It is with a heavy heart (and an empty stomach) that I write this final recap of TypeCon2011, as I am not in the heart of the French Quarter enjoying gumbo and grits while listening to the white noise of Bourbon Street, but instead I'm in my DC apartment with no type nerds or overaged street skanks to keep me company. Hmph. I know, I know, at least I got to have the experience and blah blah blah, but YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. It was UH-MAY-ZING!
Okay, pouting aside, here's a recap of my final days of Southern Typographic Awesomeness (aka SOTA).
I find that most conferences tend to have a rather thin lineup on the final day, but I was happily surprised to find that is soo not the case with TypeCon...we had a full day (and evening) of presentations, crits, demos, and jazz. And what better way to start this morning than with coffee and lingerie. Nope, I'm not talking about my suitcase items (I'm more of a t-shirt kind of girl anyway), but rather the seductive Lettering and Lingerie presentation by Neil Summerour, the founder and lettering artist of type foundry Positype. He walked us through the embarrassment of the makeup counter and the process of making lipstick type for the Victoria's Secret Bra Book. FYI: Lipstick takes 8 days to cure and Revlon Lustrous 740 in Red gives the best results.
After Neil were several "Type in 20" presentations followed by the 10th Annual Type Crit, where the type masters (Matthew Carter, John Downer, Akira Kobayashi, and Ed Benguit) provided constructive criticism of attendees' type designs. As you can see from the notes, Ed is a talker. We also learned that the NOLA version of "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" is "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs." Have I mentioned that I love New Orleans?
In the afternoon we enjoyed lectures about Tombstone Ligatures, Typographic Coupling, and Type Design in the Fourth Dimension (this one made my head hurt). The final presentation was by Michelle Perham, speaking on behalf of Font Aid, a truly inspiring showcase of designers using their gifts to help others. Font Aid V is almost done and for only $20 you can help the victims of Japan (and also get a font). A big thanks to Grant Hutchinson and Neil Summerour for all their hard work on this collection.
Sooo after a full day of lettering goodness, we were rewarded with a jazz cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez! Although we were perplexed by some of the boat's signage (why a period after Natchez?), we were tickled to see Ed Benguiat enjoying a beverage next to a DO NOT ENTER sign in his font Benguiat (Photo taken by Mark Bixby).
A thunderstorm and sunset later we deboarded the Natchez and took to the streets. Our fearless leader Ale Paul led the way towards a blurry evening of jazz (Rebirth Brass Band), drinks and dancing, culminating with a Sharpee tattoo session at Arnaud's. Despite my lack of showers, the gorgeous lettering on my arm has now faded. But lucky for me, Ale got a hold of my sketchbook (see below). For those who may not understand my reason for geeking out about this, you should know that Ale is the man behind such gorgeous fonts as Adios Script and Lady Rene. And if this video of Poem Script doesn't make you buy the font immediately, you are crazy and I don't like you.
Monday was a sad day indeed—saying goodbye to all the good folks of TypeCon2011—but I left with a pocket full of names and emails, and a heart full of memories (everyone say "Awwwwwwww"). I'd like to thank SOTA for organizing this fabtastic conference and Janine for sending me to the Crescent City on behalf of UPPERCASE...I am forever in your debt. I'd also like to give a shoutout to my cab driver "Big E" for not only getting me to the airport on time, but for also explaining the difference between lifestyle and sassy conferences, the reasoning behind barber shop prices, and for putting his wife on speaker phone to prove that his mother-in-law is from my home town of Grenada, MS. I couldn't have asked for a better send off.
And lastly, thank you UPPERCASE readers for sticking around for my ramblings. I hope these posts will encourage you to attend TypeCon2012, and if so, we should totally hang out.
Till next time, take it Easy.
xoxo – Carolyn Sewell