TypeCon 2014 was a turning point for me. It was the first time I’d been surrounded by designers, by my people. Constant talk of serifs and styles—of balance and the effect of type on people—of all the nerdy things I thought about.
While at TypeCon 2014, I decided two things: that I would design a typeface and that I would teach a typography course at the University of Virginia.
Well, I finished the typeface in December last year: Torch was its name. It’s a display face that is, no doubt, awful. It was my first attempt at type design, and I hope to improve.
The class, I ended up teaching in the second semester of the year. It was UVa’s first typography course, and it was rocky. I definitely have room for improvement as a teacher, but the students produced impressive work, and that’s all I could have hoped for.
This year at TypeCon, I decided to live-tweet the event. I didn’t really think the decision through, because it was completely exhausting. Enough people seemed to really like it, though, so I continued.
Live tweeting @typecon starting now lets go! pic.twitter.com/SOWye3yr6h
— Lucas Czarnecki (@lucas_czarnecki) August 13, 2015
Part the way through the conference, I realized that it might make sense to use some of that positive energy and momentum, and get people involved in a group project—something tangible that we could all take home. That’s when I realized we could create a font together. I have an app on my Surface Pro 3 called iFontMaker. It’s not great, but it’s fun for wasting time in class or in a meeting. I tweeted out the idea and started approaching people. I knew I needed a few letters done before getting big names, and I knew having big names would help the momentum. Some people drew several characters; some took their time, getting one exactly right; still others drew one quickly and went on with their lives. I am grateful to them all just the same.
Who wants to come by and write a letter? A part of me wants to make a #TypeCon2015 #TypeCon font. @typecon pic.twitter.com/VqWCwbvXS1 — Lucas Czarnecki (@lucas_czarnecki) August 14, 2015
By the end of the conference, we had fully developed upper-and-lower-case alphabets and numerals. Check them out and download the font file:
It’s a pretty funky font—none of the characters match each other, and it took quite a bit to make them all roughly the right size. All in all, I’m very happy with it and hope to do it again next year.
- Stephen Coles
- Marian Bantjes
- Joseph Alessio
- Andre Casey
- Rober Leuschke
- Mike Stinson
- Nancey Bernardo
- Blithe Parsons
- John Downer
- Richard Hunt
- Mark Caneso
- Georg Seifert
- Mary Mashburn
- Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer
- Vicki Golden
- Laura Serra
- Josh Farmer
- Dot Dodd
- Jason Campbell
- Mark Simonson
- Meaghan Dee
- Dave Addey
- Kendall Hotchkiss
- Jan Ballard
- Shiva Nallaperumal
- Adam Osgood
- Perrin Stamatis
- Darby Clark
- Theresa Dela Cruz
If I’ve missed you, or if I’ve listed you incorrectly, please let me know.
I’m starting to teach my typeface design class again, so I looked up your crowd-sourced Typecon font, was happy to see you uploaded it. I didn’t realize you had managed to get all the slots filled. I’ll show it to the class next week.
Thanks for the initiative and the persistence!
Richard “Lower Case a” Hunt
It’s great to hear from you! I’ve actually started on another (serious) typeface. I’d love to get some feedback on it when it’s a bit more developed.
I hope the clas goes well!
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