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28 August 2013

Take TYPO home: TYPO Video Blog

TYPO friends and visitors alike can view conference talks and impressions on our video blog. Watch Michael Johnson‘s humorous guitar performanceJacek Utko‘s ideas on what will happen to print or how Simon Manchipp believes in the power of charming.

TYPO Berlin 2013 Michael Johnson: Guitars and graphics

Michael Johnson entertained the TYPO Berlin audience with his guitar as well as narrative skills

TYPO video blog contains carefully curated videosinterviewsslideshows and talks from six conferences of the last three years: Berlin, London and San Francisco, free to watch by anyone.

TYPO attendees have in the myTYPO area exclusive access to videos of almost all talks of the conference they attended. News on upcoming TYPO conferences can be followed here …

12 February 2013

Designers Exploring Sustainability

24 February is release day for  “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Two Designers Exploring Sustainability Worldwide” by Aart van Bezooyen and Paula Raché. The book is based on a six-month research on sustainability in design and material, which led the authors to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. Over 60 designers, entrepreneurs and do-gooders talk about their projects and their personal experiences before their cultural background, and point to alternatives for a future that affects us all.

To be published on 24. february: It’s Not Easy Being GreenAart van Bezooyen flicks through its pages on Vimeo 

What can designers do for a better future? This question in mind, the Dutchman Aart van Bezooyen and German Paula Raché called the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” project of 2011 to life. They went on tour and initiated knowledge-sharing and inspiring lectures and workshops with like-minded designers and learn more about local problems and practices of local designers elsewhere.

On their way, which led them to three continents, they met, and exchanges ideas and concepts with local professionals and students in South America, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia and Japan. Stories about designers who manufacture bamboo skateboards, researchers, improving packaging design or children being taught jungle lessons of sustainability and surprising ways, material was (re)used, make this book an encouraging “sustainable snapshot”.

“This book is a MUST for anyone who sees himself as a forward-thinking designer,” said the renowned trend forecaster and one of its first readers, Zuzanna Skalska. The authors believe that it is important to share your experiences and learn from each other. “Sustainability concerns you, me and everyone else, that’s why this book is addressed not only to designers, but encourages everyone to act and to learn new.”

“It’s Not Easy Being Green: Two Designers Exploring Sustainability Worldwide” has no set price. Donations are used to support Viva con Agua, a nonprofit organization that enables people in developing countries to gain access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Aart and Paula believe that reading pleasure is the best way to support a good cause.

More about the book and ordering: www.itsnoteasybeinggreen.net

Aart van Bezooyen and Paula Raché revenge “It’s Not Easy Being Green” | Winner of the first prize of the “Sappi Ideas That Matter Award” Europe, 2011 | personal contributions by 60 designers, entrepreneurs and do-gooders | Foreword by Niels Peter Flint, co-founder of the “O2 Global Network on Sustainable Design” | over 250 color photographs of people, places, things and materials | 176 pages, paperback, limited to 1000 copies | all proceeds go to: Viva con Agua, drinking water and sanitation for developing countries |

Latest news for TYPO Berlin 2013: Latest speakers …

12 November 2012

Were you a socialising bunch?

It’s been a few weeks now, so you may have forgotten that many of you filled in a brief survey when I joined GraphicDesign& founders Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright at TYPO London in October. I, on the other hand, have been sifting through your responses – 181 of them, to be exact – with great interest, and some surprise.

Who could have predicted, for instance, that fully two-thirds of respondents – 67% – would be women? While this may well reflect the overall gender breakdown of the conference, it is equally likely to reflect self-selection on the part of female conference attendees, or a greater tendency on our parts – as women – to distribute the survey to women rather than men! We are less likely to have influenced whether UK citizens or people from other parts of the world got the survey so here, the split was nearly equal, with Brits accounting for 49% of the 181 respondents and the international crowd for 51%.



Of the 89 British respondents, an overwhelming majority were left-leaning in their political affiliations. One-third reported having voted Labour in the last general election, 17% Lib Dem and 14% Green, compared to just 6% who reported voting Conservative. Likely reflecting the high proportion of students – students accounted for over half of those surveyed – 28% of British respondents reported that they hadn’t voted in the last election. This data begs the question: are designers generally a liberal bunch, or did the theme ‘Social’ appeal particularly to liberal designers? But this in itself is a simplistic, and misleading, set of propositions. Statistically speaking, people who choose, and are able, to attend a conference in London – whether British or international – are more likely to be from urban areas, which tend to vote liberally. Thus, we’d predict similar results with regard to political affiliation at both the TYPO Berlin and TYPO San Francisco conferences too.



