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 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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