Wednesday, August 23rd
Thursday, August 24th
Friday, August 25th
Saturday, August 26th
Sunday, August 27th

This information is subject to change.

Wednesday, August 23rd

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

View the workshop schedule for details.

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Paul Shaw

Downtown Boston Type Walk

View the special events schedule for details.

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Alex Trochut

Non-verbal Communication and the Written Medium

Presented by Type Directors Club

View the special events schedule for details.

Thursday, August 24th

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

View the workshop schedule for details.

9:00 am – 5:50 pm

Type & Design Education Forum

Sponsored by the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography

View the forum schedule for details.

9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Paul Shaw

Type Day in Providence

View the special events schedule for details.

7:30 pm

Martina Flor

Keynote Presentation: Wonder-making with Letters

Presented by the Society of Typographic Aficionados

View the special events schedule for details.

Friday, August 25th

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Opening Remarks
State of the Union

8:50 am

Bruce Kennett

W. A. Dwiggins, Hermann Püterschein, and the Fictional Society of Calligraphers

As a youth Dwiggins was already in love with letters. In art school he studied lettering and ornament with Fred Goudy. Once launched on his freelance career in Boston, he made lettering and calligraphy daily for advertising agencies and publishers — headlines for ads and brochures, backstrips and title pages for books — and published private projects. Over the decades his skills deepened ever more. This presentation features 50 years of WAD’s work, from roman, uncial, blackletter and his swooping italic hand, to the jackets and book spines that he hand-lettered for Knopf.

Dwiggins’s fictional Society of Calligraphers provided opportunities for him to publish and promote his ideas about design, illustration, and paper in the 1910s and 1920s. WAD served as secretary; his alter-ego Hermann Püterschein was president. The Society produced hilarious works of satire, serious essays on typography and design, stencil prints of great beauty, and copious expressions of identity: membership certificates, pressmarks, envelopes, letterheads, and mailing labels. Dwiggins’s myriad creations for the Society will be on display in all their color and variety.

9:00 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:35 am

Tucker McLachlan

Typography Ghost Stories

This talk will surface design histories we might prefer not to tell, when typographic practices have served the aims of white supremacy, colonization and genocide. From slave passes and police uniforms to royal charters and reservation boundaries, design and dispossession remain forcefully intertwined.

Stories from Canada, the United States and Britain will pursue colonial law and land ownership as aesthetic phenomena enabled by the tools of our trade. Artifacts from the past five hundred years will suggest a typographic heritage in which settlers and surveyors figure prominently alongside printers, designers and scribes, and invite us to explore the typographic dimensions and possibilities of contemporary political power.

9:55 am

Jennifer McKnight

Victorian Grande Dames and German Engravers: How Type Design Taught a City to Dream

Is type design the language of love or civic pride? This talk explains how a type design exhibit held less than a mile from the site of Ferguson Missouri race riots brought a city of designers together to think and plan a smarter and more ethical future.

Our exhibit’s goal was to make type history come alive for local designers. We didn’t just want to tell people about type history, but invite them to enter: to play, engage and care, and be proud of both the type and their city.

Central and Inland Type Foundries had a huge impact on US type design history. They hired German Engravers to immigrate and start creating typefaces for a hungry new audience of readers and advertisers. Their story connects technology and artistry in a way that is instructive for us again today.

This talk will show you some beautiful old Central and Inland typefaces that have never been digitized. Their old world charm is captivating, as is the story of the exhibit’s type revival, and the political poster series that resulted. This show taught us that the right typeface sometimes gives us just the voice we need to have brave conversations.

10:15 am

Coffee Break

Compliments of Frere-Jones Type

10:35 am

Peter Bella & Caleb Fairres

Making the Machine Human: Embracing Printing Technologies in Crafting a Present-day Moveable Typeface

The letterpress has been an instrumental aspect of typography for centuries. The mechanical process of raised letterforms transferring ink to paper has a humanistic quality that exemplifies our senses and emotions. Movable type has seen centuries of adaptations—lead, wood, polymer and more; along with the creation tools and technologies—such as pantographs, plate makers, and computer. Has moveable type met its end, has letterpress found its zenith? Has technology surpassed this mechanical time machine and the cold nature of cast metal? We suggest letterpress printing and moveable type has untapped life yet to be revealed. Our investigation embodies 3D printing technologies to create a moveable typeface with humanistic qualities and voice. This moveable typeface explores the challenging demands of the mechanical properties of 3D printing methods applied to the creation of moveable type, its design, and printing embracing the mechanics of the machine to create a typeface never intended to meet the standards of perfection, but to embody the inherent artistic and humanistic aesthetics of the machine pushing technology to its limits to discover how human a 3D printing machine can get.

