The majority of the TypeCon program takes place at the Hilton Minneapolis from August 28th to September 1st in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wednesday, August 28th
Thursday, August 29th
Friday, August 30th
Saturday, August 31st
Sunday, September 1st

This information is subject to change.

Wednesday, August 28th

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

View the workshop schedule for details.

Thursday, August 29th

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.

7:00 pm

Presentation & Reception

Presented by Type Directors Club

Friday, August 30th

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

Carolyn Porter

Welcome to Minnesota: Home to 10,000 Lakes and Some Pretty Darned Good Typefaces

Minnesota is home to the Mississippi headwaters and farm fields that stretch to the horizon. We may talk with long vowels, eat hotdish, and wear plaid — but we are also home to world-class art and theater, and cutting-edge research. We invented Post-It notes, pacemakers, the pop-up toaster, waterskiing, Cheerios, the Honeycrisp apple, and Bundt pans. We are the home of Prince, Bob Dylan, Betty Crocker, and The Jolly Green Giant. We are home to eleven Native American nations, immigrants from across the globe, and the largest Hmong community in the nation. This means you can find lutefisk, mole, phở, pirogies, even a Juicy Lucy (which was also invented by a Minnesotan).

Minnesota is also home to a vibrant community of type designers whose names and (type)faces may be familiar. From sweeping cursives to sharp-cornered sans to display fonts brimming with personality, the typefaces born in Minnesota represent styles as varied as our landscapes.

This talk will provide a humorous and information-packed introduction to the great state of Minne“snow”ta combined with a visual celebration of the contributions of Minnesota-based type designers.

10:10 am

Nick Shinn

Outsmarting Optical Illusions

As a type designer, one seeks to impart text with an effect of evenly disciplined weight and detail, yet there are various optical illusions which stand in the way.

We employ sleight-of-design artifice to silence these disruptions, such as applying overshoot, or making vertical stems thicker than horizontal to appear equivalent. We address the Poggendorff Illusion in the letter X, and make every counter a beautiful Rubin Vase. There are further cheats in dimensional decorative types, with shadows and extrusions adjusted from strictly methodical perspective to the benefit of consistent color.

Italics, on the other hand, require the agency of illusion to counteract the distortions and corrections that simple skewing of roman forms produce, with glyphs ideally seeming to lean by the same amount, even when they don’t.

Beyond a few broad categorizations, the speaker proposes no grand theories, merely offering a diverse compendium of notable examples, ancient and modern, of the type designer’s bag of tricks, with pertinent comments and comparisons of “with” and “without” specific illusions.

10:30 am

Jim Moran

Ink, Wood, and Paper Trumpets

Whether you’re a stunt driver, sword swallower, or tiger tamer you need a great poster, especially in the 1940s. In a pre-television era, the posters used to coax you to come to the big top had to be over the top. Multi-panel billboards and window-sized “dodgers” tempted you with lurid scenes featuring sensational illustrations and alluring typography. Join 3rd generation printer Jim Moran on a guided tour of his research and historical reprinting of Hamilton Wood Type’s vintage poster collection. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

10:50 am

Chris Fritton

The Itinerant Printer: Letterpress Printing and Typography Across North America

Believe it or not, The Itinerant Printer project is based on a historical notion of itinerant, or what they often called “tramp” printers — peripatetic journeymen that lived nomadic lives, moving from one job to the next, one place to the next, one print shop to the next, with nothing to their name but their International Typographical Union card and the clothes on their backs. They were often in search of their next paycheck, their next drink, or their next adventure. The ITU no longer exists, and I couldn’t expect anyone to pay me a wage, so I had to re-envision the idea of the tramp printer for modern times. What I do is a lot like a mid-level touring band, traveling from place to place with only my ink, paper, and clothes, using whatever’s on hand to make prints in those idiosyncratic collections: wood type, metal type, border, ornament, cuts, even photopolymer plates. What started as a way to fund and facilitate my own journeyman time became the adventure of a lifetime, one involving thousands of people and tens of thousands of prints, and it gave me the clearest snapshot of letterpress printing in North America I could get, straight from the practitioners themselves.

11:10 am

Coffee Break

11:40 am

Keynote Presentation

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

2:20 pm

Mia Cinelli

Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection

How could a new quotation mark convey annoyance, excitement, or worry? How might a heavy sigh, skeptical eyebrow, or elated shudder exist as a new letterform?

