Typo London to return in autumn
The Typo London conference, which launched last year, is to return to London in October, taking 'authenticity' as its theme. What would you like to see from this year's event?
The inaugural Typo London conference ran in October last year at the Institute for Education in Bloomsbury. International speakers included Chip Kidd (above, photo Gerhard Kassner), Michael Bierut and Lawrence Weiner, with the likes of Morag Myerscough, It's Nice That and Google's Tom Uglow from the UK.
For this year, the organisers have already signed up Matt Webb of Berg, Why Not's Andy Altmann and artist Gordon Young (who will no doubt talk about the Comedy Carpet project), David Tonge of The Division, Jonathan Barnbrook and Lucienne Roberts. Adrian Shaughnessy and Erik Spiekermann will again officiate over three days from October 18 to 20. Its theme of Authenticity will, we are told, "explore the relationship between media and messages, the perceived and the projected the real and the virtual through the filter of design and its effect on our culture and society".
Last year's event seems to have been well received. As always with conferences, there is a tricky balancing act to be made (as we discussed here in a post by Rick Poynor) between the 'star' names who put bums on seats and the more surprising or unexpected content that often turns out to be audience favourites – King Bansah (below with Spiekermann) and Julian Zimmermann’s talk about branding a royal celebrity seemed to go down especially well last year (a video of the session is here).
Photo: Gerhard Kassner
Typo London's organisers are apparently looking at offering more variety next year, both in terms of speakers and the way win which presentations are staged – more break-out sessions, more of the workshops that proved popular last year, maybe some kind of Pecha Kucha-style strand.
Cost, of course is always an issue. I don't know of any major design graphic conference in the world that makes a profit for its organisers. Typo London was £650 for three days last year (£290 for students) and even at that price the organisers lost money, even though the hall was full.
But the UK needs an event of this kind. If the content is strong and well curated, leading to genuine insight and inspiration, that ticket price may not seem so unreasonable even in these tough times.
So, perhaps CR readers could help here: If you went last year, what worked for you?
What did you enjoy/not enjoy about the event?
What would you like to see more or less of next time?
What are the more general problems/issues with design conferences?
Let us know and we will put your points to the organisers.
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I would love to go, but similar to last year, I simply cannot afford to do so. will be on twitter...
I hope Typo London is affordable this year.
I know someone who went last year, it was worthwhile.
Design Conferences in the U.S. routinely cost over $1000 to attend - this is a deal!
Same here, far to expensive for a Student. Like Johanna Drucker says that Beatrice is a snob because she prefers to use a crystal goblet than to use a jam jar. Well at the rhythm things go the new blood typographers will not be able to attend again because the price privilege the elitist.
I'll jump on the "too expensive bandwagon" too, and this is the main problem about Design Conferences. The price.
I was just looking at the line up, seems very enticing. The IOE is a great venue.
It worked out cheaper for us to go to Barcelona for a week and attend Offfff instead of staying in London to do this. I dont know if the quality of Typo is better but, thems the breaks
@Johnjohn OFFF is good but it isn't focused on just type. But OFFF always find great venues and Speakers.
Sorry but this is an absurd amount of money.
It's a friggin' typographic conference for christ sake!
Some big discrepancies in prices amongst conferences – OFFSET for example had early-bird tickets for about £100 a head!
Out of interest - for all of those who have balked at the price, what price would you be prepared to pay to attend a three day design conference (not just typography Ray - although suffused with a large helping) in the middle of London?
Come on - why not provide a little honest information about what you or your company can afford?
Let me start:- One man band design consultancy.
I start wincing around the £350 mark but depending on the speakers and networking possibilities I could go top out at £450.
I run a small design studio with my work partner, so cost is an issue BUT it was definitely worthwhile - great speakers.
Some of the workshops and talks clashed - so missed good things in the smaller room.
Did not like the venue at all!
The final night drinks were a great opportunity to mix with the speakers and other designers though...
I presume the main cost aside from venue hire is the cost for travel for the speakers, if you had a full hall at the Logan Hall all paying £650 (which I know isn't the case) then 933 seats at £650 which is £600,000 surely a conference can be made to break even from that budget?!
I take your point about it being more than a Typographic expo, but I am in the same position in that I'm self employed. It isn't just the cost of the ticket, it is also the 3 days lost revenue.
Maybe a solution for tight ar*es like me would be to sell online access to the event. Downloading talks etc and putting any supporting merchandise online for purchase. Then I can pick and choose and not be (completely) out of pocket.
(For the record, I'm not knocking the event. I think it's great London hosts such things. Just too much for my shallow pockets)
I think it is a fair price especially with early bird discounts, and affordable for students. We must consider that all the people who spoke last year had to be flown and lodged.
Speakers flights from Europe & US, hotels in central London, rent, grub, staff, promo, I dunno, they had a King there—he wasn't cheap. It all adds up I suppose. Problem is, only the rich can attend, so it's not really a conference for the masses. Dare I say elitist?
Sol, I have to disagree that the prices are affordable for students. In the strongest possible terms. I think they're a long way from being affordable. I'm sure that a small group will fork out (most probably those students that Universities are clamouring like mad for), but £290 is more than half a months rent for most living in London. It's nothing other than elitist.
More Michael Bierut
It isn't just the price of the tickets but for someone who doesn't live in London it is also the costs of accommodation, travel and food. As a student it is a great opportunity to see these people but I was at the D&AD talk last night for Bob Gill, Alan Parker and David Putnem for the price of just £10. Why don't you break the talks down into specific segments of half day specialisms so you could pick and choose more who to see and reduce the costs.
Less cost. I'm a freelancer and to spend over a weeks wages for a 3 day conference, plus taking the time off to do so is just a bit much. It looked great and I would have loved to have gone, but I just couldn't afford it.
I agree with DJM. I just returned from Offset in Dublin, and had a great time, however, even with it's very reasonable ticket prices for three days (£150), I still had to factor in flights, other travel, airport parking, hotel costs, food, and of course, drinking time. All told, I didn't get much change from £800 for a 3 day event.
To ask for £650, then ask people to pay for the cost of staying in, and travelling to London makes TypoLondon prohibitive for me I'm afraid, as much as I'd love to attend. If I lived in London it would be fine, but otherwise I could more than likely book to go to OFFF and still come back from a weekend in sunnier climes for around the same as simply buying a ticket for the London event.
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