10:55 am

Petra Dočekalová

New Lettering Forms

Sign painting is a craft that did not survive the advance of printing technologies in the Czech Republic. Art schools have removed it from the curriculum; manuals have long gone out of print; the public began to ignore the aesthetics of signs. After this long vacuum I tried to breathe some life into the field. I mapped out all of the books about Czechoslovakia handwritten scripts, and tried to establish continuity and design new handwritten script styles that follow the local traditions of this craft, using all the advantages of digitization and up-to-date technologies. So I became a kind of a new sign painter.

11:20 am

Catherine Leigh Schmidt

Yatra: A Journey in Painted Signs

Yatra is a display Devanagari and Latin typeface inspired by the hand-lettering styles of the Mumbai local rail. Yatra is the result of a year-long study contrasting the painted signage of the 160-year-old local rail to the digitally-made signage of the new metro system. I wanted to create a typeface that drew directly from painted letters without feeling cheesy or exoticizing.

I am fascinated by the role painted signs play in civic life in Indian cities. Because of a history of poor typographic technology and the low cost of labor, signs that would be digitally produced in America are often painted by hand in India. While truck art and other decorative styles are celebrated here, I am drawn to equally interesting examples of utilitarian lettering.

Join me as I share my collection of photographs of Indian civic sign painting and narrate the journey of this typeface. I will also discuss my qualms as an outsider making typography for a colonized writing system and offer some suggestions for Westerners creating typography for non-Latin scripts.

11:40 am

Linh O’Briant

Playing by the Rules — Type & Origami Design Rules

Type design rules and criteria have played an important role in the developmental stages of many of the typefaces we love and use. By implementing them during the building process, consistency and cohesiveness can be seen. But what happens to these rules when it comes to creating three-dimensional letterforms?

Unlike its two-dimensional counterpart, the three-dimensional letterforms building process is driven more by the physical nature of the material being used and the material limitations. Once created, it is the appearance of the material that gives these letterforms unity. But what if the rules and criteria of type design were the driving force for creating a set of three-dimensional letterforms?

How will these two-dimension rules behave in a three-dimensional setting? Will these rules and guidelines hold up to the physical nature and limitations of the material being used? Then due to the multitudes of physical materials available, what material could be used for the rules to exist? And last, what methodology could be applied in order to make the building process possible?

In this presentation, I will speak about the intersection of two-dimensional type design rules and three-dimensional origami design rules. The above questions will be answered, the results of the letterforms will be shown, and the discovery of similar commonalities between these two very different disciplines will be shared.

12:00 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 pm

Bobby Martin

The Meeting Point of Type, Design, and Brand

It seems the value of design needs to be argued less and less. Brands are catching on. Now we’re asking if they value type. Bobby C. Martin Jr. will discuss if, when, where, and how brands have started to embrace typography. And he will also share some examples of what happens when they do.

2:45 pm

David Jonathan Ross


Display typography is governed by three factors: the size of the available space, the length of the text, and the dimensions of the typeface. When the space and text are fixed, designers can look to type that has been pushed to the extremes of weight and width in order to display their words at maximum size and with maximum impact.

This presentation examines what happens to typefaces at these extremes, when the rules of letter-drawing begin to break down. I will show some historical examples, but will focus on exemplary contemporary designs with extra bold, extra condensed, and extra wide variants. I will also discuss the design process of my typeface Fit, designed expressly to fill space with panache, and demonstrate the possibilities that OpenType variations offer for the next generation of extreme type designs.

3:05 pm

Judy Safran-Aasen & Mike LaJoie

Deconstructing the Construction of the Microsoft Emoji Font

Emoji have become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Where the written word can be ambiguous, emoji provide a way to convey feeling and emotion. Emoji have woven their way into the fabric of pop culture, from apps to household accessories, costumes and soon a feature length movie. When it comes to our electronics, emoji are created and distributed using various font technologies.

