Building Real Community | The League of Moveable Type
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Micah Rich

Designer, Developer, Founder of The League

Building Real Community

4 min read

The League started, once upon a time, from a need & desire to make what can sometimes be a very intimidating, exclusive club, into something that’s open & full of sharing between people who care about the same thing.

But I want us to be able to really connect. To chat and talk and make nerdy jokes and share great work and get advice from one another. In my eyes, it’s the biggest gap I want to see filled, and I want to make sure whatever we come up with is something people really want to be a part of.

Meetups in Real Life

One of the first ways we’re trying to get that to happen is by actually meeting, in person. It was a bit of an experiment, but we organized our first meetup this summer, in New York City.

It was quite a thing — we had access to a cafe/bar in Chelsea, got some small food donations from a local restaurant, and bought a bunch of drinks for everyone. We sent out invitations to everyone on our mailing list that was around NY, and got a really small group of awesome people to come hang out. We mostly just chatted and got to know each other, towards the end coming together to share some stories from our experiences in design & type.

Since then, we’ve started to work with a really amazing woman in London, Tilly Oswell-Wheeler, to see if we can organize something similar across the pond. To be fair, she’s taking on almost all the hard parts, but we’re going to try to help make it a reality with her.

We’d absolutely love to help if you’d like to start getting some humans together in your town. If you’re curious about starting something, even if it’s just a happy hour, send us a note on Twitter or email us.

Community Online

In the meantime, there’s a lot we can do to get people sharing & talking online, and that’s really, really important.

First, we’re going to be opening up our Slack to contributing members and future students, to start real conversations. We’re so, so grateful to have a group of people who’ve helped us keep our lights on this whole time, without asking for a single thing in return, and so part of revamping our membership means giving access to our chatroom, as well.

I’m really hoping that’ll lead to some amazing real-time discussions—ideas, working together, organizing collaborations and organizing meeting each other in real life.

We’ve been considering launching an open typography forum, possibly à la hackernews or reddit, or possibly just an old-fashioned discussion form, though it’s still just an idea. I’d personally really love to have a platform for people to share work they’re doing or awesome projects and have discussions on typography in an open atmosphere.

And one of the things I’m most excited about is that in re-doing our site, we’re going to featuring type specs & fonts-in-use from members & designers who want to share. Maybe that’s part of the forum, or the chatroom, or maybe it’s something we build into the site redesign. But we want to promote people’s awesome work while at the same time, showing people how versatile these fonts can be.

Lastly, most immediately, I’m doing my best to stay active on social media: sharing, talking, featuring cool stuff, and posting ideas. Twitter’s our social bread & butter, but we’ve got Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and now Medium to add to that list.

All in all, we’re really open to your feedback on this. It’s one of our biggest dreams to connect people like this, and we’re gonna do our best to make it happen. So send us your thoughts. ✋

If you want to read the next section of our State of The League series,  check out Staying Alive.