I had a very blasé attitude towards attending the talks at South by Southwest this year (though I had a strict regimine of parties to attend). The only presentation I really didn’t want to miss was Web Typography Sucks by Richard and Mark.
So it was that, despite a late night after the Great British Booze-up and South by Northwest, I made sure to get to the conference centre for the 10am start. I’m so glad I did. The presentation was absolutely amazing.
Mark and Richard had a fantastic rapport and the three months of preparation really showed. They packed in a ton of information and presented it all in an engaging and easy-to-digest way.
Yeah, I know I’m biased because I work with Richard but ask anyone who was there: these guys were on fire. You can go ahead and download the slides but you won’t get quite the same effect. Once the audio is released on the SXSW podcast you can follow along as you listen.
The typographical fun continued after lunch. I went to the world premiere of Helvetica, the movie. The screening was open to both flim and interactive attendees and the interest in it was phenomenal: the queue to get in stretched most of the way down the convention centre.
I loved this documentary. I wasn’t sure how well it could hold my interest—especially given the late night I’d had—but it had me gripped. I know it’s hard to imagine a gripping film about a typeface but that’s exactly what this was. It was also thought-provoking and funny. And the soundtrack was pretty cool too.
The director was on-hand to take questions afterwards along with David Carson who said some typically inflammatory things.
My only regret was that Joe wasn’t there. He would have loved hating it.
If you find out that Helvetica is coming to a screen near you, don’t miss it.