In this talk, we will deconstruct the process of Microsoft’s emoji font from design production to technical implementation of emoji combinations. We will get into the aesthetics of the design and how it relates to the overall Microsoft design language. We’ll explore multiple color separations and how we leverage OpenType Layout and COLR font technologies to give people the means to create thousands of high-quality, scalable, and diverse combinations from a relatively small set of glyphs.

We’d love to take you on a tour of the Construction Zone. Grab your hard hat and let’s go!

3:25 pm

Scott Boms

Imperfection Machines: Low Res in a High Res World

As new technologies continue to blur the lines between our real and digital worlds and we lose the edges of traditional mediums, obsolete technologies like letterpress or vinyl records become desired objects of art. But can type be art, and how do obsolete technologies transform and elevate type in unexpected and curious ways? This brief talk will look at how the Risograph, an unusual, effectively obsolete, and inherently imperfect machine can add value and desirability to letterforms and design, and what has their increasing popularity done to bring creative expressions of typography and design to new audiences.

3:45 pm

Coffee Break

Compliments of Adobe Typekit

4:05 pm

Geri McCormick & James Grieshaber

Dr. Strangefont or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Make Chromatic Type

Virgin Wood Type has revived the art of producing Wood Type for printers, by purchasing the holdings of the American Wood Type Company, which traces it’s roots back to 1900. We now make Wood Type using the same font patterns and pantograph equipment used to make type for nearly a century. There was no instruction manual, no human knowledge passed down, so some learning had to take place to get up and running. Now that Virgin is able to create excellent wood type, we decided to challenge ourselves by putting into production the first Chromatic type since the days of Wm. H. Page Wood Type Co. This presentation will show the learning process of making a Chromatic Type, and along the way give a brief history of wood type and behind the scenes glimpse into the production of a new old wood type classic.

4:25 pm

Meaghan Dee

The Slow Death of Handwriting

To speak about “the end of handwriting” reminds me of the discussion surrounding David Carson’s book “The End of Print” (which ironically came out with two editions and four re-printings). To me, this ending is ironically not a true conclusion but rather an elevation of handwriting from the commonplace to that of an Art Form.

We are currently “living through a transitional moment” in which handwriting and digital communication (typing, texting) are both commonly used. However, as discussed at length in “The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting,” the case can be made that handwriting is nearly obsolete, and our desire to use it (and to teach it to our children) is born from sentimentality. Currently, students are simultaneously taught to print and to type in their early education. Cursive has been wiped out from nearly all curricula, and there is discussion to stop teaching printing as well — but should we?

How does handwriting impact our thought processes? How does it impact communication? Would a generation unable-to-print alter how typography is taught and how letterforms are understood?

4:45 pm

Rachel Elnar

Cultivating Creative Communities

Type and typography are such tiny niche interests, even within larger design organizations. So how do we, as type enthusiasts, find like-minded designers to build a culture? Rachel will speak about how she has cultivated creative communities in a visually-starved type desert (yes, it is Los Angeles) where the image is king, and fast and cheap design trumps integrity in movieland. She will speak to the challenges of developing in-person events in a sprawling city where it takes hours to get anywhere, growing an 850+ in-person typography group amongst hundreds UX/UI communities, and bringing back the value of critical thinking with TypeThursday events. She might even fabricate some ideas on how and why type-related networking is so important to our industry and visual communication today.

5:05 pm

SOTA Catalyst Award Presentation

The Society of Typographic Aficionados will bestow Ramakrishna Saiteja with the 2017 SOTA Catalyst Award, followed by his presentation.

6:00 pm

The SOTA Spacebar

Sponsored by Adobe Typekit

View the special events schedule for details.

8:30 pm

Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production

A special screening of the documentary film by Briar Levit, followed by a “cold-type” discussion panel.

View the special events schedule for details.

Saturday, August 26th

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Opening Remarks

8:35 am

Lucas Czarnecki

An Ethnography of Garbage (Fonts)

Designers tend to have a set of go-to fonts. Avenir, Gotham, Garamond, Helvetica (for better or for worse), Bodoni, and so on. You know the names, and you understand why they’re popular. These are high quality fonts, designed with purpose, which are effective in use. Most type designers aspire to create such useful tools.

