Typo London takes its place on the conference calendar

King Bansah and Julian Zimmermann billed for Typo London

Print and moving image specialists will explorethe relationship between people and their surroundings in the first Typo London graphic design conference, to be held in October, which will build on the premise that design and the creative process can help to link people and places.

According to Tim Fendley of Applied Information Group, who hatched the initiative with former business partner Robin Richmond, the conference theme Places is to denote ’the places people go to meet, online and off, and how design is evolving into the virtual world’.

Richmond says the event promises ’a vibrant global conversation about our surroundings, how we interact with people and how we understand the environments we pass through’.

The three-day event is based on the Typo Berlin conference, now in its 16th year. Fendley points out though that the Berlin event traces its origins to the Fuse conference, held in London in 1998, and that the idea of staging a graphics conference here has therefore come full circle.

The London conference is supported by the team at Fontshop, the type foundry set up by German designer Erik Spiekermann in 1988, which stages the Berlin event. Fendley and Richmond will determine content, while the German crew will handle the organisation and ticketing.

Branding and marketing collateral for Typo London has been designed by AIG, which will also create an app for the event, with Berlin-based Studio Adhoc building the website. Blog posts and Twitter feeds will be generated throughout the conference and the organisers are looking at producing live video streams as they do for Typo Berlin.

Programme details are still to be finalised, but Fendley and Richmond have so far lined up about half of the 30 or so speakers. These include Neville Brody of Research Studios and the Royal College of Art, Jonathan Ellery of Browns, Nat Hunter from interaction group Airside and Morag Myerscough of Studio Myerscough. US stars Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and Chip Kidd are also confirmed, as are Dale Herigstad of of Possible Worldwide, film director Gary Hustwit, who will show his latest feature-length documentary Urbanized, and Michael B Johnson, who runs the Moving Pictures Group at Pixar Animation Studios.

King Bansah, the Germany-based king of Hohoe in Ghana, who works as a car mechanic, will repeat a performance with Julian Zimmermann of Deutsche und Japaner that received a standing ovation at Typo Berlin. They will present Zimmermann’s branding for Bansah as an African king.

Moderators will include Adrian Shaughnessy and Spiekermann for concurrent sessions in the University of London’s Logan Hall and adjacent Jeffrey Hall. Fendley says that there will be informal debates in the foyer and other areas, as well as on stage, with speakers taking questions during coffee breaks.

Typo London is billed as an annual event, with 1000 delegates anticipated. But Fendley says much depends on how it pans out this year. ’We’ll give it a go and get year one done [before deciding on 2012],’ he says. ’It is not a big business conference, but is being created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.’

Typo London will be held at the Logan and Jeffrey halls, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1 from 20-22 October

Who’s speaking


  • Adrian Shaughnessy
  • Erik Spiekermann

Confirmed speakers

  • King Bansah, King of Hohoe, Ghana, with Julian Zimmermann, Deutsche und Japaner
  • Michael Bierut, Pentagram
  • Neville Brody, Research Studios
  • Jonathan Ellery, Browns
  • Dale Herigstad, Possible Worldwide
  • Nat Hunter, Airside
  • Gary Hustwit, film director, Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized
  • Michael B Johnson, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Chip Kidd, Alfred A Knopf
  • Morag Myerscough, Studio Myerscough
  • Joachim Sauter, Art & Com
  • Marina Willer, Wolff Olins

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