Badge Processing Confessions

How far can we go? The attendee’s names put this year’s TYPO Labs identity to the test.


Aleksandra Samuļenkova – Stripes, polka dots and a comma accent

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Olli Meier showing off font and fallback as well as the conference tee.

While most of what we see at the conference in terms of signage, animations and printed products were produced with real variable fonts, Olli and Bernd confided that the badge’s dirty little secret is that they weren’t made with variable fonts, but a lot of static instances and a bit of trickery. The names on the badges come from a database imported into pre-variable-fonts-software called FileMaker, fit to width with condition features of the software. The badges might be representative of the current state of design software with variable fonts, where it’s more a question of how fast can we go?

If your name is long enough to look more like a barcode than type, there’s always the fallback font on the other side – Viktor Nübel’s Attribute. Most attendees seem to prefer the striped look though, maybe because hard to read type is also a good conversation starter. It also goes well with a black and white wardrobe, a favorite style choice of type designers.


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Photos by Tilmann Hielscher