TypeCon2011: Surge Is Building

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News | Yves Peters | July 7, 2011

This week TypeCon2011 – the annual conference presented by the non-profit Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) – surges into the Big Easy. Dozens of the brightest names in type and design will share their knowledge and skills, exploring topics such as: Japanese typography; the champions of readability; typography for the web; the graphic history behind QSL cards; book design and bookbinding; Fontographer basics; letterpress techniques; connections between lettering and lingerie; historic New Orleans print engraving; the lack of Latin typographic heritage in Turkey; glass gilding; and so much more.


French Quarter, New Orleans. Photo by Nick Sherman

As usual the main programme is preceded by a series of pre-conference workshops running from Tuesday to Thursday at Loyola University, tackling disciplines ranging from hand lettering to digital typography – typographic posters, Japanese stab bookbinding, hand-lettering blackletter, (web) typography in CSS, CSS3 & XHTML, glass gilding, typography using processing and Adobe Illustrator, letterpress, Fontographer basics, calligraphy, … This year’s Special Events kicked off on Tuesday evening with the opening reception for Handmade Design, a three month long silent auction fundraiser presented by TypeCon in conjunction with Loyola University New Orleans, with all proceeds supporting the Greater New Orleans Foundation Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. Yesterday evening the Type Directors Club sponsored an open talk by Jessica Hische, one of today’s most influential emerging voices in typographic design. Judging from the reactions on Twitter she is very winning and foul-mouthed , and killed on stage.


Slide from Jessica Hische presentation at TypeCon2011: Surge. Photo by Grant Hutchinson.

Tomorrow night a screening is scheduled of Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century, the independent documentary by Richard Kegler capturing the personality and work process of the late Canadian graphic artist Jim Rimmer (1931-2010). Saturday evening starts with the opening reception for Graver to Press, an exhibition of hand engraved printing; followed by the infamous Type Quiz & Silent Auction sponsored by Monotype Imaging. TypeCon also hosts TypeTogether’s updated educational exhibition “Typefaces, from concept to reader”.


TypeTogether’s educational exhibition “Typefaces, from concept to reader”.

Tonight the illustrious and always entertaining Ed Benguiat will give his keynote presentation Persuasive Branding (or Making Your Type Talk). Then, tomorrow morning, Friday, July 8th, the main conference programme will start with Mystic Blue Signs’ Yvette Rutledge’s presentation Analog Dialog / Painting signs in New Orleans, and will run for three days until Sunday afternoon, July 10th. SOTA will say goodbye at the end of TypeCon in style with the Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise, a relaxing evening cruise on the mighty Mississippi.


New Orleans. Photo by Nick Sherman

You can follow conference news and feedback through the Typecon Twitter account, as well as the #typecon hash tag. Furthermore Si Daniels is providing coverage of TypeCon for those of us not there live. And the first pictures have started appearing in the TypeCon Flickr Group Pool.

For the typespotters – the web font featured prominently on the TypeCon website is the delightful ARS Maquette.

Header image: Nice hand lettering on a Lucky Dogs hot dog cart; French Quarter, New Orleans. Photo by Nick Sherman

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