“My … San Francisco” with Meghan Arnold

Next up in our new series of city guides by team members and friends of TYPO Talks: with TYPO San Francisco coming up at the end of the month, Conference Director Meghan Arnold takes us on a tour of her favorite spots around town.

This city gets stuck in your soul and your psyche. Although it is ever-changing (which can be the source of much grumbling), the Bay Area truly has something for everyone. Those with a connection to design and the arts are most certainly not immune.

WARNING: A visit to San Francisco may result in an overwhelming urge to uproot your life and relocate here.

You don’t even have to go into a museum (although we have great ones, including TYPO host venue, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) to be inundated with art. Taking a stroll through the Mission District, you’re hit with alleys and alleys worth of incredible murals. Walking or biking along the Embarcadero, you’ll pass public art like Cupid’s Span. Fine art galleries abound in areas like Union Square. Art happenings and events go on almost every night of the week and weekend.

There’s no shortage of typographic goodness to geek out over either. Non-profits like the Letterform Archive and San Francisco Center for the Book are great spots to ogle vintage type samples and equipment. With schools like Academy of Art and California College of the Arts and an active AIGA chapter here, lifelong learning in the design community is both encouraged and fun.

Of course, one can’t help but be inspired by the natural setting of our city either. Meandering up our stairways and hillsides means seeing this gorgeous place from every possible perspective. Watching our beloved fog roll in, catching the light hitting Twin Peaks or Sutro Tower or the Pacific Ocean in a thousand different ways, we dare you to not lose your breath at least once.

For many of us, seeing our iconic structure, The Golden Gate Bridge, nestled between San Francisco’s Presidio and the Marin Headlands, straddling the quiet Bay and the oft-raging Ocean, will forever be a transcendental experience, no matter how often we have it.

Life here isn’t entirely pure whimsy. We San Franciscans like to have a good time.

Live music is ever-present (check out iconic venues like The Fillmore), as are dance parties of any ilk. Everyone knows wine country is just an hour north, but closer to home we also enjoy many varieties of delicious craft beer. On a sunny day, you’ll find gaggles of people hanging out in our many beautiful parks or, if the weather is just right, at one of our beaches.

If all this exploration of our city leaves you hungry, luckily we’re home to some of the best restaurants, a thriving farm-to-table movement, good coffee and great burritos. Come visit us for TYPO and share with us what you discover!

TYPO San Francisco 2012 Photograph by Amber Gregory TYPO San Francisco 2012 Photograph by Amber Gregory


Meghan was recently also featured on the San Francisco People Podcast. You can check out her interview here.


TYPO San Francisco
April 30 – May 1
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

With: Yusef Alahmad, Jen Bilik, Nadine Chahine, Sarah Deragon, Tobias Frere-Jones, Agustin Garza, Daniel Gjøde, Adam Lewis Greene, Sarah Hyndman, Alastair Johnston, Chip Kidd, Ellen Lupton, Thomas Phinney, Louise Sandhaus, Rob Saunders, Joachim Sauter, Mark Simonson, Sumner Stone, Hans Wolbers, Tash Wong and more