SXSW - Final Day | March 21, 2005

Note - I wrote this the following morning sat at Newark Airport, but haven’t had chance to post it till now

After my first full nights sleep since getting here, I headed off to the Austin convention center for a talk on Typography by Joshua Darded, Mike Davidson and Shaun Inman. Web designers coming from a print background tend to have much more typographic experience than pure web designers like myself. As such I’m always keen to learn more about type, so was really looking forward to this panel. I’m glad to say the panel didn’t disappoint.

It was obvious from the outset that Mike and Joshua were very experienced public speakers, as both had a really warm, relaxed and natural tone. Joshua introduced the subject of typography and demonstrated a great technique for assessing legibility by blurring the text. Joshua was obviously extremely knowledgeable and passionate about typography and I’d love too see him to a full hour presentation some time. Mike discussed typography from a more general web design perspective and touched upon Flash replacement. Shaun started off a bit more nervously but quickly got into the flow of things and gave an excellent talk about practical typographic implementation on the web. All in all this was a great talk and definitely one of my favorite from the conference.

After that there really weren’t any other talks I fancied attending. Rather than hanging around, quite a large group of us went for food at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. It was still pretty early and I wasn’t particularly hungry. However the food took ages to come and by the time it arrived I was suitably famished. I ended up having a really good talk with Doug and Dave about consulting, freelancing and talking at conferences.

Back at the conference center we went to Bruce Sterling’s keynote. I wasn’t enjoying it that much but by the power of Rendezvous iChat, found out that the Accessibility shootout was looking more promising. We headed over and managed to catch the last half before assembling another posse and heading over the road for coffee at the Hilton. After a good wind down natter and lots of photo taking we all headed back to our hotels to dump our stuff before making our way to the Bitter End for dinner. I spent quite a bit of time teaching Shaun and Leslie British slang. By the end of it both of them had the British accent pretty well sussed and even started to pick up on our accents unintentionally. There was an local AIG meet-up next door and we’d all put our names in a hat to win a book. It seemed that luck was on our side as first Rob was called in, then myself, Shaun and finally Andy Clark. I ended up getting a copy of Web Redesign Workflow that Works 2.0 which was great as I was seriously thinking of buying the updated version only hours before.

After dinner we headed off on mass to Bruce Sterling’s SXSW closing party. It was held in this palatial building which was apparently the American Legion. The party was great, but it was a real shame that it finished at 11pm. Luckily Dunstan had heard of another party so we all headed off there. Me and Dunstan ended up buying 6 or 7 six packs of beer for the party, and packed the already well stocked fridge when we arrived. However 30 minutes later all the beer was gone so we jumped into a cab and shot into town. Me, Shaun, Leslie and Ethan managed to grab last orders at a bar on 6th holding some kind of SXSW film party before heading back to the hotel for the evening. After chatting for an hour or so, everybody crashed. It was about half three by this time and having to catch a six forty five flight to New York, I decided there was no point in sleeping. So I packed up my stuff and headed of to the Airport about an hour later to catch my flight to NYC.

Bye Austin, see you next year.

Posted at March 21, 2005 11:33 PM


Nice Paul said on March 25, 2005 6:37 PM

Sounds like you had a great time at SxSW, Andy. Being an ex-print designer myself I would have really appreciated the typography talks had I been able to attend. I’ve been using Shaun’s sIFR technique on a few sites recently.

I’ve been reading a lot of Blogs in the last few months but haven’t been commenting as my own site is still in a shameful state! (redesign coming soon)

But I thought it was about time I de-lurk to say good luck on leaving Message to join the throng of us Brighton freelancers. Personally, I’m off down the coast for a bit, but I’ll be back soon…

Andy Budd said on March 28, 2005 12:48 AM

Hey Paul, cheers for dropping by. Maybe catch you at a future SkillSwap or BNM social?