In the age of emojis, type and image work in tandem to bolster our typographic voices, conveying our wide range of emotions. What if, in lieu of relying on smiley-faces and eggplants to make our point, new punctuation could formally articulate the meaning of a message as conveyed through gesture and expression? Much like written music relies on specific symbols to designate key, volume, pacing and pauses, new letterforms — inspired by facial expressions, hand gestures, and metaphors — could better inform our visual inflection. Engaging with design as a medium for inquiry, I propose a new set of characters to supplement our existing typefaces, attempting to make the rich complexities of verbal conversation visible.

Introducing these characters while citing and celebrating their historic predecessors — including the manicule, emoticons, interrobang, happy mark, and sarcastic font — this presentation prompts a larger discussion: what is the role of speculative design in typography, and how do these pursuits advance communication?

2:40 pm

Alice J. Lee & Ladan Bahmani

Inclusivity Through Translation

Translation is “switching over from one code to another; hence: jumping from one universe into another.” — Vilem Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography

Language is a coding system only accessible to those who are able to decipher it. It has the ability to build community among those of common language and alienate those without. Since language and culture influence and reinforce each other, language has the power of connecting or disconnecting cultures and people. Working with three different languages and alphabetic systems — English, Korean, Persian — we design interactive installations that facilitate experiences analogous to the decoding process of translation.

We will present how our work invites communities to jump into other universes by playing with interactive puzzles. In the puzzles, the letterforms act as mediators for a specific culture. While translating letterforms and connecting messages, the visitors access a new language, and perhaps, a new way of thinking. Introducing the similarities and differences between our languages, we challenge the dominance of English as the main mode of communication and seek to make the unfamiliar more approachable and accessible.

3:00 pm

Marie Boulanger

XX, XY : What Happens When We Gender Type?

If you are a type designer today, there is a great chance you will have come across articles and projects addressing the question of gender in typography. In terms of representation and equality, slowly but surely, things are shifting for the better.

However, there is one area where the question of gender remains largely unexplored: the letters themselves. The idea might seem a little odd at first, but any designer can probably recall comments about the gender of a design. Selling to women? Try to make things a little rounder! Appealing to men? Give your design a sturdier feel! We let stereotypical words and images dictate our perception of type.

Through work started in my MA thesis, I investigate the gendered identity of letters. Stemming from their shapes, but also considering typeface names, usage, and perception, I analyse the pervasive influence of gender stereotypes. Embark on a highly visual journey through centuries of art history and type design, and find out what to answer the next time someone asks for a “feminine font”.

3:20 pm

Anna Richard

Character Actor: Type Expressing Gender

Describing a typeface in gendered terms is a controversial move. So why do we all keep doing it? Are we stuck in verbal ruts, stereotyping, or attempting to describe something deeper than looks?

I’m familiar with the pressure to have type reflect identity. As a designer, as a woman, and as a person raised on the internet, it’s always been clear to me that type choices are deeply personal to their users. My exploratory analysis will consider where type originates: handwriting. Specifically, we’ll examine the handwriting of men and women in different cultures, review possible physical reasons for gender-differentiated writing, and provide insight as to what makes handwriting “male” or “female” to readers. We’ll also dissect social influences on writing, using the “Anomalous Female Teenage Handwriting” of Japan in the 1980s and the Palmer Method of cursive handwriting as examples.

These findings will be held up to type. We will search for correlations between gendered handwriting and similarly-sorted typefaces, and attempt to shed some light on why gendered terms keep popping up. A form of personification, perhaps, or a more loaded expression of not just shape, but purpose.

3:40 pm

Coffee Break

4:10 pm

Aldo Arillo

NeuLeón: A Blend Between Mexican Modernism and Contemporary Culture

The Museum of Contemporary Art Monterrey (MARCO) was founded in 1995. Built out of the conceptual solutions developed by architect R. Legorreta and graphic designer L. Wyman, two of the biggest figures in Mexican modernism.

The result was an entity full of geometry and striding colors, a dialogue between its architecture, naming, and logo. But 25 years later, the graphic system was nonexistent. It used 11 distinct font families which didn’t do justice to a project of such relevance.

Just like the biggest museums of the world, I wanted the museum of my city to have its own custom font. Thus, for my master’s project NeuLeón was created — a typeface inspired in the aforementioned dialogue seeking to strengthen its identity.

