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“The New Frontier”

Today’s theme was : “The New Frontier”.

I sat in a lecture about Variable fonts what they are, and how they are transforming the web and digital media. This lecture spoke to my Graphic Designer nerdiness. Most consumers don’t notice it, but a font has a huge impact and can affect the voice and message that comes across with it. Designers create fonts for a specific function so if a user skews and stretches a font it essentially ruins all the work and time that the designer put into creating it. Not to mention it just looks bad. This is why Variable fonts were developed. This way of designing fonts allows infinite possibilities to adjust and customize one single font based on height, width, size, white space, black space, etc. This is instead of using large files with upwards of 13 different styles. It allows the lines of a type maker and a type user to be blurred. This is really important for adaptable web design that allows every aspect of the page to be perfectly designed rather than becoming messy and unusable in different media formats. This technology has a long way to go in terms of accessibility and everyday implimentation, but many companies are already using this structure and it should be more widely used within about 5 years.


Yves Peters - Graphic Designer with Type Network
A slide featuring types of fonts.

Beyond this lecture, I also went to sessions about Speculative Design and how the slightly cynical ideas in technology in the TV show Black Mirror are actually not too far fetched from the technology and innovations that are being created today.

I also learned about immersive activations that transport guests into other worlds by creating stories and guest engagement instead of launch parties or proscenium stages. Companies like Amazon video and other film premieres are using these ideas to create experiences for users that transcend engagement, marketing, and advertising. SXSW features a lot of immersive experiences so it was interesting to hear about the process, time, and planning it takes to develop these events. The impact that these have on guests give them momentous joy that they want to share with others and leave them wanting more. From a marketing standpoint this creates more buzz and publicity for their company or film. It’s a win win.

I learned some cool and current ideas today. I am sad that we have only one day left, so it’ll will be a busy day cramming in everything I have not gotten a chance to do yet. I am going to start off with free coffee at the Australia house and then to a lecture about Public Art Spaces!


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