With TypeCon 2012 recently concluded, I’ve had a bit of time to stew about what I learned from my time at the convention that encompasses all things typographic.
Since there were over 40 events, I’ll just give you the highlights.
Creative greatness is not typically a solo venture, and usually requires someone with good business sense partnered with the creative genius.
Oswald “Oz” Cooper, developer of the famous Cooper Black typeface, had a devoted partner Fred Bertsch whom he supported even after Bertch had to retire after mental breakdown from untreated syphilis.
Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype machine, is probably one of the greatest, but least widely known, inventors. Mergenthaler had not only a partner, but an entire board to market his genius. Unfortunately, Mergenthaler did not fare so well and died at the young age of 42 from tuberculosis, not recognizing his success and fortune from the Linotype machine.
Developing high quality OpenType Arabic typefaces is more that a little complex. Multiple contextual replacements can be the best solution to make the final script readable. Shaping and placement of letters is a challenge.
More than a little effort has been expended to determine the emotional response of people to fonts. Starting with small sample groups, this can easily be expanded to larger research samples.
“Every society rewrites its past, every reader rewrites its texts, and, if they have any continuing life at all, at some point every printer redesigns them.” D.F. McKenzie, Bibliography and Sociology of Texts
Typesetting tools have changed dramatically over the years, they are no longer dangerous and are definitely much more efficient.
Beer is the most consumed drink in Columbia, replacing the previous favorited homemade fermented corn mush “Chicha,” that was banned in 1910 over health concerns and a desire for the increased tax base from beer.
You can get a new pangram (a sentence that uses every letter in the English languge) a day from http://dailypangram.tumblr.com/
Mark Simonson has a great little pangram creation helper tool on his site called the Pangram helper.
Kickstarter can be a great way to fund a typeface development project, just don’t expect it to take off immediately without continual love and effort.
The Medium is the Massage. Yes, that’s ‘massage’ not ‘message.’
Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is one kickass place. Wish that I could spend a year perusing their catalog. We could easily have lost our WebINK PM, Brad Dunzer in there just playing with all of the tools.
The brain is programmed to notice change: motion, color, form and position in space.
“FMRI studies have studied that visual systems are faster at deciphering knowledge than language,” says Beth Koch.
7.5 maya are alive today. Two million speak the mayan language. Mayan has 20+ languages in total.
There are some pretty cool bits of chrome typography on cars.
SOTA always does a wonderful job putting together Typecon, and I look forward to returning in the coming years.