One has finished (with) ATypI. The hard-to-type-and-pronounce acronym refers to the annual conference of the Association typographique internationale. I was here in 2003 (in Vancouver; ATypI is a place that is only coïncidentally sited with a city); couldn’t justify the cost to attend Helsinki, Prague, and Lisbon; and finally made it back to Brighton, with which I am becoming as familiar as, say, Greenwich Village or Bondi. That might be at least trivially impressive if I didn’t have to pay my own way. A lot of people did; many of us are freelancers. I just think I would win (lose) any contest of who took the biggest hit.

My summer had two parts: Fatmedia and ATypI. I had two presentations at two @smedia, which took ages to put together, rehearse, travel to, deliver, and return home from. I was hoping I could “relax” for June and work on a book you don’t know anything about, but no: I got a request to write something for the ATypI conference CD. Two weeks later, I realized I had doomed myself into writing the equivalent of a book chapter. It was all my fault, but it took another 2½ weeks. There was the spectre of somehow typesetting it and sending in a tagged PDF, but why, exactly, when I could just hand in my native HTML?

I thought I could take a break. But no! I had two presentations to write. There went the rest of the summer. It was that simple.

I know it was my idea. I said that already. I’m not complaining, I’m explaining.

Summer creeps up on you in Canada, or the Canada that isn’t Vancouver. It just barely gets warm enough to worry about having enough short-sleeved shirts and you suddenly realize it’s Pride Day and summer is one-third over.

En tout cas, my first presentation at ATypI went all right. Nobody laughed at the intended jokes. I had just the right number of slides and just the right degree of detail, I think, and according to people I asked. (I shook people down for thorough critiques.) There wasn’t much in the way of questions afterward. We all have mortal fear of no Q&A; it’s like a comedian dying onstage.

My second presentation, a few hours ago as I write this, went much better. But something always goes wrong in a presentation. What went wrong in the first one was having my script, which I never read verbatim, on the wrong side of me. This time I had everything set up right, but because my setup process was interrupted by yet another quest for the right video adapter, I forgot to plug in the computer. The screen kept “saving” itself, exactly as happened in my second-worst presentation ever. But the rest of it was fine, if not excellent. I think the pacing and photographs (some licensed from other people) were just right, though the latter looked like shite on the projector.

I will note that people laughed at inappropriate moments, as when I reported that the St. George signage test included people with low literacy, who were often students (that isn’t funny), and that the St. George prototype wrote out the names of subway-line colours for colourblind people (protans and deutans might not be able to differentiate yellow [“amber”] and green). I took people to task for such inappropriate laughter. (It’s my show; I can.)

I’ll wait till I get home to tell you more about the actual conference. But remember, if it weren’t for me there would be no coverage at all.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.09.16 12:51. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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