A recap of the day from your friends at Proof&Co. — Day Two

After a second fantastic day of TypeCon, we’re just as energized to be a part of this community as ever. Some of the themes we picked up on from the day’s talks were focused around experiences of time and context, how type can continue to morph and evolve, and how everyone experiences type differently.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from the second day of the main program:

An Interactive Timeline of Typographic History

Perrin Stamatis

This talk is all about context, understanding, and appreciation for the way type arrives at our doorstep, and how it then reflects back into the zeitgeist. Perrin Stamatis updates us on the progress of an interactive timeline of typography history, which is destined to become one of the most invaluable resources in all of typography. What we sometimes lack when discussing and learning about fonts is context, mainly cultural and historical. Perrin’s interactive resource tool visualizes the arrow of time and allows you to overlay the events in type with events in other fields throughout history like art, design, or world events. This timeline attempts to inject the connotation of every font through time and allow us all to engage more completely with every font we encounter.

Supporting Struggling Readers to Read Through a Font

Reneé Seward
Frida Medrano
Oscar Fernández

Scientific research shows that connecting letters to their phonetic sounds is an effective tool to help children who are struggling to learn how to read improve their reading skills. SeeType is a variable font created for this very purpose, combining letters with graphic symbols that create the same sound when you identify the symbol. SeeType has already been deployed as a web browser extension and is already making a difference in children’s lives. If a reader is able to hover their cursor over a letter and watch it transform into an icon that provides a phonetic hint, no word is too difficult to read. When reading is hard to do, it’s no fun to read, so why not make it easy?

Analyzing Iranian Modern Poster Design Based on Islamic Manuscript

Mehrdad Sedaghat Baghbani
Setareh Ghoreishi

It’s always easy to think of type as a complete and useful thing, but what if we saw type not as a complete meal but as an ingredient for making new flavors? Baghbani and Ghoreishi dove deep into how type operates as a part of a whole in building cultural design languages and why it’s hard to apply those parts to different cultural design languages. This talk presented some incredibly beautiful examples of calligraphic designs that exemplify this ideology and inspired a little introspection on our own cultural typographic contexts.


Talya Perper
Dan Rhatigan

As much as we all believe we have the superpowers to avert a typocalypse, it just doesn’t come up that often. Enter Teen Titans Go!, the Cartoon Network show bold and innovative enough to engage their superhero team in an epic typographic battle. But the episode is so much more than one long comic sans riff, it deals with type snobbery, colonization, and ultimately serves as one of the view examples of children’s type education in entertainment. Talya Perper was kind enough to talk to Dan Rhatigan about this episode she wrote, and by the end, we are all reminded that fonts themselves are not evil, just their occasional misuse (except wingdings, that is pure chaotic evil).

Made in Philly: Badass Victorian Type!

Noah Bryant

Noah Bryant took us through the process of recreating 19th century type as we continue to move ever forward into the digital age. Noah’s Project Ilhen focuses on bringing the work of Herman Ilhen to the present day, and has made his work available as beta typefaces so that we all can experience the process of reviving these nearly lost treasures. This project not only seeks to remember these fonts, but to bring them to modern marketing strategies, reminding us that we always learn from the past and these typefaces are not simply “old”, but they have the power to guide us into typography’s future as well. For us, this all begs the question: what else is out there?

Proof&Co. — A deeper look at the world of independent typography.

This recap is provided by Proof&Co. — A research and media project devoted to a better understanding of the modern world of independent typography, and a proud sponsor of TypeCon!