AGI promises a more open conference

The organisers of this year’s AGI Open London conference are promising a more engaging experience with no boundaries between delegates and speakers and a strong educational focus

The organisers of this year’s AGI Open London conference are promising a more engaging experience with no boundaries between delegates and speakers and a strong educational focus

The annual congress of the Alliance Typographique Internationale (AGI) comes to London in September. A members-only club of the world’s leading graphic designers and graphic artists, AGI also has a strong educational remit. As part of this, it will also be staging its Open conference in the capital.

At a launch event for AGI Open London at the Design Museum, Spin’s Tony Brook, who is the lead organiser of the event, stressed its focus on students who, he hopes, will make up 70% of the audience.

Confirmed speakers read like a who’s who of the profession, with the likes of Ben Bos, Irma Boom, Pablo Martín, Astris Stavro and Pierre Bernard complementing a strong UK line-up which includes Margaret Calvert, Marion Deuchars and Spitting Image creator Roger Law.

The organisers, who include Adrian Shaughnessy, Marion Deuchars, Pentagram’s Angus Hyland and Sean Perkins of North, promised that these speakers will not be allowed to squirrel themselves away in the ‘Green Room’ but will be available for delegates to mix with and talk to throughout the two-day event. There was much talk of openness and hopes that students will be able to take part in workshops and briefs around the event.

One advantage AGI has over other conferences is that speakers pay their own way to attend. Without this significant cost, prices for delegates can be a lot lower than other events. It is also a not-for-profit event. AGI Open London will be £130 for an ‘early-bird’ student ticket (for the two days), £165 full-price, with significant discounts for group bookings. Professional tickets are £150 early-bird and £195 full price. As a comparison, Typo London last year was £425 full-price for two days. This May’s Point conference is £400 full-price for professionals, £180 for students for two days.

Nevertheless, several tutors at the launch event expressed concerns that even at £130 AGI Open would still be out of reach for many of their students, particularly for those outside London who would have to factor in travelling and accommodation costs. In response to a suggestion from the audience, the organisers have promised to look into setting up systems for London-based students or colleges to host those travelling from elsewhere.

Ful information about the AGI Open conference, which will be at The Barbican from September 26 to 27, can be found here.

There is also an excellent AGI Open London Tumblr site here which gathers together the work of AGI members (shown below).




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