I’m so happy to announce that I’ll be speaking at this year’s TypeCon among an impressive line up of speakers. My talk will focus on my teaching experience in lettering design with GoodType.co and I’ll unveil many secrets on drawing letterforms. I’m very looking forward to be there and hang out with my peers.

Also is my first time visiting Us, so although I’m short in time I’ll be visiting New York. I’m happy as a kid! Registration for TypeCon is open, you should come too!




Earlier this year we were extremely honoured to be asked to design the identity for the 2014 TypeCon conference (presented by The Society of Typographic Aficionados). The conference is held in a different city each year and this year it is the turn of the nations Capitol, Washington D.C.

This years title is “Capitolized”, and is held on July 30 — August 03, 2014. Above is a small taster of the graphic identity for this years conference. More will be revealed over the coming weeks…

—yes you’ve seen this everywhere but holy shit I can’t believe how great this is. Poignant typographic dissent (?) by Build. Can you imagine if Build ever teamed up with Barnbrook? How fucking crazy great would that be

TypeCon 2014

It took me a while to decide whether or not I should write a post about what has happened during the past five days in Washington, D.C. My hesitation stems from the fact that I’m not much of a writer, but given the series of events that have transpired, the people whom I have gotten the chance to meet, and the incredible amount of fresh and carefully researched information I have learned over the past few days at TypeCon 2014, I wouldn’t be doing justice to myself, to the event organizers, and to the speakers if I didn’t really write out how TypeCon completely changed my life.

I am new to type and what I study has nothing to do with graphic design or typography, except for the fact that I use letterforms, something that can be said of almost everything else. If you met me at TypeCon, my introduction spiel was that I am a business student who also happened to be really interested in typography and came to TypeCon to get a chance to meet type designers in person. I actually got more than I had bargained for. The people whom I have so much admiration for (and follow so religiously on Twitter) were all there right in front of my eyes: Matthew Carter, Tobias Frere-Jones, Matthew Butterick, Jackson Cavanaugh, Stephen Coles, Alejandro Paul, David Jonathan Ross, among many, many others. I’m also a soccer fan, so I’ll go ahead and liken this to meeting the entire squad of my favorite team without having to be behind barricades and security guards; I could even talk to them for as long as I wanted.

I was also fortunate enough to talk to Kent Lew, who, after hearing my spiel, told me that I “shouldn’t be apologetic for being a business student because TypeCon isn’t only a gathering place for type designers but is also one for individuals from any and every other profession to come and learn about type.” After talking for a while about his success with Whitman, I asked him a question that ultimately ended up being one that I would also have to think about for a long time. “Why do type designers rarely venture into releasing Vietnamese language support, even when the language uses a Latin-based alphabet?” The answer was twofold, and the first part was consistent across several other type designers whom I asked the same question: there’s not really a market for creating Vietnamese glyphs and so why spend time creating something that you’re not sure if you’ll get commensurate compensation for the effort you put in? The second, specific to Kent, was that the typographic community did not yet have a go-to person who knew a lot about Vietnamese, and so no one really wanted to release something that wasn’t backed up by substantial research.

That, in turn, led to other technical problems, one of which is how to maneuver around this particular glyph Ẵ (Alegreya Sans, Cambria, Skolar)

with the stacked diacritic without lowering the cap height, something mentioned by Tobias Frere-Jones. Evidently, space constraint is a very real issue in type design. Regarding the same issue, I have always felt strange that the accent grave for the ề of Cambria is placed on the left side of the circumflex, which probably doesn’t look natural to native writers, although they would definitely recognize it. While it is preferable that the accent be directly on top, it can’t always be done, and so some have put it to the side. It is worth mentioning that Skolar (Rosetta), Alegreya ht Pro (Huerta Tipográfica), and Minion Pro and Arne Pro (Adobe) put both accents on the right of the circumflex (which I think looks great and more familiar with what I’ve grown up seeing in handwritten Vietnamese).

But I can only imagine that these are just the beginning of many, many other challenges that the Vietnamese language presents to ambitious type designers.

With that said, however, I think a step has already been taken towards helping these very type designers. Victor Gaultney, in his presentation, showcased ScriptSource, a “collaborative, dynamic online reference to scripts, alphabets and writing systems” that will feature not only the core data of the language and community content, but also active discussion and contribution among members. I’ve taken for granted Vietnamese as a language and have never taken the time and effort to do much research on how it came to be what it is today. But after TypeCon, I think I might have just found something I can devote the non-business parts of my life to. I’ve always wanted to Vietnamese language support for my favorite fonts, and this might be a shot at realizing that goal.

Present at TypeCon, but missing from this gathering of Reading people at the ceremony for Fiona’s receipt of the SoTA Award: Dave Crossland, Kimya Gandhi, Victor Gaultney, Rob Keller, Ben Kiel, Helena Lekka, Mila Waldeck. Otherwise, from left: Juliet Shen, Vaibhav Singh, Rob McKaughan, Paul Hunt, Aaron Bell, Fiona Ross, Jenn Contois, Dan Rhatigan, Alessia Mazzarella, Terrance Weinzierl, Nadine Chahine, Erin McLaughlin, Erik Vorhes (SoTA Chair), Liron Lavi Turkenich, Aoife Mooney, Gerry Leonidas, Nathalie Dumont, Simon Daniels, Shelley Gruendler.
(Photo by Laurence Penney)

Illustrator Spotlight: Katie Campbell

TypeCon, the North American type geek convention, is a yearly a highlight for the MyFonts team.

