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Talented people, talking about interesting things

Our organizers share some thoughts on what to expect from Typographics this year

Last year, for the first Typographics festival, potential attendees were asked to take a leap of faith that the event would be great based on the speakers and location. Master-of-ceremonies Roger Black shared some thoughts about what he and the other organizers had in mind, but this year we can refer to the videos and articles from the first festival to give everyone a taste of what Typographics is all about.

Nevertheless, Roger and fellow organizer Alexander Tochilovsky want to make sure this year’s Typographics will be even more vital. I spoke to Roger about what they looked for in the speakers this summer:

Roger Black. Photo: Dan Rhatigan

For Typographics, we just want really interesting people. We looked for people with two things: good work or something significant to say. Also, they had to be able to do a good job talking.

We’re asking the speakers about what’s on their minds these days, to capture what’s in the air, what designers who care about type want to hear about.

The broad themes are pretty obvious. One is that everyone is going global so we need to focus on multilingual typography. Another thing is that type is increasingly the core of many company brands, for products, movies, etc. The third big theme is that that type is everywhere. First it was for printing or books, then publications, then advertising and some other stuff in publications. Now every website, sign, software interface, and everything else uses type consciously. A lot of new typographic problems are not taught traditionally that need to be solved.

When I talked with Alexander, he spoke to the importance of having speakers that are not only interesting themselves, but who can also bring a wide range of interesting ideas:

Alexander Tochilovsky. Photo: Laura Mircik-Sellers

The most important thing we talked about last year, and that we’re also thinking about this year, is having a nice variety of speakers and topics, representing different fields and disciplines. By having a diverse mix, we hope that people who are familiar with speakers in their own industries will come to hear designers they already respect, but also get a really interesting perspective on other things they’re not familiar with, like responsive web design for someone working in print, for instance. This cross-pollination can happen in a very natural way in an environment like this.

To help us do this we asked for referrals from people we know and trust, starting with all the speakers from last year, to get a better sense of what they’re seeing out there. It’s helping us identify certain things that are further off our radar.

With the full schedule for this year’s conference now finalized (and a few last-minute surprises for other events during the festival yet to be announced), we’re looking forward to another great event this year. We hope you’ll join us!

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