The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

@media 2007: Third time’s a charm

– June 11th, 2007 –

atmedia 2007 in LondonThat’s @media done for another year. Patrick put on a great event. Again. Seriously, year on year the bar is raised and he delivers. The speakers were great, the venue, the food, but most of all the location; Islington is such a great place for an event like this.

I feel like I’ve lived with @media 07 for a while. I produced the conference printed matter for San Fransisco and London, so for the best part of a month I’ve felt the looming pressure of speaking. I was very nervous about it, but I think it went ok.

There were so many highlights of the two days. Firstly, it was so great to meet up with friends from home and oversees. This year saw, amongst others, Jason, Dan and Molly take the trip across the pond, along with Joe Clark (whom I finally met for the first time).

Secondly, it was equally great to see friends in the UK who I talk with all the time but very rarely get to share a beer with. Those jet-setting men of mystery from Clearleft were there in force (I have to thank Hannah for that term—personally I think it’s going to stick). Jeremy was, as usual, on fine form. Of course the Britpack were propping up the bar at any given opportunity. It goes without saying it was nice to see Colly out of his cave along with his other Erskine Design cave-dwelling work-o-holic Jamie (those chaps seriously work too hard). Great to see Steve again and to meet the inspirational Hannah Donovan from Last.fm (who gave a stonking half hour talk along with Simon Willison).

The presentations were superb. Typically, I attended most of the design-focused talks and occasionally dipped into the tech-focused. Highlights for me were Simon and Drew, Joe, Hannah and Jason. Andy delivered an entertaining look at internationalisation which was also a cracker.

On Thursday, I presented ‘Five Simple Steps to Better Typography’ in the 3pm slot. The slides are here (along with a few resource links) It was my first solo presentation of that length and to an audience similar in size to the presentation Rich and I gave at SXSW in March. It went without a hitch and, on reflection, really wasn’t worth the nervousness before-hand. For those who didn’t catch it, I’m sure the podcast will be released shortly and I think Joe was live-blogging in the front row.

I talked about, you guessed it, Typography and how by applying some simple guidelines, you can create much better typography for your website. There was a twist though.

When I prepared the presentation a while ago, there was no story. Sure, the facts were there but on presenting them a couple of times, and various run-throughs, I felt there was no cohesive thread to tie it all together. Enter my dirty little secret: martial arts (which I’ll talk about shortly in another post). You see, Typographic design and martial arts have an awful lot in common. The presentation saw me compare Boxing to Vertical Rhythm and Ninjas to Hyphens.

That’s it for a while then. No d.Construct for me again this year as I’m away on holiday. Bit gutted about that as it looks like such a great event. I guess I’ll have to wait until March to get my next web conference fix.

Filed in: personal, typography.

Further reading