Likewise, it’s impossible to say for certain why a staggering majority of respondents – 90% – affirmed that design bears a social responsibility and that designers should be concerned about the messages they shape. Did the conference theme draw exclusively socially-conscious designers to TYPO London? Did we happen upon the 181 designers who are fervently committed to the social impact of design? Did the survey, in asking so directly about social consciousness in design, prime respondents to answer in the affirmative? Only one brave individual admitted to thinking that designers shouldn’t be concerned about the messages they shape. Interestingly, though, of the respondents who answered ‘yes’ to both questions, 32% had nevertheless worked for clients whose business practices or political aims they disagreed with.



On success, the results were more decisive. Personal satisfaction was overwhelmingly reported as the most important factor in success, with 60% of respondents ranking it first or second. Social value and client satisfaction were a close second and third – 44% and 43% ranked these first or second, respectively. Appropriately for such a socially concerned sample of designers, the least important factor in success was career advancement.

Many thanks to those of you who agreed to be contacted and/or interviewed in the future – I look forward to involving you in my extended research on designers, which will be published by GraphicDesign& as a GraphicDesign& Social Science title next year.

– Nikandre Kopcke

2 November 2012

How was it? TYPO London 2012 in retrospect.

TYPO London 2012, Logan Hall: about 380 of 850 delegates were permanently in the conferences wireless network and published numerous ingenious quoutes and atmospheric images to the outside world (Photo: kassnerfoto.de)

It was marvelous! However, we organized it, so you would except us to say so. But you don’t have to take our word for it: thanks to social media, these days every conference participant is also a conference critic. We are happy to present an array of independent voices on TYPO London 2012. This is what visitors and of course media thought of TYPO London 2012 “Social”:

scene from the second stage at Jeffery Hall

This years TYPO London featured more than thirty international speakers to present their personla view on the topic “social” to audiences at Logan and Jeffry Hall at the Institite of education of the University of London

Voices announcing TYPO London 2012:

  • The Guardian, Datablog: “Typo London 2012: watch the design conference live with our video stream”
  • Computer Arts, Blog: “The second ever Typo London event kicks off this Friday (19 October) and it looks like it’s going to be a doozy.”
  • Creative Review, CR-Blog: “Typo London returns”

TYPO London 2012, Rick rocking Jeffery Hall

Not enough chairs at the speech of Rick Banks (Face37) (Photo: jasonjwen@gmail.com)

More photographs of TYPO London 2012 from Flickr-group-pool …

TYPO London Logan Hall

Bibliothèque’s Tim Beard talks in Logan Hall about »Design as a social journey« (Photo: kassnerfoto.de)

Our own channels:

Ken Garland auf der TYPO London 2012

Most touching moment: Ken Garland commencing his speech with a walk around the audience (Photo: kassnerfoto.de)

TYPO London 2012: Meeting Collegues

Meeting and making friends and colleagues at TYPO: just as important as the talks. (Photo: kassnerfoto.de)

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our participating guests and our fantastic team for turning the second TYPO London conference into another big success. Please stay in touch: keep reading our blog or subscribe to out newsletter.

We look forward to seeing you next year!

25 October 2012

TYPO London lettering bike tour with Erik Spiekermann & Phil Baines

To round off the design conference, Erik Spiekermann and Phil Baines, professor of graphic design at Central Saint Martins, led a guided typographic bike tour through London. Taking off at the British Library, it took the group through Bloomsbury (School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Covent Garden/Trafalgar Square (Coliseum & St Martin’s Schools) and Victoria (New Scotland Yard) to St Bart’s and Smithfield and King’s Cross. Among the participants who braved the pouring rain were: Tony Chambers, editor of Wallpaper, who tweeted his impressions for wallpaper.

Phil has also prepared a leaflet to follow the tour: PublicLettering.pdf

24 October 2012

Paul Barnes: Commercial Type

photo © Jason Wen

Paul Barnes is a seasoned typographer. He runs a modern day type foundry called Commercial Type with Christian Schwarz. Together they have produced a vast array of successful typefaces, each unique and tailored to do a certain job, and always to much acclaim. Paul is typographic consultant at Wallpaper magazine. He is also very much involved with the St Brides printing library, currently digitising all the historical materials there.

Paul and Christian first worked together when asked to improved the typography for The Guardian. They originally suggested an improvement on what was already there as opposed to a redesign. This entailed a study of Helvetica and implementing the original Neue Haas Grotesk of 1957, instead of the Neue Helvetica crafted by the Stempel foundry in 1980’s. When the paper decided to change from a broadsheet to the Berliner format, a new direction was needed, which resulted in the development of a new serif typeface. The outcome of this process was an Egyptian, which contained the elegance and sophistication of a serif, yet had the impact and versatility of a sans like Helvetica.

Read more »

24 October 2012

Help TYPO London shine brighter

For the second time we where overwhelmed by TYPO London last friday and saturday. Close to 900 attendants followed the speeches of more than thirty international speakers in an unique atmosphere of inspired curiosity.