One of our challenges as we prepared for TypeCon this year was to create fantastically unique t-shirts for the conference. In order to stand out from the competition, we thought it might be fun to design t-shirts using illustration rather than type. So we commissioned three artists to bring different, hillarious pangrams to life, interpreting them in illustrations. A pangram is a whimsical sentence that includes all of the letters of the alphabet. We left it up to the designers to make meaning of it all and turn these surrealist sayings into beautifully engaging t-shirt artwork.

Katie Campbell was an obvious choice for the job. With an unlimited range of skills and design techniques, her experience in taking a concept and turning it into a powerful piece of work is what first attracted MyFonts to this graphic designer and illustrator. Her beautiful portfolio and success in t-shirt sales from various vendors immediately convinced us. We asked her to turn “Packing Five Dozen Waxy Liquor Jugs? Must be a Typophile” into a print-worthy design.

Where are you from?

Savannah, GA

Where do you work/what is your job title?

I am a full-time Graphic Designer for Savannah College of Art and Design. I do freelance at night and on weekends.

When did you first know you wanted to work in illustration?

I originally went to school for painting but became interested around the time that gig posters were becoming huge collectors items and beautiful works of art. I wanted to learn about color separations, print production and paper. Companies like Methane Studios and Aesthetic Apparatus made me realize I could make a career out of it, so I switched to Graphic Design in order to merge my illustration skills with typography and layout design.

What jump-started  your career as an illustrator? How long have you been doing this professionally?

My career as an illustrator really took off once I got into apparel design. Threadless especially has been a platform to show my work and evolve my style and technique. Once I got my first few prints with Threadless, big name clients soon followed.

What is your connection to MyFonts? How did you get involved with the MyFonts Pangram Illustration project?

I’ve frequented Myfonts.com since I started studying design in school. Anytime I wanted to know what a font was I would use What the Font and it saved me so much time! I was contacted by MyFonts to do this project. It was a no brainer. The fact that the shirt was for one of the most well known online font libraries and would be seen at a TypeCon was extremely flattering.

What was your inspiration behind the design for your pangram?

We explored many different pangram options, but we both agreed that “Packing Five Dozen Waxy Liquor Jugs? Must be a Typophile” was the strongest visually on a shirt. Who doesn’t want to wear 60 melting jugs of booze on them?

What is your favorite illustration you have ever completed?

I recently did a t-shirt design for Justin Timberlake’s Summer Tour with Jay-Z. I think all of my experience in Graphic Design and typography really made this design strong and easy for me. I was pretty stoked when it got approved. It’s for sale now on his site :)

I also got MADE by Threadless which has to be one of the biggest highlights and honors in my career so far. They even made a cool video interview to accompany my line.


Katie’s rare and ever-evolving style has brought her clients such as the Gap and Justin Timberlake, and as her unique designs and approaches to each project will continue to bring this young designer high-profile jobs, we can’t wait to see what she’ll make next.

Check out Katie’s website to see more of her work at http://www.campkatie.com/.


TypeCon 2014 - Animation

The Writing of a Personal Note or Letter
1. Prepare a place in which to write. It is very important that this be a quiet place, one where you will temporarily be left alone. Romantics like high, vaulted ceilings under which to write.
Pragmatics like low slung huts. Some people require big gothic windows filled with sunlight, others require candle light and bed.
2. Preferably your place should be away from electronic media. This means no phones, faxes, radios, stereos (although some quiet classical music is o.k.). Especially this means getting away
from televisions, vcr’s and computers of any kind.
3. If your place is not a designated area and is only temporarily for writing your personal correspondence, clear a space at least as big as your arms are open. Clean the space. Select a comfortable chair. Arrange your writing supplies. Wash your hands.
(Sitting down to a designated writing space will place you in the proper frame of mind. As a great novel or excellent play or restaurant transforms, you will immediately be able to
focus on your own thoughts.)
4. After washing your hands, go back to the place, sit down, your feet directly beneath your hips, your feet facing relatively forward. let your hands fall naturally to your sides, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, relax your neck and head letting gravity gently roll your head forward. Take five to ten deliberate breaths while looking downward at nothing in particular. Clear your mind. Hum softly if you need to. Raise your hands to the work surface, let your hands
relax on top of the writing surface. If your mind has cleared and you feel calm you may lift your gaze to the writing surface and begin.
(Warning: at no time is it advisable to enter into the act of personal correspondence rashly or in an agitated state unless you are passionately in love or about to found a new nation and are very sure of this love or the victory of this new nation.
Otherwise i urge you to try the exercise again.)
5. When you are properly composed, take a sheet of writing paper (note card for brief or emphatic messages, correspondence cards for something a tad more involved, letter sheet for worthwhile
discussions.) Take out your favorite writing instrument and write. when conscientiously applied the above steps should allow your words to flow.
6. Re-read the correspondence when done, you may re-write it on a new sheet of paper (or card) If changes or corrections are required. keep an early draft for your records. Place the completed document in its envelope so that it faces you when opened from the back.
seal the envelope for posting, tuck the back flap in or lightly tack the adhesive if hand delivered.
7. Replace materials, put correspondence in a conspicuous place for posting or delivery, replace the chair upon which you sat.

Nancy Sharon Collins
Covington, LA

PDF at: http://typophile.com/files/WRITING DICTUM.pdf

this this this. From the talk that Nancy Sharon Collins gave at TypeCon in Buffalo in 2008


TypeCon 2014 - Animation