The Type Is Right12 November 2009 | By Christine in designers, events, typography
On Monday night, at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, many graphic designers were guilty of taking part in the geekiest game show ever, AIGA/NY‘s The Type Is Right. My friends were as excited as I was when the event first popped up on the events page, so we immediately signed up to volunteer.
Complete with silly game show theme and ominous thinking music, the event was emceed by Ellen Lupton, and there were four teams — the Serifs, the Sans Serifs, the Italics and I forget the last one. Each team had three designers plus a randomly chosen audience member.
Round 1 began with a first team consisting of Paula Scher, Louise Fili and Chester Jenkins, along with their audience member. They played against Roger Black, Allan Haley, and a third person whose name I do not know. Oh, plus their audience member.
Here we have a blurry Ellen, Paula, Louise, Chester, audience member, and Paul Shaw, who ruled on challenged questions and provided information when needed. He is obviously a master type history guru to be much respected.
I thought that my own type nerdiness wasn’t too bad, but the questions asked were so difficult, it shamed me. Still, the teams were able to wow us with their amazingly broad knowledge. This question was one of the few that I was able to answer.
Amongst sillier questions (like how long a certain designer’s line of cocaine was, with the answers given in points and picas — the answer was ‘D. Whatever’), there were much more difficult ones. For example, which typeface from a given list of four was designed the earliest, which designer had a typeface named after him or herself (the answer was Matteo Bologna, who was also there), something to do with the didone classification … it was madness!
But the most traumatizing question was surely the one that asked which of the following Eric Gill is said to have had sex with — A. his sister, B. his daughter, C. his dog, D. all of the above. And the answer was D! I think I may hesitate for the rest of my life before using Gill Sans.
Here we have the other two teams during Round 2. The team on the left, consisting of Charlie Nix, Patrick Seymour, Paul Carlos, were all dressed in suits. So when their audience member came up jacket-less, Matteo (on whom my classmates and I have had a crush since seeing him at the TDC’s Night of the Italians) was ready at the front with his own suit jacket, which he kindly lent him. The team on the right was the one I was banking on winning — how can you think otherwise when it was led by Jonathan Hoefler and included two of his employees, Andy Clymer and Sara Soskolne?
This question, for Hoefler’s team, asked which was Bodoni. I was torn between B and D. You can see Hoefler and Clymer standing in front of the screen to see it better. But, FOR SHAME, they chose C, which everyone around me knew was wrong. C turned out to be Filosofia, and B was the correct answer.
Still, Hoefler’s team prevailed to win by one point against Roger Black’s team in the final round, which was pretty intense. There was a trophy!
Sorry for the poor-quality images. This is why you should buy me a digital SLR! Much thanks in advance.