The Typo London conference with a theme of ‘places’ was held last weekend. I was one of four University of Salford Graphic design staff privileged to attend the talks which were a designers dream and we were very excited to be able to get to hear around 35 internationally renowned designers, creatives, artists, film makers, and typographers.  I spent a fascinating few days with Gary Peploe, Tim Isherwood and Hannah Gibson. We all took enjoyed the intensity of the 2 days (the talks started at 10am and finished at 9pm) and enthused and debated the speakers and their messages and left feeling educated and inspired with fresh ideas to feed back into our teaching. All the talks were of great benefit to us in one way or another but these few were the ones that we felt stood out.

EVA-LOTTA LAMB’s  talk on sketch notes. Hannah Gibson; ‘Her talk was brilliantly entertaining and funny. I’m a little jealous of her quick turn around of the lecture notes her on flickr . I’m sure I’ll be blogging about this subject more in the near future.’

JONATHAN BARNBROOK is famous as a typographic agitator that has been designing typefaces for years, but doesn’t really consider himself a typographic designer, which is what you might expect the disingenuous designer of such fonts as Expletive, designed for swearing, Bastard, a black letter font referencing its Germanic roots, and Nixon, a font for lying with. Tim Isherwood;’I have never heard Barnbrook speak before although he is quite prolific on the scene. If you ever get the chance, which you might, go see him’.
“As a designer, you never stop thinking visually. Its exhausting.” - Jonathan Barnbrook

Taking a look at the homepage of MORAG MYERSCOUGH’s website gives a very good idea of what it was like to listen to her lecture at Typo London on Saturday. Full of enthusiasm and energy, her work is vibrant and bold, and incredibly diverse.

JOACHIM SAUTER described the work of Art + Com as behaviour based computational choreography, using mechanatronics and reactive systems to create an identification with a given space, which possibly sounds a little difficult to understand. Gary Peploe described it as ‘cool’, possibly a little easier to understand.

NEVILLE BRODY is Britain’s first and reigning star typographer and designer. Working with magazines including “The Face” and “Arena”, and creating some of the most important new fonts of recent years, he has made his name ubiquitous in his field. Starting 20 years ago, Brody teamed up with fellow designers to produce “FUSE”, an experimental design and typeface annual. Most of the breakthroughs in type and its application of the past two decades have come from this groundbreaking annual.
Jo Greenhalgh; ‘I naively expected him to be a little jaded, quite the opposite! He delivered an inspirational, uplifting passionate talk, not without a heavy dose of cynicism for the political climate at present, but also humble – in awe of fellow designers and incredibly articulate and full of wisdom.

MARINA WILLER works for Wolf Olins, a major design firm (the Olympics logo). Her talk at Typo London was about her Brazilian upbringing and the inspirations of that particular culture, and how/why they are still relevant to her today. The vibrant colours of her country filter into her work, which is beautiful.  She specialises in marketing, having worked on projects such as the re-branding of Tate. at

CHIP KIDD was the last speaker of the conference. We had met him the day before when I asked him to sign her conference book for Tash Willcocks (No 1 fan!), and he drew a caricature of himself carefully, which was lovely of him. This initial and brief meeting did not prepare us for the raucous and hilarious performance that he gave. There is something about a camp New York accent that exaggerates and emphasises stories brilliantly. In spite of the high jinks, Kidd went on to describe his process of designing book covers, his day job of some 25 years. He showed examples of how he works with his clients, demonstrating the process of back and forth, refinement, negotiation, rejection and success.

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