It was that familiar time of year again: the first weekend in May, when we all descend on Martha’s Vineyard for yet another offsite meeting. This year’s gathering included more than twenty of us — Font Bureau designers and staff, consultants, and type board.
There are two reasons why we have offsites — to socialize and to work. Since we’ve become a distributed work environment, it’s a chance for us to reconnect face-to-face with co-workers and to keep connected as a company. We review what we did in the past year, strategize where we’re going, and calibrate ourselves for the work ahead.
There’s a running joke that it seems whenever we have our offsite meeting the weather on Martha’s Vineyard is inevitably cold, cloudy, and rainy. But not this year. It was sunny and comfortable, and walks to the ocean were quite welcome after a day of meetings. Perhaps it was symbolic of the fact that, after a difficult 2009, the future is looking a little brighter again.
Last year was challenging for the whole world, and we were no exception. The global economy changed, money was frozen, and our client base of publications and corporations chilled. In this climate, many publications moved from print to online. Along with that, there were many technical advances in how type is used on the web.
We’re seeing technology change at a rate that’s ten times faster than we’ve ever seen before. With evolving devices, higher resolutions, and greater bandwidth available, publications are now shifting from a print paradigm to an online one and serving content more quickly and in better ways for their users.
This has affected Font Bureau in a significant way. Over the past two decades we have fostered a legacy of fonts specialized for print publications and corporate use. Now when clients call us up, they want either new designs or their existing faces optimized and made better for the advancing online environment. And we’ve readily positioned ourselves to respond.
We talked a lot about several new collaborative ventures in this vein: Webtype, ReadyMedia, and TreeSaver. Stay tuned for what’s ahead in 2010!