Talking type at SxSW

As I write this I’m 32,000 feet above the Great Lakes, and on my way with the rest of the Clearleft chaps to Austin and South by Southwest. It’s our third year in a row and I’m really, really excited; not least because I’m a speaker this time. First thing on Tuesday morning, I’ll be presenting Web Typography Sucks with the venerable Mark Boulton. And somehow we’ve been booked into the big room! (Not that there are any small rooms any more at SxSW.)

Web typography is a subject close to my heart. The main gist of our talk – and it’s a presentation rather than a panel – is why typography on the web sucks, how it needn’t and most importantly what we can all do about it.

I gave sneak preview of the talk to the recently revived Skillswap in Brighton, and it seemed to go down well. As is the nature of Skillswap events, the Q&A went on for over an hour, and that was before we headed to the pub. The topic seems to generate a lot of impassioned debate – which is great – so we’ll have time for a few questions at SxSW, but if you’re at SxSW feel free to grab us for a chat about type anytime.

By fantastic coincidence, also on Tuesday will be the world premiere of Helvetica the Movie, and feature-length documentary celebrating the fortieth birthday of this famous and versatile typeface. And what’s more you can get in with your Interactive pass – just try and stop me!

Speaking of pubs and impassioned debate, I really must direct the attention of all SxSW-goers to the Great British Booze-up for kicking off your Monday evening. Organised between Clearleft, Boagworld and @media America there will be loads of free food, free booze, fine British music and jolly company. See you there!