So why does have four pages of typefaces that are in the category Fire, Ice? And why are there lists online of 82 Dripping Fonts? Why do I have a font installed on my computer called Xero’s Retreat that I find impossible to describe with normal typographic terms? Serious typographers tend to ignore these Garbage Fonts; we tend to brush them aside. But they’re out there. They exist, and in large numbers, too.

Through a brief look at the world of Garbage Fonts—and visits to this world are best kept brief—I will try to answer questions like: Where do these come from? Who makes them? Why do these type designers choose to create them? And what does it say about the internet-using population that these fonts are so popular?

9:00 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

8:55 am

Hrant Papazian

protoType: The Book (?)

In 2016 the Society of Typographic Aficionados organized the protoType competition and exhibition of speculative typeface design. The jurors were delightedly overwhelmed with reviewing over 300 entries … but sobered by the need to select only 20 for the exhibition. Dozens of excluded entries that would enjoy popular acclaim and open eyes & minds have silently resided in cloud storage ever since … Shall we show the riches of our imagination? Shall we reveal trends of speculation, such as how visible language might go beyond letterforms, and how writing systems could cross-pollinate? Shall we even crowdfund a book? Shalln’t we?

9:15 am

Mary Catherine Pflug

Results of the Second Font Purchasing Habits Survey

Back by popular demand, the second annual Font Purchasing Habits Survey explores font customer behavior and their reception to a variety of font marketing tactics. The survey has been redesigned with new-and-improved questions and more in-depth customer grouping analysis. The first public reveal of the data will be at TypeCon 2017!

9:55 am

Coffee Break

Compliments of MyFonts

10:00 am

Christopher Rouleau

Brush Lettering Demo

View the special events schedule for details.

10:25 am

Qiu Yin & Wei Ming

Thinking and Practicing Chinese Type Design on Screen

With the advancement of technology, how people read has changed in a revolutionary manner. The impact of paper as the reading medium has rapidly declined; reading on screen is now a mainstream practice, and our reading environment turns increasingly random, flexible and dynamic.

As Retina Display becomes more popular, technical limitations of the screen are repeatedly challenged. This development ushered in a new era of Chinese type design. It is now unreasonable and outdated that we continue using products of the printing era, either Heiti or SongTi, as the major choices for font application. Based on our pursuit to create friendly texts and comfortable reading experience, we have innovated Chinese text fonts, more specifically reflected in their carefully designed counter, proportion, stroke, and structure. Founder Heiti Family and Founder You Song Family have moderately expanded counter, effectively tailored space and other identifiable features. We have made rational adjustment to individual face as well as kerning, and improved the legibility of single characters, in order to better facilitate information transmission. Meanwhile, much attention has been paid to balance between technology and art, between minimalism and humanistic attentiveness. We extract the beauty of writing, with all the stokes positioned precisely, lines, hooks, knots, dots all giving a sense of flexibility, freedom, and elegancy without unnecessary exaggeration. We design with calligraphic beauty to achieve classic aesthetics in new technical conditions.

10:45 am

Mark Jamra & Neil Patel

Lessons Learned in Designing Type for Africa

With its ca. 2000 languages, Africa has a tradition of diverse writing systems, some of which have been around for centuries. Others were invented in recent times and have either grown popular or slowly fallen out of use. And then of course there’s the Latin-based International Phonetic Alphabet, which is used with the African Reference Alphabet for hundreds of African languages.

When designing type for Africa, there’s a lot to be learned. It’s not just about getting the shapes right, it’s also about ethnic and social identity — considerations that have all but disappeared from the design of Latin type. In this presentation, we’ll look at a typeface design considered to reflect the temperament of a regional population, how new scripts can facilitate literacy, what we learned from localizing apps for African markets (hint: everything we knew was wrong), and what a Latin phonetic typeface might look like if it’s actually designed for Africans.

