Words: Mark Busse
As part of their special Art + Tech themed month in coordination with John Maeda’s team at RISD, CreativeMornings/Vancouver’s June 8th speaker was renowned letterer, illustrator, web designer, and self-described crazy cat lady, Jessica Hische. CreativeMornings/Vancouver was sponsored by Adobe and hosted by W2 Media Café & GDC/BC.
Jessica seduced a packed house with her enthusiasm and colourful language, sharing personal perspectives on the importance of typography as an example of the intersection of art and technology. Commenting on the stupidity of the question “What is your favourite font?” Hische encouraged attendees to stare closely at type, to learn how to select and use type well to express meaning, and most importantly, how to actually use the hidden technology that goes into type design and production. She passionately appealed to the audience to advocate for the value of type design, fearing the alternative being a decline in awesome type. Focussing on issue of technology, Hische explained that even as “just a letterer” she learned how to code for the web and learn new type design applications. In her opinion, learning tech is not only fun, but designers are lazy if they don’t. In the audience was Hische’s friend Jon Tan, designer and co-founder of Analog, Mapalong and Fontdeck, whom she dragged on stage to engage in a casual conversation about the art and tech behind typography, as well as the value of creativity and hard work it takes to produce something like a font that many take for granted.
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