One of the requirements was that it should resolve the writing of a native dialect of the region. I chose Tének, a Mexican northeastern language, this inclusion enriched its value and fulfilled MARCO’s commitment to broaden its audiences.

After three years in Argentina I returned to Monterrey and thanks to a decisive advocate, the type was implemented. I want to share an experience full of challenges and dreams to build a city with a richer culture and a better museum.

4:30 pm

Erik Brandt

Ficciones Typografika

Ficciones Typografika was a project dedicated to the exploration of experimental typography in a public space. The exhibition surface was a humble 72″ × 36″ cedar board that could host three 24″ × 36″ posters at a time. The project began in 2013 and very quickly made an international impact with contributors submitting work from all over the world. The project itself received broad international coverage, and is the subject of a new book by Formist Editions (Sydney, Australia), which will document the entire project. While the project certainly influenced contemporary practice on a global scale, what remained most important was that it featured contemporary typographic work unfettered by commercial limitation and also existed in a most unlikely place, a small but vibrant neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN. The project featured the work of over 650 contributors that represented both legends of the field and the ambitions of students and practitioners from all walks of life. Over 1,641 posters were hung over the span of almost five years, even during the brutal winters experienced in Minneapolis. I will tell this story of people coming together from around the world to celebrate typography and the reasons why I think this humble board had such a strong impact on our field. (I also promise to also reveal the secret of how to wheat paste posters in -27.5°F/-33°C conditions.)

4:50 pm

Radek Sidun

Diacritics of World’s Languages

As a native Czech speaker and typographic teacher at a university located in Central Europe, I have to deal with problems of designing diacritical marks every day.

To ease the situation, I’ve prepared a typographic textbook which is centered around the problem of diacritics in type design. The result is an educational tool or guideline for dealing with accents. Instead of long text descriptions, all my solutions and suggestions are shown by visual examples. The book presents more than 30 different typefaces and visual examples on more than 80 pages. This publication is my habilitation work at the UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague); it collects data and experience I’ve gathered in over 10 years of research.

The presentation will show my diacritical typographic system, the way of organising the book and its structure, and also amusing do’s and don’ts.

5:10 pm

Catalyst Award Presentation

The Society of Typographic Aficionados will bestow Ruggero Magrì with the 2019 SOTA Catalyst Award, followed by his presentation.

5:30 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

6:00 pm

The SOTA Spacebar

View the special events schedule for details.

Saturday, August 31st

9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:30 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:30 am

Chank Diesel

Mid-Century Minneapolitan: How Minneapolis’ Vintage Architectural Signage Influences the Type of Today

Let’s take a look at how the architectural signage of 20th century Minneapolis has influenced the type designs of today. As type technologies change over the years, from metal to phototype to digital, the type designs have changed as well. But what happens when “outdoor” architectural typeface originally intended for metal, neon, or paint-on-brick jumps from the physical urban landscape straight to the digital era? See examples of some big strong type on the sides of old buildings and how those vintage letterforms survive today in modern digital font designs.

9:50 am

Albert Choi

Typography in the Street Environment with the National Standard Designs

The presenter developed the national standard system of street name signs and building number signs, which have been part of irregular and indiscriminate visual pollution, into a more systematic and efficient design as the current address system of the Republic of Korea is reorganized into street names and numbers. Since the street environment is a human-made space, many different personalities coexist at the same time to create visual pollution. Therefore, this research defined visual elements, mechanicals, materials, and installations for the street environment and people, and it helps to improve the national brand image as a differentiated design from the design of other countries. In this presentation, the presenter intends to focus on the relationship between typography, street environment and national standard design from the various macro and micro-study of this study, which based on the following research philosophy.

Research Philosophy: P.A.V.E.

P: Public Design for the national standard
A: Aesthetic Value for the street environments
V: Visual Standard for the public design in Korea
E: Extend National Identity with visual experience and storytelling

10:10 am

Jeane Cooper

One Hundred Years of Guarana Antartica: A Look into The Evolution of a Brazilian Brand

In 1921, Pedro Baptista de Andrade created Guarana Antartica, the very popular Brazilian soft drink, for the Companhia Antartica Paulista. Since then, much has changed in the style of Guarana Antartica branding and advertisement. An overview of the last one hundred years will offer a visual tour of the transformation of the brand itself and its correlation with the evolution of Brazilian culture.

