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

The third and final day of TypeCon talks have come and gone, with this Saturday’s offering focused on the Type & Design Education Forum. Major themes of the day included interactivity and invitation to include more people into the typographic fold, perspectives on being a member of a true global community, and encouragement to enjoy the world of type in new ways.

Here are some of the highlights that we picked from day three:

Teaching Type to Hostages

Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies cheekily refers to his graphic design students whose curricula force them into an Introduction to Typography class as hostages, but as he outlines the many creative ways he has worked to engage them, the students seem very lucky to be held captive. Understanding that every student needs an answer to “Why should I care?”, Andrew has made every exercise an interactive adventure. It is a reminder that type may seem like a dry topic to the naked eye, but it just takes a little bit of guided, enthusiastic interaction with the form to open up a whole new world.

Serious Play

Erica Holeman

Playing can be serious stuff. Erica Holeman reminds us to embrace play in our design and educational processes, not just to entertain ourselves and our students, but for all the invaluable benefits. Play opens the door to experimentation, removes the stresses of rigor, and helps us welcome and process failure. We become more receptive to fantastic questions that we may have previously dismissed as frivolous, such as “What makes typography “interesting”? We all would do well to encourage more playfulness in typography.

The Type Play Project

Ashley Pigford

Ashley Pigford shares with us the results of the Type Play Project, where 26 students got the chance to take donated fonts from independent foundries and design a unique deck of cards with new, dynamic compositions. The fantastically inventive designs create a deck that we all want for our next night of Texas Hold ‘Em. Kudos to all the contributors!

Data Dispatches: An International Teaching Collaboration

Aoife Mooney
Kate Brangan

What does it mean to be collaborative in this age of digital access and remote work? Students are able to clue in from anywhere, but it also exacerbates the distances between us — something we’re all feeling these days. Mooney and Brangan showed that collaboration is still possible, and even more necessary than ever in the process of future-minded creating type & design. This talk has got us thinking about if we’re making the most out of our own digital work experiences and how collaboration can continue to grow for us, socially distanced of course.

Typo-Image: Texts are Always Part of Other Texts, Never Pure

Albert Choi

Albert Choi gives us an in depth look of the storytelling capabilities of type. By deconstructing letterforms, we see the ways that typography can lend to clear and powerful messaging. There is profound versatility in type and how we interpret it; the more we recognize this, the more we can more effectively communicate with the type we use.

“I Can’t Read That Yellow Type” and Other Tales About Accessibility

Charmaine Martinez

Font accessibility tends to take a backseat as a part of the design process and, as Charmaine Martinez lays out, this is unacceptable. Improving font accessibility moves us towards universal design, design usable by all people. This starts with adopting an inclusivity mindset and thinking outside of yourself, your preferences, and your culture when designing. Charmaine highlights the tools available to all of us and notes that accessibility leads to good design, so it is high time we prioritize it.

International Students, International Scripts

Richard Hunt

As a student, how do you approach the topic of the immense, vast, and incredibly diverse global world that is typography these days? It can be incredibly daunting with pitfalls and sensitivities to mind. Hunt explained away the fears and anxieties for students and professionals alike with a comforting dose of understanding of our relationship to all the voices in the room. With clarity and encouragement, he dispelled the daunting nature most students have by giving permission to learn about the international community we all find ourselves in now.

Facilitating Diversity: The Designer’s Role in Supporting Cultural Representations Through Multi-Script Type Design and Research

Natalie Snodgrass

Natalie Snodgrass led us through an extensive tour of her thesis work focused on designing for scripts that are not in your native or premier language. One of the most profound ideas shared, one that may be obvious to some, is that type is a knowledge profession — an occupation or engagement that is not exclusive to a few, so it is even more paramount that we remain aware of our approach and contribution to type and culture . This talk truly laid out the roadmap to designing with international context in mind, reminding us that we’re all a part of the global community now, for better and for worse.

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!