11:10 am

Richard Kahwagi

Arabic Typography and Popular Culture

Did you know that Arabic Superman’s secret identity loosely translates to ‘Noble Victory’? Or that the 7UP logo keeps its recognizable shape in both its Latin and Arabic incarnations? This talk draws on Arabic typography and its adaptations in culture and popular history as seen through comic books, soda cans, vinyl records, sexy magazines, and Egyptian movie posters. Navigating back and forth in time, and between languages, patterns arise and boundaries start to blur: East and West, original and replica, exotica and erotica, appropriation and assimilation. This curated overview offers a brief historical account of how culture, more often than not, unites trends across borders while simultaneously setting them apart. Expect some anecdotal history of communication, a little bit of nipples, and a lot of beautiful hand lettering and type.

11:50 am

Masataka Hattori

Fundamentals of Japanese Metrics Editing

Technical elements of Japanese font development are still not well understood by many font developers. In particular, the importance of OpenType’s metrics and their interrelationships need to be more deeply understood by font developers and developers of font-design tools, because of the many Japanese font-specific metrics elements that need to be considered.

Using practical examples from Source Han Sans, the Pan-CJK typeface family co-developed by Adobe and Google, the speaker will explain the fundamental differences between the behaviors of Japanese and Western glyph metrics. Based on decades of experience in Japanese type development, he will shed light on a largely untouched area of today’s Japanese type development practices. This presentation will provide useful hints, not only for font developers, but also for developers of font-design tools that are meant to fully support Japanese fonts.

12:10 pm

Lunch Break

1:00 pm

Carolyn Porter

Book Signing

View the special events schedule for details.

1:30 pm

Geri McCormick & James Grieshaber

Chromatic Wood Type Printing Demo

View the special events schedule for details.

2:00 pm

Elizabeth Carey Smith

Type in Couture

Taking a colorful, beautiful romp through fashion history, this presentation looks at the typographic trends that have defined an industry. Perhaps no other category has so thoroughly examined how we define beauty, and the typographic details of fashion are no exception.

Through research and interviews with top NYC fashion art directors, editorial design directors, and the Met Costume Institute, this talk examines the prolific nature of image making in the fashion industry. From Alexey Brodovitch’s work bringing constructivist principles to fashion typography to Moschino’s use of quotidian branding into clothing itself, we examine the gamut of letterforms in couture.

A talk in three chapters, I’ll discuss and show editorial type, fashion branding, and letters on clothes. The presentation looks at the typographic precedents established in the most visual and self-aware industry we’ve ever known.

2:45 pm

Ana Monroe

The Typography of Bling

Everyday, humans communicate cultural values, affiliations, and aspirations through adornment. Chests, hands, teeth, even products that serve as identity proxies, such as cars, can be our message boards and megaphones to each other.

The Typography of Bling explores these letter forms: from delicate, golden scripts to heavy block texts, jewelry worked into glyph form marks identity across the cultural spectrum. This talk surveys the history of typography as wearable in Western culture, from the middle ages (yes!), through 20th century emergence of hip hop, down to the present, as well as discussing the technical and conceptual aspects of glyphs on the body. From godliness to sex, from personal names to brand names, we’ll explore bling from many angles. And we’ll do all of this, of course, while trying to shade our eyes from the wearer’s shine.

3:05 pm

Jess Meoni

Liner Notes & Ligatures: A Reflection on Typography in the Age of Vinyl

How does something as abstract as sound translate into something more visual, physical, and iconic? Analyzing the typographic qualities of select musician and band logos, accompanied packaging, touring posters, and more, this pop culture presentation will chronicle historically-significant elements emulated through the the design process. From the blackletter script of Medieval Europe to the experimental Fluxus movement of New York, to Dadaism’s new wave take on the Xerox machine, and more, Liner Notes and Ligatures exhibits the long-lasting impressions of typography and graphic design through music genres.

3:25 pm

Coffee Break

Compliments of Type Network

3:45 pm

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

Typographic Realia: Cataloging and Connecting Wood and Metal Resources

Professional librarians are the champions of cataloging works on paper: books, archives, photos, and prints. Robust methodologies and international databases have been developed to track these objects with success in affording patron accessibility. However, when the artifacts in collections are three-dimensional, or have had a functional existence before landing in an historical collection, some of these cataloging schemas fall short. The descriptive categories for paper are problematic for these objects from real life, or realia as they are called in librarianship.