10:30 am

Agyei Archer

The Afáka Project

The Afáka script is a syllabary developed in 1901 by a Ndyuka — a Surinamese Maroon community — named Afáka Atumisi. It was created to be used with the Aukaans creole language, and is the only script to be developed in the post-colonial Caribbean, in addition to being the only creole script in existence.

I have been researching this script, with the hope of creating an extension to a Latin typeface that I am currently drawing. As a result of this, I’ve compiled early scans, notes, and insights from existing research material. I’ve also encountered a big challenge: The Afáka script can’t make it through Unicode because the current syllabary won’t be able to be used for some words and sounds. Also, this is a language with less than 50,000 speakers and less than 5% literacy with Afáka, there is the risk of its usage being irrevocably lost. My work in this project will include a necessary proposed extension of the Afáka script, with the aim of contributing to this matrix of supported sounds.

Since there are few fonts (less than three) that address the script, I have decided to make one, which, and would like to discuss the challenges encountered on the way. I will give a progress report on a type design project that will have to touch on linguistics, OpenType scripting, Unicode proposals, and language preservation. Highlights will include the extension of the current Afáka script to make it more usable (done with Michael Everson and Felicia Bisnath), and direct engagement with the existing Nyuka community, to ensure the creation of a script system and typeface that can add value and to give the Ndyuka community, who write Aukaans in Latin (when they choose to), the opportunity to connect with their heritage, and integrate it with their future.

10:50 am

Petra Docekalova

Introducing Jaroslav Benda

Jaroslav Benda is one of the most important and most unique personalities in the history of Czechoslovak type design. His extensive lifelong work is based on a strong and distinctive manuscript of original type designs. Many of his works became key for the periods of Czech Cubism and Art Deco. Equally important is his engagement in building the visual identity of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Benda’s work was completely forgotten for many decades, and now, nearly half a century after his death, we want to introduce the public to the product of our five years of work. Thus TypeCon participants will be among the first to see in its entirety the vast scale of Benda’s distinctive typefaces and inventive solutions, which are again contemporary from today’s perspective.

11:10 am

Coffee Break

11:40 am

Keynote Presentation

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

2:20 pm

Kourosh Beigpour

Dots and Dot Positioning in the Arabic Script Based on the Nastaʿlīq

As the written Arabic language has been handed down through the generations, from an elite handful of scribes to the laypeople of their times, a lingual metamorphosis was necessary to make the written language as accessible to as many people as possible. Traditionally, the Arabic script was conceived as an abjad — a writing system in which vowels were not marked. The elite class, simply understood their own script and the content of their writings without the need for superfluous grammatical and alphabetical notations. The practice of using “dots” and “vowels” started as technical rules that later became part of the written language.

As the Arabic script became more embellished and ornate, master calligraphers began to take a more or less artistic approach to the script. Dots, historically and still to this day, have served multiple purposes. Beyond the scope of defining the consonant, these dots were also used to measure the distance of the letters and maintain an Artist’s concept of consistency, balance, and harmony. Sometimes they would be removed or relocated as needed to allow the calligrapher to create a more visually pleasing composition. As the dots changed in geometric form, so would the actual alphabet.

As the Arabic script has found a home in the digital age, these dots have lost their artistic purpose and mostly serve as concrete elements of the various letters in alphabet. Being influenced by the rigidity of the Latin script, as well as the digital/binary constraints of computers, much of what we historically have seen with calligraphy as an art-form has been lost in the script.

In this talk, I will explore how the width, size and shape of the dots are used in the Nasta’liq, Chalipa and the monumental Thuluth calligraphic traditions, as well as, take a closer look at how beauty and artistic expression have played a pivotal role in the evolution and metamorphosis of the Arabic Script.

2:40 pm

Karl Engebretson

Egali: Developing Axes of Accommodation

The mutation of letterforms through interpolation can provide accommodation to those with visibility or reading issues. Egali is a variable font prototype that offers spectrums of support along separate axes to address different reading needs. Through this approach, OpenType variable font functionality has the potential to provide subtle to extreme levels of letterform and spacing adaptations depending on the user’s preference. The tuning of content to individual preferences for equal access to the information displayed on digital devices of all shapes and sizes. This project serves to provide components of a universal design environment where there is no priority of typographic form over another. Individuals with special reading requirements could be included under the same typographic and æsthetic umbrella.

