By 6:30 PM droves of type professionals and enthusiasts, practitioners and students alike were gathering in the lavish lobby, some of them forming a queue at the temporary registration desk. After everyone had been seated, organiser Simone Wolf welcomed the audience. Then ATypI president Jean François Porchez took the mic, opening the 50th ATypI Conference ‘Typographical Journeys’ in his charming but not always quite understandable Franglais.
As mentioned previously, renowned information designer, graphic designer and type designer Erik Spiekermann replaced the transportationally challenged Lupton for the keynote speech. Erik told me afterwards that he was asked at 4:00 pm that very day if he could substitute for the absent Lupton. As he explained at the beginning of his speech, his computer was stolen in Valencia some months ago. Since then he lugs around a hard drive which fortunately holds all his presentations amongst others. This allowed him to pick the most convenient one for this specific occasion, one that would appeal to students that might not know him, yet wouldn’t bore out of their skulls people who were familiar with his work.
Although the seasoned pros already knew most of the stuff Erik was talking about, the material was presented in such an entertaining way that it hardly mattered. Furthermore the talk was peppered with hilarious anecdotes and in-jokes (he asked the in-crowd to enlighten the bemused students about his remarks about Gill and sheep).
Once again Spiekermann confirmed his status as one of the most knowledgeable and entertaining speakers in the industry. Add to that the fact that he is forthcoming and always prepared to help out wherever he can – he agreed to and was able to give a presentation on two hours notice, no mean feat. Throw him in the water and not only does he swim, but he crosses the friggin’ Channel from Calais to Dover without even breaking a sweat.
As the evening progressed groups formed that left for dinner. When exiting the venue together Dan Reynolds presented me with the first scoop. Contrary to the press release announcing the acquisition of Linotype by Monotype Imaging which stated “Linotype will continue as Linotype GmbH under the leadership of Bruno Steinert, managing director, (...)”, Bruno Steinert had in fact just left Linotype. As we were walking up to the restaurant Bruno himself clarified that he had worked non-stop for Linotype for 45 years since he was 16 years old, and maybe it was time to stop. In retrospect I shouldn't have been so surprised because such a career ending is pretty common. Dan confirmed that day-to-day business was still quite the same at Linotype under the new Monotype Imaging management. There haven’t been any relocation nor layoffs, so let’s wait and see what the future holds for The Source of The Originals in Bad Homburg.
Good job, Yves!
Rather compact, but to the point. Spiekermann's key note was indeed an uber-upbeat start of the conference and - I have to say it - much more worthwile than the scheduled 'Univers strikes back'.
Waiting for the rest...
11.10.2006 - 04.55.41
Posted by Corina
I can't afford but to be compact. It's already this long, and wait till you read Day Two tonight...
11.10.2006 - 05.08.52
Posted by Yves Peters a.k.a. Unzipper
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