Alphabet City

“Designers are geeks for type,” admits Elysia Syriac of AIGA Colorado, the local chapter of the national graphic-design organization. And that’s really the only explanation she can give for how a group of the professional compatriots came up with the idea of an urban-adventure scavenger hunt in search of, well, typography. That’s the whole idea behind Terminal Velocity, a downtown-Denver challenge for teams of two to four people hunting down an elusive alphabet hiding in plain sight across the urban vista.

Merging Denver’s beloved bike culture with a little bit of designer geekdom, the race will send teams, Instagram-ready smartphones in hand, racing around downtown to find the alphabet, using thirteen photo clues provided and thirteen open-ended clues. Syriac hopes to see it become an annual event that could perhaps spread to other chapters across the country.

It all begins today at 11 a.m. at the I Heart Denver store on the second level of the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street; after the 2 p.m. deadline, everyone will retire to the Matchbox, 2625 Larimer Street, for an after-party with awards. And you know what? It’s not a cloistered event. “You don’t have to be a type geek” to participate, Syriac says. You just have to love your bike and your city...and have a good eye. Registration is $10 per person (which includes a beautiful hand-printed poster by the letterpress geniuses at Matter); go to to RSVP.
Sat., June 23, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 2012

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd