As a conference visitor you might wonder how the whole huge thing is organized. Well, there is a crew of 90 people, plus technicians, translation team, catering companies etc. And there is a bunch of people who care about communications.
Communications here means much more than to tell the world how cool TYPO Berlin is (most of you know), but to provide best possible access to the lectures. We want to share the news, the knowledge and the content given by our fabulous speakers. This year we will have more than 70!
Some of them are alte Hasen, as we say in German (“old rabbits”): experienced with performing in public and with presenting their work. Others hop on stage for the very first time in their lives. They all have something special to share with you. So how to decide which talks to attend?
The TYPO Berlin Editorial Team will summarize what has been said. What do I take home from a talk? They try to extract the core content of each talk for you. They will emphasize on putting it into a wider context. How does the talk relate to current design strategies or technical advance, or maybe forecast upcoming trends?
The sheer amount and the broad mixture of topics is one of the reasons TYPO Berlin is so special. And a good reason to try and share as much of what is going on in Haus der Kulturen der Welt during those days in May …
I was asked to write for TYPO Berlin in 2011, when I was Edenspiekermann’s Director Text, and just starting to establish their blog as a source of insights about how a design agency works, but most of all, how cool my boss and my colleagues are. Talking about collegues: I took Harry Keller with me to TYPO Berlin, a developer. Why the hack a developer?!
In this case: Because Harry is able to explain even complex technical issues in a short, clear and understandable way – to me, as the perfect guinea big (technical stuff is not amongst my foremost talents.) Harry had caught my attention because he wrote every single email in perfect Neue Deutsche Rechtschreibung (renewed German spelling rules). And he was one of the few who did not care about the digital-non-digital discussion going on, I mean, he did care, but with ease crossed the alleged gaps between online and offline thinking and working, and departments. No Abteilungsdenken whatsoever. Actually this has become Harry’s main topic for talks. Yes, he will be a TYPO Berlin speaker again this year, Debunking digital myths. A continuous pleasure!
To make a long story short: Our TYPO 2011 posts were an instant success. I was asked again in 2012. I took more people. Harry spoke at TYPO 2013. I continued to write and to look for writing talents to accompany me …
I meet them at international conferences, at agencies or events I work for. I spot them because they speek so vibrantly and/or profound about type. Or they wrote something in a way that fascinated me, be it a blog post, an email, an application letter (Paul), an internship report (Daria), a diacritic manifesto even (Radek).
In other words, my editorial team for TYPO Berlin comprises people who engage in type and design – and who care about how they express their ideas. No wonder that they move on, like Paul Woods, who went to New York City, or Harry Keller, and now Marlene Schufferth. She also will be a speaker this year, for the first time, about Designing for the user vs. designing for the client. Don’t miss! Marlene, we will be with you.
From Latin America to the Czech Republic
For the first time, I have more then 20 people in the team. Half of them could make it to my workshop sessions in Berlin in the forerun (this was the occasion Norman Posselt took the pictures). My editors range widely in their cultural backgrounds, in age and professions. They come from Mexico, Holland or Japan, the Czech Republic or Slovenia, Russia, the US, Australia, and Berlin of course. They are in their second year of studying, in the midst of their bachelor, or award-winning senior type designers and teachers; they are into cultural studies, art, branding, journalism. What they share is a deep interest in type and/or design and/or writing (plus something else, individually, that caught my attention and will remain my secret) …
I am totally proud of this fabulous team:
- Jenna Gesse will represent me as chief editor during the conference. Jenna is a designer-writer I got to know via Christine Wenning (@chwenning), a former Edenspiekermann colleague. Christine is now working in Hamburg at Tom Leifer Design and will join in as Jenna’s back-up, because she has been in my Editorial Team since 2012 and knows TYPO Berlin well. For Jenna it will be her premiere. Welcome!
- Then there are Jannis and Jenny (no, I did not chose them by names). They will support Jenna and the team as managing editors. Jenny Zegenhagen (@) was my communications assistant at Edenspiekermann. A terrific project manager, Jenny is experienced with writing at TYPO Berlin (and now works at Etsy Europe). Jannis Riethmüller studies at FH Potsdam and became addicted to type through his teacher Luc(as) de Groot (who happens to be … no, not now).
- Norman Posselt (@) will be our photo editor, backed up by Toshiya Izumo. Norman is perfectly acquainted to TYPO Berlin and other events. He knows the conference photographers and what it needs to add good pictures to good blog posts. Toshi is a designer and picto specialist at Edenspiekermann with many more talents, like photography. He accompanied me to TYPO Berlin several times and lately gave a wonderful talk (“Can a stroke tell a story?”) at Creative Mornings Berlin.
- We have beginning type designers like the before mentioned Daria Petrova of LucasFonts and Paul Troppmair, who will both join the Type and Media post-graduate course in The Hague in September. And there are advanced, award-winning type designers like Radek Sidun from Czech Republic, Aleksandra Samulenkova (@) of LucasFonts, and notorious Just van Rossum (@justvanrossum), who is a teacher in The Hague (and who created FF Beowolf, among others). So good to have them! So far only Aleksandra took part in the last TYPO conferences as a writer, but I am sure everyone will contribute in their wonderful ways.
- Of course there will be more designer-editors. In daily live they work in digital, editorial, brand or book design, with lettering and illustrations: welcome Ajda Zupančič and Christoph Rauscher (@) of Edenspiekermann Berlin, Gabby Lord (@) of A Color Bright, Maggie Tang (@) of Ableton, Christine Gertsch of Process Brand Evolution in Switzerland. Designer-illustrators Sandra Lajain (studio brainbreak) and Chris Campe (German readers might know her book “Toller Ort”) join us from Hamburg. Designer-typographer Sarah Peth currently works for Gestalten and runs her studio Not Just in Berlin (with a partner in Munich).
- And there also is a bunch of researchers and journalists in the broader fields of design, media and culture: Anne Rethfeld, Ariane Böhm and Merle Ibach are students in Berlin and Potsdam. Lieselotte Schäfer graduated from HTW Berlin and, as office and sales manager at LucasFonts, is excellently equipped with practical font knowledge. Leonie Hesse is a cultural scientist, currently graduating in arts from Kunsthochschule Weißensee and working for Spiegel Online. Iliana Guzman (@) is a Mexican design researcher who lives in Reading, UK (we met at ATypI Barcelona).
I myself (@) will not be writing this year and I am sure I will miss it. But I won’t really have the time. After reading my posts last year, TYPO host Jürgen Siebert (@Fontblog) invited me to hop on stage myself: I will support the speakers as a facilitator, along with Erik Spiekermann (@), Indra Kupferschmid (@) and Stephen Coles (@), what a wonderful constellation.
Looking forward to this new TYPO experience!
Looking back at the same time, I remember the excitement and joy of describing talks of old gods and young goddesses, of well-known actors in the field and of bloody beginners, of intercultural artist-researchers and electronic design pioneers and senior advertising icons and creative adventure-seeking couples, of intuitive players and profound thinkers in (type) design and politics. It is such a pleasure to discover their wonderful ways of working and thinking, fostering typography and visual culture.
I am sure my Editorial Team will indulge into something wonderful – and deliver wonderful results with their ways of describing what they see. Have fun, everyone! Enjoy writing, enjoy the conference and enjoy reading our contributions to the TYPO Berlin blog.