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TypeCon - day one

Westborough, Mass. - 16 June 2000
Over the three days of TypeCon 2000 I posted these session overviews and observations. Day one postings are shown below. Day two postings can be found here and day three postings are here.
typologomontage
16 June 2000 - 2.33pm - Si
Bob Colby and Bill are setting up the conference office as I walk in and introduce myself. Bob is looking a little stressed but still offers to show me around. Unlike the mega-sized conferences I've attended in the past, TypeCon will be an intimate affair, with one small conference room for presentations, and a discussion room downstairs. The event looks set to start on time, with registration commencing at 4pm and the first panel discussion starting at 6 [full schedule is posted here]. Bob reveals that several other participants, including Chank, have already checked in. I scour the bar for someone with spiky hair wearing pajamas… no luck.

16 June 2000 - 3.25pm - Si
Sent mail to the Type.Design list with a link to this page. Realize that it was HTML formatted - so expect to get another roasting from list members.

16 June 2000 - 11.30pm - Si
Instead of the roasting from Type.Design members I find a 'best wishes' message from Hrant, phew!

The first three panel sessions took place earlier this evening followed by an evening reception.

First off was a session on type development tools featuring Brian J Bonislawsky, David Buck of Sparky Type, Stuart Sandler of the Font Diner and graphic designer Brett Yancy Collins of Counterspace fame. The panel discussion quickly veered slightly off-course, moving away from font tools towards issues of originality, serendipity and inspiration in type design. On the subject of serendipity in type design David Buck of Sparky Type recalled, 'I did a K recently that was wrong... apparently... but I like it.'

Chicken

The second session dealt with the future of type. I was present on the panel alongside Tony DiPietro, Gary Munch of Munch Fonts, Adobe's Thomas Phinney, Mike Cina and David Berlow. Discussion covered panelists predictions for the next big thing in font style as well as the future of font technology. The verdict… OpenType is the best thing since sliced bread and serifs will be making a comeback. You read it here first.

The final and most interesting session of the evening addressed the question - who is buying type? The panel was made up of two independent type designers, Brian Bonislawsky and Stuart, and two type distributors Ralph of Phil's Fonts and Laurence Penney representing MyFonts.com.

The indie's described their diverse client list which include housewives, advertising agencies, porn mag publishers, newbie computer users discovering fonts for the first time as well as the scary font collectors… 'they send a chill down my spine', claimed Brian.

Ralph of Phil's Fonts described his client base as mainly advertising and design agencies buying lots of fonts by established foundries. Ralph's clientele for Phil's Garage Fonts label was described as being very different. Laurence stated that the recently launched MyFonts.com is aimed squarely at users that have never purchased a font before. The panelists also described issues relating to the language used in font licenses, pricing, font support issues and piracy.

On the news front

MyFonts.com have revamped and simplified their font vendor participation terms … Thomas Phinney reported that Adobe plan to release a version of their OpenType FDK with a graphical user interface.


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article posted 16 June 2000 and last updated 4 September 2000.


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