This piece was originally posted on Field Trip SF site. Thought I’d give an update here as well:
I’ve been on trips before. Met people I’ve only heard about before. Even been reminded why the West Coast is geographically superior to its East Coast brother before. But those were only supplementary discoveries to this trip. And it’s not just the sum of our experiences that totals our time spent in reverie, it’s something different altogether. We went out to California to exchange stories, to acquaint ourselves with someone else, and to build a typeface(s). I’m pleased to say we did all of the above.
But I think the most astounding part of the whole week is when I think about the idea that this typeface is still a work in progress. It wasn’t born, perfected and distributed in 4 days. The very concept of type as a work in progress is a sign a craftsmanship—the potter acknowledging that as far as the clay has come, it’s not done yet. That this “work in progress” might only be the beginning. And in a lot of ways, so are we all.
I believe we’re living in a generation that has a more difficult time with the idea of “heroes” than any time before. It’s not always so black and white. Looking at the new archetype of our superheroes in anything from film to comics and you won’t see the old world structure of wholly good vs. wholly evil. Most of them are human beings, broken and flawed, fighting against what they see as an injustice in the world. The Dark Knight being a primary example of all this. We’re privileged enough to see a sense of humanism in our new heroes but it makes *having* heroes a different sort of worldview.
I spent time this trip with those I’ve called “hero” before. I think my favorite part of the entire week was sharing meals and drinks and stories in an exchange where no one felt like a hero and no one felt like a fan boy. We were all content just to be here and now. Those we look up to and aspire to be like, those we’ve wanted to learn a technique or two from, those we’ve wanted to ask how they see the world like they do just to allow us to see it through their eyes for a small window of time.
Everyone on Field Trip SF that I had the privilege of interacting with, from the crew to those we invited over for dinner became a hero of mine. It was inspiring to leave the world of design for a bit to share a meal where we, as people and friends enjoyed the company of those we’ve admired for so long. I got to do this all week. Believe it or not, all of us have lives outside of design. Things that make us just as passionate to talk about or just as willful to share. It was a unique privilege to be a part of that. Many thanks to Eight Hour Day, Brent Couchman, Morgan Knutson and others for letting our team get to be a part of that.
Coming back home and falling in line with the spin of the world has been an adjustment. But I’m happy to say that while I’m a “work in progress” in so many ways, I can’t be more thrilled about what the next chapter of our lives will look like. It’s going to be an awfully big adventure.