Special Review of the Latest Smash, TypeCon2001

Today’s Special Feature is a review of the recent TypeCon2001 in Rochester, New York written by Stephen Coles. Stephen was one of the fortunate attendees of this year’s TypeCon2001 held in Rochester, New York earlier this month. His review provides a glimpse into a bit of the character, warmth, knowledge gained and the overall fabulous experience of this year’s conference.

Included with Stephen’s '14 Things I Learned at TypeCon2001' is a list of Top Quotes, the Top Three Presentations, and Web site links to names mentioned and more resources.

(See also July 18th’s column here, Connecting With Typography at TypeCon2001, which includes the press release immediately following the conference and further details.)

14 Things I Learned at TypeCon2001

by Stephen Coles
Reprinted with permission.

ITC Caslon No.224 by Edward Benguiat. Graphic by Shirley Kaiser, SKDesigns. copyright © 2001. All rights reserved.
  1. Ed Benguiat can deviate from his assigned topic for hours at a time and still keep an audience intrigued. He’s just that entertaining.
  2. No one really knows where on-screen type is headed. (Frank Romano told us we’re nearing the end of 72 DPI: "Hi-res digital paper is around the corner." But Laurence Penney begged to differ: "Bitmap fonts will be around for another 20-30 years." Later in the show, Chank blew chank chunks upon hearing the words "bitmap fonts.")
  3. So far, we’ve only seen a speck of dust from the gold mine that is John Downer’s gorgeous work.
  4. I can use OpenType with Quark, PageMaker, SimpleText or anything that works with ATM. It’s the spiffy new layout features that aren’t compatible with these apps, not the format itself. (Adobe is converting their entire collection to OT and I can’t find reason to blame them.)
  5. Chuck Rowe has interesting, important things to say - even after a couple beers.
  6. According to Frank Martinez, an attorney experienced with font legalities, a designer can put whatever she darn well pleases in her font user license. (At least that’s what I took from that session - maybe I missed something. But I found it interesting in light of recent list discussions on the subject.)
  7. Downtown Rochester is dull.
  8. Adam Twardoch tried his darndest to represent the entire Eastern half of Europe. (I’m not sure how many times I heard him utter "but there isn’t any CE support" or "where’s the ogonek?", but he did represent, yo.)
  9. When you get the chance to see a real live Macworld staffer on stage take advantage of the opportunity. Ask them point-blank what the hell they were thinking when they instituted Stymie for body copy. (Sadly, I never got the chance. Terri Stone never sat on a panel. She did moderate a discussion on married couples in the type business but i figured it might be out of line to bring up ill-conceived font choices for magazine text during that one.)
  10. Joshua Darden is a Matthew Carter about to happen. (He’s slow to praise himself despite his genius and quick to show genuine interest in anyone regardless of their position on the notoriety ladder.)
  11. House Industries is lucky their work is so damn good or that increasingly familiar slide show would lose its luster after its second showing. (Instead, they’ve managed to ring a few years out of the old rag.)
  12. Gary Munch not only wins and chairs type competitions, he’s also good for a free lunch.
  13. "Heavy, alternative, psychoblly rock" bands and typographers don’t mix. (As 'Wigglestick' played Sat. night the group of chatting attendees mingled 20 yards away at the opposite end of the deck. There was the occasional curious individual who wandered closer to see exactly what was emitting the noise. Too bad no one saw fit to get down. I was hoping to sneak a dance with Sibylle Hagmann.)
  14. The type community is relatively small and surprisingly friendly. Typographers and type designers go out of their way to help each other. (I saw 4 foundries sharing their marketing and distribution strategies in an open panel. How many industries share this spirit of cooperation?)

Top Quotes

Avant Garde font, graphic by Shirley Kaiser, SKDesigns. copyright © 2001. all rights reserved.Richard Kegler addresses the audience during the copyright and licensing session: “How many of you happen to have fonts on your hard drive that you didn’t pay for?” Close to half the group raise their hands. “The rest of you are liars.”

“The font Avant Garde only looks good in the word 'Avant Garde.'” - Ed Benguiat

Top Three Presentations

  1. Ed Benguiat on himself
  2. John Downer on "Scaling the Wall Between Lettering and Typography"
  3. Don Synstelien and Chris MacGregor on "Typography on Display"

For those who don’t know them...

Stephen Coles

Stephen Coles' current work consists of graphic design and the construction of an informational typographic haven on the Web: The above Review is copyright © 2001 Stephen Coles. Reprinted with permission.

Thanks to Stephen Coles for granting permission to reprint this terrific review originally posted to the Typo-L and The Type Designers Forum discussion lists.

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Categories: Reviews, Typography

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