Typographic realia is printers’ type routed from wood or cast in metal and used in letterpress printing. In the past decade, type realia collections have grown considerably in museums, libraries, university arts programs, maker-spaces, and private collections. Quantifying analog typefaces and their location has not been recent a priority, but now it’s time to act. Web-enabled type specimens, spreadsheets, and tacit lists in the minds of their custodians are not enough to enable the broad view of these finite resources. By leveraging the tools of library science, we can devise procedures that enable discovery of these analog collections across design genres, alphabet types, and physical media types.

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology has created a cataloging metadata schema, using standard archival description, for our extensive typographic realia (printers’ type) collections. This talk will discuss best practices for cataloguing these objects. Considerations will be given to the differing design classifications of both metal and wood type. The speaker will advocate for further work so it can be offered to benefit design collections worldwide.

4:05 pm

Spencer Charles & Frances MacLeod

The Left Handed Path: A Twisting Journey Through Left-Handed Lettermaking

A foundation in calligraphy is essential to understanding the construction of letterforms. Most calligraphic teachings assume a strong connection between letterforms and the tools used to create them. For left-handed lettermakers, this relationship is more complex. Our presentation will examine methods that left-handed calligraphers, lettering artists, and type designers (speakers included) have devised to overcome traditional limitations. We will explore how this is reflected in their work, and offer a broadened perspective to all letterform lovers.

4:45 pm

SOTA Typography Award Presentation

The Society of Typographic Aficionados will present the 2017 SOTA Typography Award to this year’s recipient.

8:30 pm

The Infamous Type Quiz & Silent Auction

Sponsored by Type Network
Hosted by Allan Haley

View the special events schedule for details.

Sunday, August 27th

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Opening Remarks

8:35 am

Yves Peters

Type With Character(s) — Reclaiming Control Over OpenType Fonts

The introduction of OpenType fonts in 2000 offered designers a rich and sophisticated typographic repertoire. The number of fonts that support these typographic features has grown exponentially over the years. And yet software applications offering typesetting capabilities still fail to provide an adequate typographic interface. Together with Nadine Chahine, Yves Peters is the initiator of the #AdobeTypeUI campaign, and is now collaborating with the Adobe Typography Customer Advisory Board to bring the typographic interface into the 21st century. After presenting the evolution of how we interact with type, Yves will focus on the current status of the typographic interface in popular design apps.

9:00 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Paul Shaw

Back Bay Type Walk

View the special events schedule for details.

9:20 am

Jason Pamental

Variable Fonts & The Future of Web Design

The majority of content on the web is words—and more than half of web browsing happens on mobile screens. It follows then that the way we set our words has a bigger impact than ever on design, usability, and brand differentiation. But while typography is clearly the most important aspect of great design and user experience, it can’t come at the expense of performance or we risk our great designs never being seen. Variable fonts are coming, and will change everything: with a single font file that can scale in size, width, weight and even x-height—exactly as the type designer envisioned. Everything from super-fine-line delicacy to the chunkiest slab headlines; wide widths in banners and slightly narrower body copy for better line lengths on mobile devices. All controllable with CSS.

If type is the voice of our words, that voice just became a chorus. We’ll look at the technology behind variable fonts, how to use them on the web, their timeline for release, and most importantly: their impact on the dynamic range of our designs. Make no mistake—variable fonts will have a more significant impact on web design than anything since responsive design itself.

9:45 am

John Roshell

ZAP! POW! BAM! Comic Book Lettering, From Pens to Pixels

Travel back in time to when absorbent newsprint and primitive printing presses inadvertently caused the uncanny origin of the “comic book look”. See how tools like Adobe Illustrator and Fontographer were applied to the comic lettering process, both to capture the look and feel of pen lettering, and evolve with this invincible medium in its digital present. Learn how Comicraft creates typefaces that approximate pen lettering styles, and applies the same principles to lettering for apps, video games, and anywhere else where space and resolution are limited, and easy readability, style and liveliness are essential.

