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Never too many type books

My first thought, when realising that I’d be stuck for a considerable amount of time in the forecourt of a tyre garage, tacked onto the outskirts of a rundown town, harangued by the banter of two car washers working in the same lot, was that of despair. I’d brought my laptop with me in anticipation of a long wait, but somehow this didn’t feel like the kind of place where whipping out a MacBook would be a great move, so a full and unproductive hour or so loomed before me. But then, freed of the ability to get any real work done, I realised I’d been given the perfect excuse to catch up on some RSS feeds and, oh, the liberation! Permission to just read. Among the pile of unread feeds (and, by the way, isn’t it wonderful that people are blogging again and yes, RSS really is still a thing?) was a recent essay from Craig Mod. I’ll point you towards Continuous Uninterrupted Solo Walks and the Adam Phillips interview that Craig quotes, which really resonated with me.

Craig’s motivations for his walks are very much the same as those for my (extremely tame by comparison) ‘wilderness days’, which I’ve written about in the past. In fact, reading Craig’s essay has made me want to get another one in for this to happen once more: “there is no “endgame” of the walking. The walking is conversation. Why would I want to stop having a conversation?”

But now I must apologise, because everything else in this issue is about me. Narcissism! Self-indulgence! Me me me me me! That’s what the algorithm gods demand of us, is it not? But honestly, though, I do try to avoid this behaviour. It’s just that I have so many new things I want to tell you about! And if I’d waited longer to fill out this issue with the ‘regular’ content, I would’ve missed the boat in telling you about all this stuff on time. So, first of all, here’s the big one:

Yesterday evening, I hit the ‘submit for review’ button on a brand new Kickstarter project. Much to my surprise — I was anticipating the one-to-three business days for review that Kickstarter advise — the approval came back immediately. (I guess automatic approval happens if you’ve run a Kickstarter before?) But I’m sticking to my plan of launching next Tuesday (14th) because then I’ve got a bit of time to hopefully build a bit of interest. Full disclosure: this issue of the newsletter is a core part of that supposed interest-building. Are you interested?!? Wait, I should probably tell you about it. Here’s a bit from the live-on-Tuesday Kickstarter page:

I’ve invited my friends at independent type foundries across the world to contribute to the very first volume of Fine Specimens, in which I’ll be showcasing the typefaces they’ve released within the last year. […] This isn’t a directory of fonts: this is all about the specimen graphics these foundries have created, wrapped in a beautiful book with very high production values that you’ll want to keep on your shelf forever — just like 8 Faces.

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Announcing a new type-focussed book so soon after the publication of Universal Principles of Typography is probably not the greatest example of a marketing strategy (spoiler alert: I have no strategy), but Fine Specimens won’t be ‘out’ (i.e. shipped to backers if the campaign’s successful) until November — and I see them as very different books. I won’t bore you with all the details now, but please do stick around if you’d like to hear more, because, if you’re going to be watching a space, this space is most definitely the best one to watch. You can also get notified via the holding page on Kickstarter.

Meanwhile, 2024 has somehow turned out to be the year I got back into public speaking. Not that I ever stopped, but the recent lull (partly Covid, partly the industry) seems to have passed: two gigs are done already, and there are six more in the calendar. I put up a short post on the blog about it, but TL;DR: here’s what’s coming up:

You read that “NEW DATES” bit correctly: unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances meant that we had to push back my Typography Masterclass for SmashingConf (which I’d mentioned in the last issue), and it’s now going to run from 10th–24th June.

Are you coming to any of those? If so, please do come and say hi! And for TypeParis, I’m going to try capturing the day via some videos. I’m even considering a special pop-up newsletter to cover the event, and the trip to and from Paris. Would you be interested in that? Please do let me know by hitting reply.

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Did you see that I launched a new episode of my Hello, type friends! podcast? (Apple | Spotify | hellotypefriends.com) This one’s with my good internet buddy Ty Finck, and, unlike the other episodes that have aired so far, we recorded it just a few days before it went live. We talked about making music regularly, liberating his last foundry to Google Fonts, his F-Bombs project, and — a recurrent theme this season — the woes of social media. Ty’s is the penultimate episode is season one. Any guesses on who’ll be my final guest?

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Alright, thanks for putting up with all of the me links. Have a lovely weekend, whatever you’re up to. I plan on spending most of it in the garden (from where this issue is being composed) to make the most of the sun before we return to good ol’ non-stop British rain next week.

Thanks for reading and please do email me if you’d like to geek out about any of the above — I always respond.

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