Part of Jul 2011 by

TypeCon 2011: Surge

Surrounded by hand-painted signs, rare bookstores, and vibrant art culture, TypeCon 2011: Surge went-off in New Orleans, a perfect locale. Design royalty and up-and-comers descended on the city to talk type.

Ed Benguiat, School of Visual Arts faculty and typographer (with logotypes like The New York Times and Playboy under his belt), was a favorite. Benguiat set the benchmark for his era, including 500 typefaces to his credit. He was the former Vice President of the International Typeface Corporation, and a spectacular storyteller. Benguiat certainly falls into the category of design royalty at the conference.

Erin McLaughlin, a 26-year-old from New York, won this year’s Catalyst Award. According to TypeCon’s website, the judges were “unanimous in recognising the qualities of her Katari typeface design.” McLaughlin received her Master’s Degree from the University of Reading, UK.

Three representatives from the Cherokee Nation spoke during the conference, requesting that the type community design a new face for their language. Groundwork to keep the Cherokee language alive in various digital formats has been vast—including work with ipads and phones. And, type designers, who come forth, will in essence assist in the preservation of the language. Imagine texting in Cherokee.

Akko (trademarked), Light Italic

Akira Kobayashi, one of the most influential type designers working today, introduced a typeface called Akko—a contemporary, sans-serif face.

Between events and presentations at TypeCon 2011, which I thoroughly appreciated, I shot photos of vernacular signage on the streets of New Orleans. The entire experience was thought provoking and inspiring. And, I love New Orleans.

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