, or to use beyond vinyl; and curator working with you might be more experienced in writing for text books than for attention span of a vacationer walking by.

How is designing, typesetting, and making typography for exhibitions different from working on screens or paper? Does a good artifact label bring you any closer to beautifully designed experience? Why sometimes your text is too big? And how to balance between legibility and accessibility and designer cool?

4:50 pm

Zachary Scheuren

Writing Systems of the World: What the ▯▯▯▯ is going on?

There are hundreds of writing systems in the world, some no longer in use, some in use by small groups, and some (like the words you are reading now) in use by larger groups. Many writing systems have been encoded in various ways for use in computing, but encoding is just the first part of the process. Without fonts and proper support in applications a writing system might not be usable at all. The current state of technology allows us to do so many amazing things yet many writing systems are not adequately implemented for use in computing. How can it be that some scripts are so difficult to use? What is standing in the way? Why are shaping engines so complicated? (They aren’t). Why is dealing with text encodings so hard? (It shouldn’t be). Why are there little to no fonts for some writing systems? What can we do to move forward?

This presentation will provide an overview of world scripts and the common problems that keep some scripts from being used. We will then look at what needs to be done to remedy this and how everyone can help.

5:10 pm

Matthew Wyne

Letters and Liquor: a Typographic History of Cocktails

If your cocktail were a typeface, what would it be?

For the past three years I have traveled the world in search of cocktail ephemera to learn how we represented our drinking in typographic form. From the tavern signs of the American colonies to the Pinterest-influenced menus of today’s contemporary Speakeasies, I have compiled an extensive collection of liquor-related lettering that is every bit as bewitching as the potions it advertises.

This exercise was born from my desire to create work for the spirits category that has historical integrity, but it has also given me incredible insight into typographic development because the lens I’ve chosen for my study is so specific.

Join me for a salubrious survey of type as seen from the barrooms and bottles of our 300 year love affair with cocktails. Refreshments, sadly, will be limited to the visual realm.

5:30 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

8:30 pm

SOTA’s Night of Type

Sponsored by MyFonts
View the special events schedule for details.

Sunday, August 5th

9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:00 am

Urban Lettering Walk with Paul Shaw

View the special events schedule for details.

9:30 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:30 am

Jess McCarty

Stop Being an Internet A**hole: Radical Ideas for Winning Customers and Making Money in a Crowded Marketplace

What if I told you there was a simple way to dramatically increase your bottom line and market reach, all without spending a penny on advertising, marketing or gimmicks? That an online army of font piracy watchdogs was waiting, right now, ready to pay YOU for the privilege of tracking down infringement? That you could quickly and clearly set yourself apart from a growing number of competitors?

Good customer service can do all these things and more, yet few foundries are effectively practicing this essential business skill set.

This talk will explain exactly what the most successful techniques “look” like in theory and practice, detail how you can adopt a similar approach and provide specific resources for typographic prosperity. You’ll learn about crucial & surprising ways to build brand loyalty. Most importantly, you’ll leave with a profound understanding of how just a few simple actions can transform both your business AND our industry as a whole.

9:50 am

Aoife Mooney

Textura: The Woven Word

The word ‘textura’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘texere’, meaning ‘to weave’. The texture of a paragraph is carefully built by a considerate typeface designer by the elements and relationships of the positive forms and negative counterforms and spaces, both horizontally and vertically, which sit in a delicate and intricate system of interdependent parts, repeating and reconfiguring to express a texture: a typographic color. The weaving process creates a fabric of a woven ‘ground’ in a manner that resembles this structure. The warp sits as a vertical grid, through which the weft travels back and forth from side to side between layers of the warp. This paper presents the results of a semester spent learning to weave while considering the functional and semantic value of texture in a reading experience. I will show examples of a typeface I developed as a response to this experience and how I translated elements of this typeface into a piece of woven communication. In particular, I will engage with the work and writings of Anni Albers, with respect to the creation of symbolic pattern languages through weaving, and relate these to the symbolic pattern language of typography. I will reflect on the contrasts and affordances of each drawing process as necessitated by the medium, positing the practice of typeface design as a form of speculative design and reflecting on weaving as embodied experience.

