Type Americana: Hands-On DayI had a lovely time at a two-day type conference at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle a couple weeks ago. One day of lectures, one day of hands-on workshops. It was heaven for me, as my first love is type and typography, but I was never accomplished enough to devote my life to it. That doesn't mean I can't love it. Day 1 was terrific, as I learned quite a bit about the history of foundries and a few prominent (and less known) designers. The last lecture of the day was by Sumner Stone, talking about his history in digital type design, telling some previously unknown stories, and showing pictures of associated folks. My late design teacher Alvin Eisenman was in a few shots, and my senior project adviser Min Wang, too. I found out Min is now the dean of a prestigious design school in Beijing! He was a modest and quiet man, but very talented. (My good friend Brian Wu worked with Sumner and Min as an intern at Adobe many many years ago.) I reminisced a bit with Sumner about the old days, as we have a lot of colleagues in common. Day 2 was split in half between two workshops: the first half was letterpress printing with wood type with folks from the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. That rekindled my desire to work with letterpress, and I've signed up for a 10-week course at SVC starting in January. The second half, we worked with Sumner to create a quick typeface from a simple starting point. Very interesting all around. I wrote up some thoughts about letterpress, including a young printer just starting out on her career, for BoingBoing. Pictures from Day 1 and Day 2 are at Flickr. The woman holding the Tomato in Concert poster is Megan Clark from Vancouver, Wash., who owns a design studio, and was my printing buddy for the Hamilton workshop. It was a hoot working with her: I had some letterpress background, and she had great ideas. My job was just to say, "yes, we should," and the results were great. Megan wrote up her experiences on her studio blog.