Time to explore! — Typo Berlin 2017

We had the pleasure to visit TYPO Berlin at the magnificent venue Haus der Kulturen der Welt. This year’s theme ‘wanderlust’ translates to a strong desire to travel and explore.

There where many great talks about trends in society, experimental concepts and the role creatives play in our fast moving world. We like to share these six takeaways that made our designer hearts beat faster.

Latest news on web typography — Underware

Morning paper, coffee, and some good typography

Dutch type foundry Underware used a printed type specimen in the form of a special news paper. They did this to promote their newest web font Zeitung and to share some great knowledge about the use and misuse of web typography.

They make a bold statement that reading from a screen for longer periods of time isn’t very comfortable and web typography still can’t really compete with the qualities of print. Physical books allow you to fully immerse yourself in a deeper way than online and walking past your bookshelf every day imprints the stories and thoughts into your memory like a souvenir. It’s different from reading online, where information can disappear or change in a second. Of course, digital text has multiple advantages over static printed material, but this doesn’t mean every text should be read digitally.

Go straight off the wall — Dominic Wilcox

‘Open car window simulator’ from the first Art Exhibition For Dogs

From the award winning short documentary The reinvention of normal to a international children’s project ‘Little Inventors’: artist, inventor and designer Dominic Wilcox changes our perspective of the world with surprising, entertaining and thought provoking concepts.

Like a luxury gold leafed skimming stone for that one moment when you find the perfect clean puddle. Or a bed made in the shape of the person who sleeps in it. Why need all the extra space? The list of inventions and surprising ideas is endless and it really refreshes your mind going trough these examples.

His latest project Little Inventors involves the creative mind of children to draw their own invention ideas. He then asked local makers and manufacturers to actually create a couple of those ideas, boosting creative confidence for all participating children.

Take the first step — Debbie Millman

Image credit: © Gerhard Kassner

We love podcasts and were thrilled to hear about the personal and inspiring story of online interviewer and design podcast pioneer Debbie Millman. Almost every great designer, artist and creative thinker has been interviewed on ‘Design Matters’, the worlds first podcast about design. The biggest takeaway from her motivational talk is to take the first step instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity. So if you haven’t already subscribed to Design Matters… now is the time!

Modular Lettering — Birgit Palma

Image credit: © Adobe Systems

The beautiful work of Barcelona based Birgit Palma is a mix of illustration and typography. With her love for systems, she uses the basic geometric shapes of letters as a canvas for artistic illustrations.

The fun workshop “Modular Lettering” was all about creating a typographic alphabet — using a modular raster prepared by Birgit Palma and Daniel Triendl. Participants where encouraged to share files and collaborate real-time to design within the shapes for each letter of the alphabet. Every city where the workshop is hosted gets a different look and feel trough the interpretations of the participants

What is a designer? — Peter Biľak

Image credit: © Gerhard Kassner

Designer and teacher Peter Biľak started off with a immersive scrolling list of function names for designers. From problem solver, thinker and curator to parent, wanderer or listmaker. As designers, we need to constantly change perspective and force ourselves to become a temporary expert in something totally new. That can be difficult at times, but also very rewarding.

The rest of the talk was used to show a selection of varied work about type inspired modern dance, beautifully hand made tiles from Mallorca and Works That Work, a magazine about unexpected creativity. Finishing with a great quote about what is good design? “Good design is design that all involved parties benefit from”

Make unusual connections— Oliver Jeffers

Image credit: © Sebastian Weiß

The work of Oliver Jeffers asks questions and tells stories based on his observations of the world around us. They’re mixed with and influenced by creative snippets of his childhood. Oliver is well known for his award winning illustrated picture books for children, such as The Day the Crayons Quit and Incredible Book Eating Boy.

In 2014, he rose to fame for his dipped paintings, a series of performances where he permanently submerged parts of fully painted portraits. The participants of this event are the only people who know what’s underneath the covered part of the painting. And yes, he did actually paint the whole thing!

Till next time, then!

Image credit: © Norman Posselt

We took home a huge amount of inspiration from our visit to this beautiful conference and really enjoyed the open, friendly and creative atmosphere at Typo Berlin. You can already purchase tickets for the International Design Conference 2018. Hopefully we’ll see you there next year!

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