3:00 pm

Miriam Ahmed

Anatomical Grids

This exploration was influenced by the question of whether the mathematical proportion of the natural form of the golden spiral was the only way to use nature to guide composition and layout. What if I took a body — animal, human, or object — and created a grid based on the form of that body instead of its proportions? Composition based on such unconventional methods would be game-changing for design.

I seek to challenge the status quo with my exploration of anatomical grids. Such a grid could be based upon a grasshopper, an orchid, a bunch of grapes, a human hand, a chair, or even an architectural building. To begin the creative process, I was initially drawn to insect shapes, perhaps because the small size of a typical insect allowed the exploration to be less daunting. To create the grids for the pieces in this project, the outer borders of a form became grid lines, as well as the dominant directional structures, for example, legs, arms, wings or antennæ. In such unconventional, anatomical grids, baselines are not necessarily perfect horizontals, nor are columns vertical, and they are not the same width as in standard grids. Gutters do not exist. Rather, the proportion of the grid is determined by the natural form of the subject. The results are a stimulatingly refreshing approach to composition.

In this presentation, I assert that harmony exists within these grids because it exists in the natural form of the object, which frequently is based upon divine proportion. I will discuss and present examples that form a thought-provoking guide for designers seeking unconventional ways to work that challenge Swiss norms and inherently embed more diversity into the graphic design process.

3:20 pm

Caitlyn Crites

Fonts as Digital Fingerprints

We know about data tracking on a basic level, but what about the methods beyond monitoring online purchase history and browsing habits? It’s possible to record the unique movement patterns of your phone, send inaudible signals that link any device within range, and most notably: use your personal font collection as a digital fingerprint. Your fonts don’t just reflect your excellent taste in type; they mark you as a particular individual who can be targeted and profiled by advertisers — or whoever else accesses your data. In a culture of normalized surveillance, even our most personal, benign digital artifacts can be used against us, and we need to be informed in order to fight back.

3:40 pm

Coffee Break

4:10 pm

Yuexin Huo

“Hotel” Type: Typefaces for Vertical Latin Typography

Some language systems like Kanji can be written both vertically and horizontally, but Latin letters were never evolved nor designed to write vertically, until they are made possible by this digital age.

It is fascinating to see the different visual languages of signage in places with vertical typography traditions and places that don’t. Vertical typography allows for interesting things to happen that are absent in Latin world, like huge vertical billboards hanging on buildings. However, it is possible to give Latin letters the same impact and open huge design opportunities.

This presentation will share some of the experiments that enable Latin letters to flow vertically with upright letterforms. A new type system is also introduced to frame vertical types better using the unorthodox baseline, “ascender” line, “descender” line, and cap line to ensure good rhythm, spacing, and vertical kerning pairs among different glyphs. Other derivative possibilities will also be shared including a subsequent calligraphy system to allow vertical writings as well as opportunities to confuse readers and hide information using vertical typography.

4:30 pm

Lynne Yun

History and Anatomy of Flourishing

Flourishing has been around for as long as humans have been writing, but it has evolved substantially and its practice runs a wide gamut between the fanciful letters of the Romans, all the way to modern typographical swash capitals. Considering the kinæsthetic nature of flourishing, perhaps it was simply inevitable that we would extend the flowing line once a system of writing was established. After all, who can resist making a fanciful line when signing a signature? We will take a sweeping look at the history of flourishing, discuss its modern applications, and ways we can critically look at flourished compositions.

4:50 pm

Alexander Skouras & Ladan Bahmani

Investigating Shared History and Culture Through Language

Language is a way of thinking, and in its broad sense, it holds the identities and cultures of its speakers. Iran and Greece share a long history of exchange, interaction, and cultural friction. Using Persian, Greek, and English, we collaboratively investigate and highlight the traces of these interactions through the lens of language and culture. Through this study, we challenge the current definition of boundaries between nations and how language reinforces or changes this sensibility.

These interactions are clearly presented in a number of Greek and Persian words. For example, while words such as ocean, key, and paradise look radically different in each respective writing system, one can identify common phonetic qualities in both languages. We excavate and present remnants from our shared history in the form of a visual and textual “dictionary”. Using elements from each language and culture, we highlight the past and the way it can inform the present and future. Additionally, with this investigation, we hope to instigate a conversation about the power of language in shaping connections between people and nations.

