CreativePro Conference Speaker Spotlight: Keith Gilbert, the Typeface Nerd

Welcome to our new series of posts called Speaker Spotlight, designed to highlight each of our upcoming CreativePro Conference speakers. We’ve assembled a dream team roster of Photoshop and Illustrator gurus, and thought you’d like get to know what makes them tick, why they’re passionate about what they do, and what you can expect to learn from them at the conference. (Our previous Speaker Spotlight was on David Blatner.)

The subject of this Speaker Spotlight is Keith Gilbert.


Keith is a native to Minneapolis (how convenient, since the CreativePro Conference is there as well!) but has traveled the world consulting for clients such as Adobe, Apple, Target, the United Nations, Best Buy, and General Mills.

The Keith Gilbert File

Since his teenage years, Keith has been mesmerized by typefaces and typography. When he was 14 years old, he started a t-shirt silkscreening company with a buddy. Since this pre-dated personal computers, Keith would spy a typeface in a newspaper advertisement that he would want to use on a t-shirt design. He’d carefully cut out the letters from the newspaper and paste them up to form the words for the t-shirt. Often having to wait weeks before he could find all the letters he needed for the design!

Then in college, he majored in computer science, and started working for a local publishing company. He quickly found that he hated computer science, but loved the publishing process and the publishing industry, as a whole. He spent a few years bouncing around within the company, doing a little bit of everything: key-lining, typesetting, mixing ink, running a printing press, and selling word processing computers to editors. And then “desktop publishing” came along! He realized he knew as much about it as anyone else at the time, so he hung out his shingle as a consultant and thus his journey began.

30 years later, his many titles include: Digital Publishing consultant & educator, speaker, author, Adobe Certified Instructor & Community Pro, InDesign User Group leader, runner, Nordic skier, husband, father, and sailor.

First computer: Kaypro, a suitcase-sized “portable” computer running the CP/M operating system. This was before IBM PC or Macintosh computers existed.

Lefty or righty? Righty

Geeky or Nerd? Well, my kids think I’m a nerd!

Do you prefer pen and paper or keyboard? Why? Keyboard. My penmanship is pretty illegible.

Pick only one software:  InDesign…hands down. I really love the “layout” process…whether laying out a print page, an entire publication, or a screen for a digital app.

At 6:00 a.m. I am usually:  At my desk, coffee in hand, working. I’m an extreme morning person. I don’t get very much done in the afternoon.

What inspires you?  Trying to stay ahead of the curve and anticipating what is next gets me up and gets me going in the morning. I’m always trying to keep up and stay ahead. I’ve been doing this for 30+ years, but it is still a continuous challenge.

What do you like best about being a speaker at conferences like the CreativePro Conference and PePconI relish the face-to-face time with attendees, exhibitors, and other speakers that happens at CPN events. There is so much valuable, contagious interaction that happens at these events. It’s networking, yes, but it is so much more. Contacts are made, partnerships are formed, friendships are forged, and faces are connected to Twitter handles. This is what every conference IRL (in real life) should be!

Where you can find him: From mid-November to mid-February he skips out of the office at 2:30 pm to assistant coach a high-school cross country ski team of 50+ skiers. (Nordic cross-country skiing is a big high-school sport in Minnesota!) And on summer weekends, you’ll often find Keith on a sailboat somewhere on Lake Superior. But as you may have guessed, the best place to catch up with him is at the Creative Conference in Minneapolis or at PePcon in San Diego.

In Minneapolis he will be presenting a session titled “Preparing Images for Print or Digital Publishing!” Even today, over 25 years after the introduction of Photoshop, many people are still a little fuzzy on how resolution, the color model, and the bit depth of an image work together to affect image quality. If this mystifies you, make sure you reserve a spot in Keith’s session. What you don’t know about these attributes might surprise you!

He’s also really looking forward to Sharon Steuer’s Illustrator session at the CreativePro Conference. He’s been a fan of the Illustrator WOW! books for years, and is looking forward to meeting and learning from her.

A few InDesignSecrets Tips from Keith

How to Use InDesign to Create Content for AEM Mobile

Good-bye Adobe DPS, Hello AEM Mobile

Tips for Selecting Objects Using the Layers Panel

Where you can find Keith on the Web



Social Profiles: Twitter: @gilbertconsult and Instagram: kwgilbert


What past conference attendees have to say about the Typeface Nerd

“Keith is an awesome, natural presenter. Perfect combination of useful information and charm. I edit video in Photoshop quite often and I still learned new tips (e.g., muting vids).” ~ PePcon 2015 attendee


Register today for the CreativePro Conference!

Don’t miss out on a great show and a great early bird deal: Get $100 off registration now through May 16th

We’ll see you in Minneapolis, Jul 10-13th



Posted on: March 29, 2016

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