Simon runs a company called ‘someone’ in London which is specialised in launches and relaunches. Within the last couple of years he has observed that the traditional understanding of branding does not work nowadays. Branding does not only need to be liked and stand out, today it also needs to be useful.
Eike König preferred to introduce himself with a colourful media-music show rather than with words. After being run over by an avalanche of his work (all within one minute), he started talking about the actual subject, without showing any more of his projects.
He defined himself as a mix of his empathic mum and his focused, structured dad. They encouraged him to feel responsible to what he does. As a child he was fascinated by political info graphics in magazines. Finding out that graphic designers are creating such powerfully imagery, he decided to become one himself. Another influential part of his work is music.
Offbeat(*) speaker Peter Gregson came to talk about his project ‘The Listening Machine‘, a sonification of the continuous stream of tweets by 500 selected UK twitter users. Composer Gregson created the piece together with collaborator Daniel Jones and Britten Sinfonia. It’s an unexpected talk at a design conference, but it did tie in nicely to the social theme of the conference.
Coming from a practical Graphic Design background describes her job as a non solo occupation. Moreover the + sign in her studio name indicates the importance of being socially connected in practice.
Talking about her influences such as political activism as well as feminism she quotes Woody Allen, who describes work as ‘a quality distraction’. A portrait of Allen on her desk inspires her to follow this approach.
When Ken Garland published his manifesto ‘First things first’ it expressed the importance to take on social responsibility for her work and this is clearly what she does.
Presenting her work as well as their social aspects of it in a series of case studies she reveals that not only the subject matter itself is important but also the combination of client, public engagement, sustainability and educational expression.
Recently she collaborates with Rebecca Wright to form ‘Graphic Design &’ to build a platform that questions how graphic design can connect to other subjects.
Sara de Bondt is a Belgian graphic designer based in London. Her talk at TYPO was divided into three sections:
1. How can work itself be social?
With her exhibition design for RADICAL NATURE at the Barbican in 2009 she was trying to learn a lot from her research. Therefore she set up a manifesto of what sustainable, green graphic design is (which ink and paper should be used, dealing cleverly with resources,…). For the exhibition, they were recycling interior from former exhibitions. New furniture was constructed without power tools. Instead of gluing exhibition captions to the wall, they were just using nails. Since the Barbican’s archive was full of unused posters, they decided to use the reverse of those (which is in general blue) for creating a new poster series for their exhibition. The catalogue of the show was printed in a very low edition, every extra catalogue that was requested was printed on demand. Sara managed to keep the resources for this exhibition very low and in that sense green.
For the artissima 18 art fair in Turin, they experienced that graphic design itself can be social. Instead of catching people’s attention with images or simple type posters, they decided to come up with in depth information. An artificial company was created that was growing and generating data, based on the recent and past artissima Art fairs. The information was presented to the public on posters, invites, flyers, even on the facade of the venue. Information was revealed in unusual ways. Playfull statistics brought artists and gallerys to the centre of attention. With the result that visitors have been very interested in understanding and reading the offered information, and enabled a vivid interaction.
To kick off the TYPO London program in Jeffrey Hall, facilitator Simone Wolf introduced Visual Editions‘ Anna Gerber and Britt Iversen as pair that likes “working with talented people and being told something is impossible.”
Over the next 40 minutes, Gerber and Iversen showed the TYPO audience how they’ve married design and literature to create, as their strapline states, “great looking stories” in an “chaotic, oftentimes frustrating process, but that’s where the magic comes in.”
Publishing house Visual Editions is four books old. Bursting into life in Winter 2010, with an APFEL-designed “punked up” version of British classic Tristram Shandy, they introduced a unique approach of producing a shared experience for different types of audiences and instigating conversations about how you read. Simultaneous exhibitions of the book at both the Design Museum and Shandy Hall on the same day underscored this juxtaposition.
Anthony Burrill, photo © Gerhard Kassner
Anthony Burrill describes himself as a ‘persuasive, up-beat illustrator and designer’. Today at TYPO London, the softly spoken man took us on a fantastic journey through his eclectic career to date; regaling stories of letter-pressing in the “ancient” town of Rye, printing a poster using the crude oil from the disastrous BP spill of 2006 BP and why we should “Work Hard and Be Nice to People”.
In fact, it is easy to believe that Burrill himself lives by this very motto. On stage, Burrill’s softly spoken personality embodies the sentiment of possibly his best-known work (the “Work Hard and Be Nice To People” poster). Drawn from an old saying Burrill heard, the poster went on to be a huge viral hit across the globe. Freely admitting to often ‘Googling himself’ (after all, who doesn’t?), Burrill showed us a glimpse of the reach of the poster – “from Mums to fashion bloggers”
and even one individual getting a tattoo of the design.
The seats of Logan Hall and the those of the second stage at Jeffery Hall are taken. Opening speakers Sara De Bondt in the main hall and Anna Gerber & Britt Iversen from Visual Editions on the second stage kicked off this year’s TYPO London conference. Today and tomorrow more than 30 speakers will investigate the social impact on design.
Sara De Bondt opening this year’s TYPO London conference with her speach “The Office of Statistics“, photo by Gerhard Kassner
There will be a live streaam for those who can not make ist this year: At twelve o’clock you can watch Anthony Burrill’s speach “Working Hard and Being Nice to People” at or live stream site. There will be further covering of the conference to which everyone is invited to follow or to contribute. Select your favourite channel to follow the two day summit:
For the spontaneous: There are some day passes left for today or tomorrow. TYPO London takes place at the Institute of Education London, University of London.