At the end of a year, I often like to summarize what I accomplished in it, because it goes by so fast it’s hard to realize how much I’ve gotten done at the time. This year was quite busy!
In January, I ran a Kickstarter to fund a project I carried out as Designer in Residence at the School of Visual Concepts (SVC) to print a letterpress book of my work. It funded quickly, I printed the book in the summer, and just mailed out 30 of the limited edition of 100 several days ago. It’s called Not To Put Too Fine a Point on It.
You can get an ebook version of this set of reported and researched articles on type, printing, and language directly from me. The ebook version is expanded to 10 from the 6 articles and essays in the letterpress edition. (Download a PDF excerpt.)
As part of this work, I went from someone who had had experience with letterpress printing to a reasonably competent not-quite-beginner at it. I’m pleased with what I learned and the projects I was able to create.
This residency led me to pitch and write many articles about design and type at several publications and launch another project:
- This six-part series at Medium about revolutions in printing and type
- A story about the digital elements in the revival of letterpress for Backchannel at Wired
- This piece on font detectives, expert witnesses on document forgery based on printing and type for Backchannel
- Erik Spiekermann has created a new kind of “digital” letterpress (self-published at Medium)
- Long, short, and medium dashes (at my blog)
- Monotype’s revival of five Berthold Wolpe typefaces for CreativePro.com
- Funded a short book, London Kerning, that took me to London to see extraordinary type/printing history and meet with a ton of designers and printers (pre-order here)
I carried out a lot of other work, travel, and tasks, too:
- Released 7th edition of my book on networking, privacy, and security in iOS (now for iOS 11)
- Looked into Amazon’s impact on Seattle, for Fast Company
- Uncovered a $2m business founded by a 10-year-old, for Fast Company
- Wrote the first user manual for James Thomson's PCalc apps
- Started writing for Increment magazine, Backchannel (at Wired), Creative Pro, and American History magazine (Historynet)
- Designed a lanyard for type nerds
- Had a table at SVC's wayzgoose selling my stuff and talking about my book
- Travel to New York to attend a Kickstarter unconference with 150 other creators
- Went to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum & Printing Museum wayzgoose in Wisconsin
- Taught a workshop at SVC on letterpress and lasercutting
- Was the subject of a Jeff Carlson's photo-essay about my letterpress book project
While this seems like a lot, even to me who did it, it's still only a fraction. I also wrote somewhere around 300 other articles for Macworld, TidBITS, the Economist, and other publications, as well as kept an active blog on my letterpress book’s progress.
What’s in store for 2018? A few features are already on my plate for January. Finishing the writing of London Kerning and producing and having it printed. Seeing if a large book project I envision is feasible. Launching a Patreon to write more deeply and consistently about type, printing, and design. Producing a print version of an ever-larger version of the collection above. And likely writing hundreds more stories of all kinds!
Thanks to everyone who provided moral, financial, emotional, and other support this year! Despite the world burning down around us, I felt buoyed and was able to assert myself artistically in a way I haven't before in my career. My heartfelt thanks.