Typo London Conference 2011
The renowned Typo conference normally held in Berlin made it’s London premier hosting some of the most exceptional design and creative minds of our time. This was one event Skive could not afford to miss. Unfortunately it turned out that we had in fact missed the opportunity to get our hands on any tickets. As the end of a Typoless Thursday played out I vented my non-attending misery the only way I knew how – on Twitter. As I searched for the #Typo11 hash tag a fellow tweeter (twitterer?) had posted that she had a spare ticket to the conference. For that one moment in time I had the ability to compose a tweet in mere milliseconds. To my amazement I had actually scored tickets to the hottest design conference in town! A quick call to my MD Sean to explain that if I don’t attend the conference it would be a crime against Skive. Of course without hesitation Sean gave me the all clear to attend; Excitement ensued. Must take this opportunity to thank Cat Townsend and The Blank Sheet Project for the free ticket!
Below are only a few snippets of lectures I attended. Wish I could write about all the speakers I saw but alas I have very little time to write this! If you would like to know all the big shots that spoke at the conference you can check them out here: http://typolondon.com/index.php/Speakers;7/1
MAKING MOVIES IS HARD FUN: BUILDING TOOLS FOR TELLING STORIES
First up one definitely not to miss, Michael B Johnson the R&D Lead of drum roll please, Pixar Animation. Michael took us through a run down of Pixar’s Emeryville campus. A new studio they had just built on their campus named Brooklyn in the beautiful green fields of their compound.
Michael showed us images of his fellow colleagues and how they all had a very unique space adorned with items of their hobbies and passions. One Pixarian had hundreds upon hundreds of toy dolls cluttering his vast shelf space. Lesson – surround yourself with your passion whether it be your work, art, or even your failed experiments. Michael went on to explain some of the tools his team had created to help the Pixar team to collaborate during projects. One particular tool – an iPhone app allowed staff to view storyboards and post audio commentary and scribbles straight back to the animators. Michael made it a point to illustrate how important using our voice and hands were when developing such collaborative tools. It is important to be aware of problems in the various departments and how information flows between one another. If people are getting mad at each other then ask yourself can we make a tool that makes users visibly better at their jobs.
Lesson- ”Quality is the best business plan” John Lasseter, Pixar.
RENAISSANCE OF SPACE
I’ll be honest I can’t even begin to explain founder of ART+COM Joachim Sauter’s magical installations, it is beyond anything I have ever seen before. The only way is to experience it yourself. However since that’s probably not possible the best next thing is to check out ART+COM http://www.artcom.de/
The most recent big campaign that you might have seen floating around would be the BMW spheres:
Lesson – Concept a physical design approach that encourages behavioural activity. Think beyond the LCD screen or projector. This man doesn’t only think outside the box he thinks outside the cube.
THE ART OF POST-DIGITAL
Tom Uglow the Creative Lead of Google took us through the companies recent experiments focusing around building a narrative in the browser:
Wilderness Downtown was created by Google to answer a very simple question: What would a pop video look like in a browser?
Sometimes using old school advertising like bill boards to drive awareness for your product is the right approach. Think about your audience – When Google was in the midst of releasing Chrome most people did not even know what a Browser was, only 8% knew:
Lesson – Research your audience!
Life in a day used the YouTube platform to crowd source a film. Idea started with 50 hours in a day where everyone was asked to record one hour of their day. This then led onto the film Life in a Day which takes you on a journey around the world.
Google has recently partnered with NASA, yes that’s right NASA those space cowboys, asking teens to come up with a science experiment for space and upload a video explaining it to YouTube. If the idea won, it would be performed on the International Space Station and live streamed on YouTube to the world. They hit a specific demographic teenage boys who love science. Lesson – Target a small community to reach a broader community.
If you are unsure who Laurence Weiner is then I can save you the Google Search: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Weiner
You can actually watch Laurence Weiner’s speech here so I will save you my review too, but all I can say is: The dude was on another level:
Lesson: Information without explanation, now that’s design.
If you haven’t already done so check out filmmaker Gary Hustwit, most renowned for his directorial debut ‘Helvetica’, a documentary about typography:
Gary Hustwit has released the final documentary in his design film trilogy. Urbanized focuses on the design of cities, and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, and thinkers. Can’t wait to watch this one, so interesting:
THE KING IS CUSTOMER
This session was a really odd but thoroughly entertaining session for all typo goers. King Bansah of Ghana made a guest appearance in full ceremonial dress as part of Julian Zimmermann’s communication and design degree showcasing a design profile for the King. Eric Speikman translated King Bansah as he explained his tribe and his responsibilities. King Bansah was well educated and extremely humorous having mastered many skills in his years he is a fully qualified mechanic and brilliant craftsman. he detailed how he must provide for all his people and in order to do this he makes guest appearances and at times performing song and dance routines. Zimmermann’s aim was to portray the King as very Royal and Exotic through design:
For me this was the best session I have ever attended at a conference. Truly inspiring Morag Myerscough took us on a world wind tour of her life and work. She was full of energy it as if she was on a caffeine drip the whole way through. You could tell how much she loved what she did as she took us through her career and bubbly personality. I was amazed at how much she had accomplished over her time and it seemed as if she had only just begun to scratch the surface. You can view all her pieces on her site:
CHIP KIDD – WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
Chip Kidd (yes that’s his real name), was the last speaker for Typo 2011 and he did not disappoint. What an absolute character! He had real attitude with a touch of hilarity and a side of genius to top it off. Chip Kidd mainly focuses on the book cover he designs, but is more famously known for the Jurassic Park logo. The logo was create for the book and was later used for the movie. The movie producers took the book logo and added the bad ‘Jurrassic Park’ typography.
Chip’s most recently has completed his latest book cover for IQ84:
You can check out his website here: http://www.goodisdead.com/
The best tips I took away from Typo 11 are:
- Have the courage to fail
- Share your experience
- Inspire your people. Never motivate as then they do what you want to do, instead teach encouragement.
- Reinvent yourself
- Be ready to say no
- Learn from your failed experiments
- Stay playful