5:10 pm

Maurice Meilleur

Meaningless Signs and Undefinable Shapes: Jurriaan Schrofer’s Modular Letters

Decades before color and variable fonts, the Dutch designer Jurriaan Schrofer’s experimental alphabets were expanding the range of what letters could look like. His projects are well-known … what’s not as well-known is how he made them, or why his process is so significant.

I’ll use a series of animations to show how Schrofer’s fascination with optical, concrete, and generative art and the semiotics of graphics, and with two simple truths about letters — that they have no intrinsic meanings and no ideal forms — freed him to turn his alphabets into puzzles he created and solved for himself, where the process of solving them was as satisfying as the solutions he arrived at. By thinking of letters as systematic combinations of formal elements and their parameters, Schrofer became the first person — working with the Latin alphabet, at least — to describe a truly modular approach to letterform design. I’ll conclude by suggesting that his projects are so appealing in part because, in order to understand his letters, we have to recreate his process of creating them for ourselves.

5:30 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

8:30 pm

SOTA’s Night of Type

View the special events schedule for details.

Sunday, September 1st

9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:30 am

Type Gallery Exhibits & SOTA Marketplace Open

9:30 am

Fiona Ross & Alice Savoie

Women in Type: A Social History of Women’s Role in Type Drawing Offices 1910–1990

A discussion of the University of Reading research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust that transcends discipline boundaries to examine gender issues in the field of type manufacturing. Design histories have largely overlooked the activities of those — particularly women — who contributed to the type design and manufacturing processes during the rapidly changing social and technological environments of the twentieth century. Fiona and Alice will describe how their research intends to provide a socio-historical analysis of the pivotal role women played in the (largely male-dominated) British type manufacturing industry from 1910–1990. Focusing on this period of huge technological changes that fundamentally influenced the industry, they examine women’s status and responsibilities at the leading type manufacturing UK companies, Monotype and Linotype.

The talk will illustrate how the research team has drawn from its experiences as type designers and historians to identify and track agencies of change for women in British type drawing offices against the social and technological contexts of the period, with the aim of assessing these women’s contribution to typeface design. The project’s findings are of great relevance to the history of women in printing and publishing.

9:50 am

Math Lommen

Letters as Models: Printed Lettering Model Books

The printed model or pattern book, once a source for design ideas, is now a valuable resource for historical research. Model books were essential in the classroom, the workshop, and the studio to design interiors, letters, or fashion. It was very common in this genre to borrow right and left from predecessors, which makes it difficult to trace the original source of a design. Apart from that, model books are often in poor condition and incomplete, as they were actually meant to be used by the profession.

Lettering model books form an interesting category that also reflects new trends in art and design. Obviously, letterers were always in need of suitable models, even before the invention of printing. The mediæval artists who produced initials put together sample sheets to be used in their own scriptoriums and to present to clients. A flood of primarily lithographic lettering model books and portfolios were published from the early 1830s, though they are often not to be found in traditional repositories and hardly any research has been done on them. This talk will give a short overview of the European lettering model books, especially those of the 19th and 20th century. Which craftsmen compiled those books and for which audiences?

Nowadays, historical lettering books are being collected by young professionals and enthusiastically shared on social media. Letters originally designed in the 19th and 20th centuries seem te be once more a relevant source of inspiration.

10:10 am

Phil Carey-Bergren

A Compassionate Approach To Font Enforcement

Artists, lawyers, and clients — oh my! As Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at Monotype, I’m familiar with the fact that some companies and brands use type and occasionally don’t understand licensing or realize that someone actually owns the fonts they’re using. I’ve spent the last several years helping to develop an effective method for engaging those organizations in a compassionate, business-friendly way to learn more about their branding and type needs and ensure they have all the tools and licensing needed for their brand identities. This approach usually results in a relationship built on trust, understanding and partnership, rather than on cease-and-desist letters or threats of litigation. This session will provide neither legal advice nor complicated fine print, but will rather educate attendees on engaging brands to solve their unique problems, create lucrative, long-term customer relationships, and create a more level-playing field for the entire type community.

