The opening plenary on Wednesday morning featured Michael Twyman, father of ephemerology, speaking on "The Long-Term Significance of Printed Ephemera." Displaying a small handful of the thousands of ephemeral items in the collections of the Centre for Ephemera Studies at the University of Reading, Twyman easily demonstrated the significance of the content of ephemeral materials. He then moved on to a discussion of the typographical significance of ephemera, noting that posters, handbills, advertisements, et cetera led to developments in:
- Bold typefaces
- "Street reading" design-- layout, typography, and punctuation meant to catch the eye of the passing reader
- Blank forms
- Technical innovations such as embossing and lithography
- Printing on colored papers
- Innovative combinations of text and image
For more on ephemera, check out The Encyclopedia of Ephemera, edited by Maurice Rickards, Twyman et alii in 2000.
For more on the conference, stay tuned: I'll recap more sessions tomorrow.