Typo London 2012, "Social", photo by Gerhard Kassner

Please help us to further improve TYPO London by filling in our three-minute-questionare. All you need to do is to login at MyTYPO and fill in your answers, of course completely anonymously.  Let us now how you liked the venue, what got you there and whom you would like to talk at the next TYPO conference.

We thank you for your support by drawing a free TYPO ticket among all entries. Please follow this link to our survey … 

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photo by Gerhard Kassner

24 October 2012

Hjalti Karlssson: 135 Months and Counting

photo © Gerhard Kasnner

Hjalti showed a picture of their small design studio, not unlike any other small design studio, a small white room, with people staring at Mac screens, clicking mouses. “This is what I like, the less I’m disturbed the happier I am.” (slightly paraphrased).

He wasn’t here to talk about that, instead he wanted to talk about what happens when you go out, leave the Mac and studio, what happens then? With karlssonwilker, A LOT.

It started with a call from a new client in Serbia, asking them to produce a calendar for their country. After realising it would be ‘lame’ to sit at their computers and google a country they knew absolutely nothing about, they put forward an idea. They asked if they could visit Serbia for twelve days, and design everything while they were there. Budget approved, they flew over ready to start work. However, their hope of being left alone to gently soak up the culture, was rudely shattered following their arrival at Belgrade airport.

They had billboards with their faces on, a media frenzy of interviews each day, and a whirlwind tour of every aspect of Serbian culture that could be crammed into those days. Ultimately of course, this would be Serbian culture percolated through the minds of an Icelander and German living in New York. I liked the concept behind February’s page: in reaction to  being told that asking a typical Serbian “How are you?” will get the pessimistic response of “Better than tomorrow”, they flipped it to a more optimistic tone of “Better than yesterday”. They hoped with the continual exposure over the month would encourage a little more positive feeling amongst the Serbian people (the results aren’t in yet).

Read more »

24 October 2012

Grant McCracken: Breathe in, breathe out – Design as a respiratory event

Photo: © Gerhard Kassner

Grant McCracken is many things: consultant, author, teacher, anthropologist and scholar of consumer patterns. He digs deep to find the roots of culture, identifying shifting forms and investigating their origins.

At TYPO Lndon 2012, McCracken declared that contemporary culture as we know it has seen the rise of a new order, one that is far from orderly but filled with chaos, confusion and commotion.

He cites a meeting at furniture company Herman Miller as an epiphanic moment in which he saw the manifestations of this new order at large. During the meeting he spotted a take-away coffee cup, it’s surface filled with feverish notes and sketches. Herman Miller employee Greg Parsons had used this medium to record his ideas and thoughts. McCracken quickly deduced that this is what the world looks like now. In the old order of culture, a designers process would be confined to a note book, considered and clarified before unleashing it to the world. But now this has changed. Order is slowly becoming a repellent to consumers. Culture demands the anti-industrial, the hand-made and unbranded. Order systems are no longer hierarchical with labour roles clearly defined under a clear mission statement. They have become more dynamic with complex adaptive systems. He likens it to a quote by technologist David Wynberger’s where he defines the Internet as ‘small pieces loosely joined’. McCracken believes that consumers now favour items that are bespoke, almost nook and crannyish to industrial perfection. This can be seen in the reincarnation of Rube Goldberg’s cartoons that have once again become popular and influential to contemporary culture. His depictions of complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways are echoed in the infamous Honda advert and the viral video ‘The Page Turner’ by Joseph Herscher.

Read more »

22 October 2012

Joshua Davis: The Social Grid

Joshua Davis, photos @ Gerhard Kassner

7pm on day 2 of the conference, a few people might be flagging. The caffeine is wearing off, and eyes on the clock for the last speaker – which is exactly why it was the perfect time for Joshua Davis to make an appearance. An energetic, loud, sweary, tattooed ball of energy crashed onto the stage like a train tearing through a wall. Behind the bluster (and energetic wedding dancing) it was apparent this was someone who clearly worked incredibly hard at everything he does. Even with his talk on the day (which some speakers may seem as a distraction from their day jobs) he treated like any other project – tweaking, playing around with ideas and refining over a year, trying to get the right balance.

Davis sees work and play as synonyms, in contrast to his peers who see them as direct opposites. He’s managed to maintain that child-like enthusiasm for just creating, without those hangups we acquire with jobs and deadlines. You could pick up his visible excitement at the things that inspire him, from old stain glass windows to a friend’s mismatched floors in his basement. Each of these sparked off into a whole cluster of new ideas.

Davis uses programming as a tool to create rich, graphic, complicated patterns, that he admits would take forever to draw by hand, by tweaking the programming he could produce countless variations in patterns, colours and density. However, this isn’t a mindless pressing of buttons, he clearly has strong ideas before he even sits in front of the computer inspired by real life. He encouraged us to just try things, without a client in mind, just to go with an idea and see where it goes.

Read more »

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