10:30 am

Mark van Wageningen

A Colorful Typographic Time Travel Trip

In this presentation I will take the audience on a trip through the history of multicolored typography. With a renewed interest in multicolored type design — which started with the development of emojis — I will show that there is nothing new under the sun. Contemporaries of Gutenberg — the inventor of movable type — designed and printed a chromatic typeface in the 15th century. Via multicolored designs of William H. Page and Cassandre, I will show a multicolored typographic historical timetable. This presentation will show the past, the present, and the future of multicolored typography. This colorful presentation will answer all your questions such as: Why is the color red often used in the organization of text? What is the difference between rubrications and illuminations? What is the difference between color contrast and type contrast? Will color be the new bold? What is the difference between decoration and deconstruction? What were Johannes Fust and Peter Schöffer doing in Mainz in the 15th century? Are type designers traditionally thinking in black and white? This presentation will end with sharing some design tips and tricks in case you are inspired to design a multicolored typeface yourself.

10:50 am

Coffee Break

11:20 am

Nirmal Kumawat & Praveen Dhanuka

Enhancing the Power of Color Fonts

Color fonts represent the next revolutionary step for typography, which contain details like color, gradients, and texture in a font file. OpenType SVG fonts contains color vector glyphs where each glyph is constructed using one or more colored paths. It depends on a font designer that what type of color information a glyph should have. Once a glyph is designed with some fixed set of colors, then there is no way to change the color of such glyph while keeping the text live. We provide mechanism where user can apply its own color to any of the path of a color glyph while the text is still live. Users can also specify their own graphic, texture, or image on any path of the color glyph instead of just replacing color of a glyph. Users can design multiple stylistic variations of a single color glyph by changing the original color and using them as custom stylistics alternate glyphs. Along with the recoloring of a glyph, we also propose mechanism for users to generate the animation by varying the colors and graphics inside a color glyph. Users can also generate animated videos based on the varying colors.

11:40 am

Nathan Willis

Four Takes on the Problem of Spacing Automation

For type designers, letter-fitting is an integral part of the design process, yet it is also often an interruption — pulling the designer away from joyful, creative act of drawing to squint at side-bearings and scrutinize test strings.

It is hardly surprising that type designers have searched for ways to automate their letter-fitting workflow over the years — even though no automation solution has emerged victorious.

This session will look at four approaches to letter-fitting by software and show how they relate to the manual spacing process traditionally taught in typeface design courses and literature. For an example of each spacing model, the talk will highlight the center-balance approach of David Kindersley’s LOGOS software, the geometrical measurement approach used by URW’s hz-program, the sectored approach used by Toshi Omagari’s BubbleKern, and the stem-rhythm approach used by LS Cadencer.

Considered separately, none of these approaches meets every type designer’s needs. But taken together, they offer a more complete perspective on how automation can help accelerate and simplify the spacing process.

12:00 pm

Alexandria Canchola

As Type Becomes Image

Being trained in the careful and complex art of pairing word and image, I expected that they would exist as natural partners, but in fact there seems to be little intimacy in how they are treated by designers. Generally speaking, they exist as separate units that live on a page, apart, rarely touching or interacting with each other. This presentation investigates the complex and fascinating relationship between word and image as they simultaneously merge together and break apart.

In an effort to explore this concept further several research studies were developed. The work presented explores both traditional and emerging technologies and practices such as letterpress printing with polymer plates, laser cutting with physical material, polyester plate lithography, 3D printing, and CNC milling. Utilizing these recent developments in technology not only expands the world of typography and its primary function, but allows for unconventional design works as type and image combine to create a new typographical experience.

The words, in all formats presented, begin with a collection of written words bringing a “human” touch to the digital realm they manifest. This work showcases the significance that typographical forms possess using letters as formal design elements as well as basic symbols of communication. We will study how typography can go beyond giving a voice to the text but through its expressiveness can become the whole picture.

12:20 pm

Jen Hadley

As Seen on TV! Type for Broadcast

Chyrons — those words at the bottom of your television screen. Like Velcro or Q-tips, Chyron is a brand that has been turned into a noun. Type for television has long been defined by the technology available. From hand-painted title cards to the Vidifont machine, and now into augmented reality, creating type for television is a collaboration between designers and engineers. Think of an era of television history, and I’ll bet you can picture what the font on the bottom of the screen looked like. Those design choices were made in concert with the technological tools of their day. This presentation will share the history of those tools and techniques we’ve used to put words on screens, and the evolution of an industry that exists behind the scenes worldwide.

12:40 pm

Closing Remarks

1:00 pm

SOTA Marketplace Closes

2:00 pm

Type Crit

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6:00 pm

Closing Event

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