10:10 am

Dave Crossland

Font Bakery

Quality assurance of fonts is a constant requirement for font publishers, foundries and type designers. Every foundry has their own set of tools to ensure that the fonts they publish are in a good condition. Font Bakery is a new checking tool that comes with checks for OpenType, UFO, Glyphs and TFont files, at 3 levels: Format specifications, distributor requirements, and custom checks. The project was initiated by Dave Crossland in 2013 to accelerate the onboarding process for Google Fonts. In 2017 Lasse Fister rewrote it into a modern, modular architecture with a web dashboard suitable for both individuals and large distributors. It now has an active community of contributors from foundries around the world. This talk introduces Font Bakery, unpacks the opportunity for designers and foundries to collaborate on font quality assurance, and demonstrates how it improves font production and publishing workflows.

10:30 am

Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer

Yes, but can Variable Fonts do this?

Variable Fonts are the latest craze. But can you have fun with them too? You bet. Let Rainer take you on a quick tour through the fun side of OpenType Variations. Like in his infamous Denver presentation about OpenType features, there will be no prepared slides, all typing will be done live.

10:50 am

Meaghan Dee

Typography for Immersive, Mixed, and Virtual Environments

During this presentation, I will showcase three projects that demonstrate how typography can be integrated across immersive, mixed, and virtual environments.

The first piece is Shakespeare’s Garden: An Immersive Sound Stroll Through his Sonnets, Soliloquies, and Scenes, in which a team of designers and performing artists created a typographic experience that reimagines traditional theater, utilizing spatial audio and flexible video projection. A typographer created a series of motion graphics, designed to work together in an installation alongside audio recordings (utilizing both spatial and locational audio). Each piece uses the text from selected Shakespearean works to create engaging visuals, which are projected onto a series of hanging scrims. During performances, audience members follow a meandering path through the installation, actively engaged in their own exploration of Shakespeare’s garden. The aim of this project is to explore ways of bridging the physical and digital domains for both art and design.

The second work is the visual interface design for the FutureHAUS, a prototype for an integrated smart home, in which designers developed visual displays for screens, wearables, mirrors, and other interactive objects. This project explores how text and icons can work across platforms (from an Apple watch to an interactive mirror) and also how to carry elements of that into mixed reality demonstrations.

The final example is a virtual reality piece on the poem Forgetfulness, by Denise Duhamel, in which users can walk through the larger-than-life text, which is displayed in the form of a giant möbius strip. The subject of the poem is Alzheimer’s disease and is meant to be nonlinear, which is enhanced by playing across an infinity loop, in which visitors can wander to any point in the text that interests them. Up to four people can enter this virtual reality system at once, and users are tracked across the space using empaticas, and are represented in the VR world by a subtle colorful trail. Over time, this tracking allows us to see how people engage with the text and reveals that magic that can happen between people interacting in the space together.

11:10 am

Radek Sidun

The Next Big Thing in Type?

The Type Design and Typography studio at the UMPRUM Academy in Prague will present the results of the semestral research of variable fonts, which took place in the 2017 Winter semester. The research had several aims. The primary aim was to become acquainted with innovation in detail and to verify how far the proclaimed variability can reach. The secondary aim was to find out how students would utilize technical possibilities to realize their ideas of shape mutations of typeface families. What would be however mostly interesting was whether students could impart an easily recognizable and utilizable character and “content” to such works. Twelve new variable typefaces will be presented by studio tutor Radek Sidun.

11:30 am

Coffee Break

12:00 pm

Lauren Hom

Keynote Presentation

12:50 pm

Closing Remarks

1:00 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

2:00 pm

Type Crit

View the special events schedule for details.

7:00 pm

TypeCon × Tillamook × Tacos

View the special events schedule for details.