10:10 am

Radek Sidun

Typefaces for Television

We’re all familiar with typefaces designed for newspapers, books, way-finding systems and more. But what criteria and specifications does a TV typeface need to meet? How is a typeface viewed on the screen? Over the past several years, televisions have made significant technical advances. Czech Republic television stations have been using original custom typefaces for several years. This talk presents an overview of Czech “television type” since the 1960s until today, showing original typeface designs, archive materials and current approaches.

10:30 am

David Shields

Muster Hundreds! Towards a People’s History of American Wood Type

The history of typography of the nineteenth century—specifically of production and use wood type during this period—is typically framed as a progression of typographic styles driven by cultural tastes. Working to build a general conspectus of nineteenth and twentieth century wood type, I have begun to uncover the range of people responsible for the development of the wood type industry and more importantly the previously unknown designers and industrial crafts people directly responsible for the production of typographic and ornamental material. There is currently a great discrepancy between the copiousness of known types and the paucity of identified makers responsible for the creation of this work.

Examining this information provides a human context to the proliferation of dynamic stylistic shifts—from the exuberance of the 1870 & 80s, to the historical revivals of the 1890 & 1900s, and the general decline of the industry in the 1920 & 30s. Investigating source material—business listings, city directories, census records, etc—has provided the opportunity to discover and closely examine these previously overlooked individuals, illuminating their daily lives and relationships.

10:50 am

Coffee Break

11:10 am

Ina Saltz

The Rise of Typographic Tattoos

More than one in five American adults has at least one tattoo, and a significant and growing number of these tattoos is typographic, ranging from phrases, quotes, lyrics and large passages of text to single letters. Ina Saltz has been photographing and interviewing people with typographic tattoos for over a decade (over 900 so far). These have been published in two books from Abrams Image: Body Type: Intimate Messages Etched in Flesh and Body Type 2: More Typographic Tattoos. Many of the more recent images in this short but provocative session have not yet been seen publicly. Squeamish types may want to skip this presentation: you have been forewarned!

Why do people choose type for their tattoos? Which well-known type designers have typographic tattoos (some in very private places)? What makes for a good typographic tattoo (typeface, length, placement, size, etc. ) and which tattoo artists specialize in typographic tattoos? All this and much more will be revealed!

11:30 am

Douglas Wilson

A Multimedia Extravaganza Through the World of Printing Films

Showcasing the best clips from vintage printing, typography, and journalism films this “Multimedia Extravaganza” will feature old technology from the hot and cold type setting days as well as funky soundtracks meant to boost the printing industry. It will be quirky and fun. is a collection of vintage films that feature the technologies and processes of printing, journalism, and typography. It was established by Doug Wilson in 2012 after his work as director of Linotype: The Film.

11:55 am

Jason Campbell

Mojo’s Workin’: Blues Typography & Album Art

The Blues has its roots in spirituals and field hollers common well before the dawn of the phonograph. But as the rural blues of the 20s and 30s moved to the Northern industrial cities after World War 2, a new form of recording was born: the Long Playing record. The popularity of the modern Chicago blues increased at the same time as the popularity of the LP record. This new 12” record required artwork to attract customers in record stores, and album cover art became a new area for designers’ creativity to flourish. I will explore the history and evolution of the collaboration between blues music and album artwork, with a focus on typography.

12:15 pm

James Walker

Type Hike: A Typographic Exploration of America’s National Parks

In June 2016, James Louis Walker and David Rygiol started Type Hike; a collaborative non-profit design project that celebrates and supports the outdoors though typography.

Started as a means to bring designers together for a greater good, Type Hike celebrated the National Parks Centennial through typographic posters submitted by 60 designers representing each of the 59 parks in the National Park System plus the centennial itself. Participating designers included David Carson, Jessica Hische, Jay Fletcher, Charles&Thorn, Brian Steely, and Lauren Dickens.

Shortly after it began, Type Hike began exhibiting the collection as a poster show in retail spaces, galleries, and universities, including at the Type Directors Club in New York. As of February 2017, it is part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, and has expanded to include 2 additional series.

12:35 pm

Closing Remarks

2:00 pm

Type Crit

The sixteenth iteration of the popular Type Crit, featuring analysis and elucidation by John Downer, Akira Kobayashi, and Jill Pichotta.

View the special events schedule for details.

7:00 pm

TypeCon x Dribbble Meetup

Sponsored by MyFonts

View the special events schedule for details.