Typ09: the heart of the letter

Mexico City, 26–30 October 2009

2009-09-29: NEW! We've put together an at-a-glance programme which summarises all the events during this year's conference. So much to take part in! For all the details, go to the full programme details.

2009-09-15:We just published information about traveling to Mexico City and some information about possible health and safety concerns, right on our Travel page!

2009-09-09: The above Typ09 promotional video was made by Ricardo Salas Moreno, Isaías Loaiza Ramírez, Gabriel Martínez Meave, and Alfredo Lezama Osorio. Read more about the video on FontFeed.

2009-09-09: Wondering why you should come to the ATypI conference? This is the place where you can listen to informative and entertaining talks about type and typography, and meet some of the typographic community’s luminaries. If you’re interested in a sample, check out a selection of videos from the ATypI Brighton 2007 conference, which should give you a feel of what you can expect.

2009-09-09: A map of important conference venues, interesting locations and nearby hotels for the Typ09 conference is now available on Google Maps.

2009-08-20: Typ09 registration open.

2009-07-12: Typ09 preliminary programme announced.

The heart of the letter

The written word, the repository of memory for all the earth’s people, has a rich history in the New World. Meso-America is one of the few places, with Mesopotamia, China, and Egypt, where writing was independently developed. The famous Maya script is only one of five or six scripts that have been documented from this area.

In 1539, less than 50 years after the Spanish conquest and only a century after the invention of moveable type in Europe, New Spain boasted the New World’s first printing press. Although the presses were brought over to publish governmental and religious documents, the criolla culture of Mexico – the essential mixture, mestizo, of colonial and indigenous culture – found its own uses for printing and created a strong, particular demand for type. Letterforms were the heart of the cultural ferment – as they are today.

In Mexico City today there is a convergence of history and modernity, the past meeting the present and future, that gives the city a special, uniquely Mexican aura. Around a zócalo that covers nearly half a square kilometer, Aztec ruins co-exist with a sixteenth-century cathedral and colonial government offices that are still in use.

Here, at the birthplace of printing in the Americas, the 2009 ATypI conference, Typ09, will be held. The last week of October, just before the celebration of El Día de los Muertos, typographers, designers, educators, and typographic professionals from around the world will converge on Mexico City to celebrate the importance of type as the means of human communication, and to explore its history and its future.

The School of Design of Anáhuac University is proud to host Typ09, and to offer the historic center of Mexico City as a backdrop for a gathering of typographers, graphic and editorial designers, multimedia professionals, editors, printers, writers, linguists, philosophers, philologists, and historians to reflect on the place and influence of the written word in the world today.