Dinner with Matthew Carter and Roger Black

Eduardo Coronado is currently the Membership Director at AIGA Detroit. He’s also a recent grad looking for a creative work environment to call his own. He can usually be found wrestling with his personal mammalian rain cloud– more casually known as his gray cat “Nimbus.”
The opportunity
The crowd at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater was bustling as the organ pipe sang. While droves of people packed into the historic venue, I sat anxiously awaiting the main event: a lecture featuring Matthew Carter and Roger Black. The lecture was the latest installment in the University of Michigan School of Art and Design’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series. Lectures like this are one of the biggest reasons I love AIGA. They create and support great opportunities for like-minded creatives to gather and interact.
Soon the lights began to dim, the organ player descended, and all the rustling conversations featuring Verdana and Webtype settled into silence. Everyone’s anticipation seemed to have reached a climax, but not for me. I was still pretty anxious, because not long after the lecture I had the privilege of having dinner with both speakers. My dinner with Matthew Carter and Roger Black was the result of a bit of luck. A fellow AIGA Detroit board member originally had a seat at the table as a representative of AIGA Detroit. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend and I was available to fill his place.
However, the transcendence of type through technological evolution was plenty to keep my mind occupied. Both lecturers were fascinating. Carter reflected on the progression of type from cast metal to digital, while Black discussed his experience with implementing new, design-savvy typefaces onto the Web. It was a delight to learn more about their illustrious careers and how their work helped to shape what type is today.
It was like Superman and Batman had just met in real life,
but with less elaborate costumes.

I arrived for dinner at the fabulous Mani Osteria for dinner with some other lucky guests (it was great meeting everyone!) before Carter and Black arrived. When they did arrive, they were extremely kind and accommodating toward everyone’s questions. Sitting next to Matthew Carter was great. After learning about him in college, I really admired him and his work. There wasn’t a question he couldn’t answer– he seemed to be an encyclopedia of all things typography. He also had great stories about hanging out with other famous designers like Milton Glaser. In my mind, it was like Superman and Batman had just met in real life, but with less elaborate costumes. He wasn’t the only one with impressive connections. Roger Black’s career has included working with Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Esquire… the list goes on and on. It seems, through his career, he has met just about everyone on Earth. He told unbelievable stories about working around the world and even spending some of that time working with Rupert Murdoch. The whole evening was a phenomenal experience filled with amazing food and conversation.
A common thread
I think the best thing I took away from this experience is the realization that both Black and Carter began with a shared passion for design that everyone in AIGA seems to possess. On that note, without AIGA I probably would have never had this or so many other great opportunities. I’m not just the Membership Director for AIGA Detroit; I am a member too.
Special thanks to Jon Moses, AIGA Detroit Programming Director and Christina Hamilton, Penny Stamps Speaker Series Director.
Eduardo Black and Carter.jpg
Eduardo managed to snag a photo with his esteemed dinner dates. Roger Black at left, and Matthew Carter at right.
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By aigadetroit
Published March 26, 2012
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