TYPO Berlin 2009 Interlude – What Did Space Look Like?
It must have been known to only a select few, and maybe neither the organisers nor the crew were aware of this as there wasn’t any announcement of some sort. Space, the 14th edition of Typo Berlin marked an anniversary. Indeed, it was the tenth consecutive year that Studio Adhoc had been responsible for designing the graphic identity for TYPO Berlin. The Berlin Agentur für ganzheitliche Kommunikation (Agency for holistic communication) is now a 6-piece agency that offers a wide variety of communication services. It is run by Stefanie Giersdorf, Magnus Hengge and Joachim Buroh.
Like I mentioned in last year’s review of TYPO Berlin 2008 – Image – on Unzipped I have the impression that over the years the graphic identity of Typo Berlin really has come into its own. It very subtly moved away from variations on a unified ‘corporate style’ to unique identities with a common thread. Those identities are always well rounded and playful. They also use typography in a thoughtful way, with a different type treatment for every year and a slight preference for FontFonts. Last year FF Absara Sans was the star of the show; Music (2007) used another Xavier Dupré face FF Sanuk in combination with Cyrus Highsmith’s Dispatch; Play (2006) had some very nice curly calligraphy and dashes of LTR Salmiak sharing the stage with FF Fago; Change (2005) also used FF Fago; Schrift (2004) added R. Hunter Middleton’s Mandate into the mix; Humor (2003) stuck to the inescapable FF DIN; and so on…
So, what did this year’s Space look like? The graphic identity was very classy; consistently applied throughout all aspects of communication. The logo itself looked neat and was actually quite clever. To convey the concept of space, the A in the word SPACE – set in a wide grotesque – had been generously spaced on both sides, so the letter was almost literally floating in space within the logo. The distance to the neighbouring letters was accentuated by either a glowing white band in the version on blue background, or two vertical stripes on each side.
FF Milo was selected as the corporate typeface. The popular sans by Mike Abbink has recently joined the ranks of the super families with the addition of FF Milo Serif. As was to be expected the family performed perfectly, from the dynamic information screens and onstage identity bumpers down to the tiniest text in print.
The stage was very well done, with an “entrance gate” providing that extra “oomph” when the speakers made their entrance on stage. I really liked how the glowing white band in the Space logo on the speaker’s desks were made of actual translucent glass and genuinely glowed. Even the chairs on the right-hand side of the TYPO Hall stage were custom-manufactured to harmonise with the other stage elements.
One very beautiful application of the Space logo was the entrance to TYPO Night at Funkhaus.
Now that I mention TYPO Night I’d like to point you to the fantastic party design visuals shown at TYPO Night in Hofs der Kalkscheune two years ago. The video loop is a completely hand lettered animation by Magnus Hengge and Stefanie Geiersdorf over “Quiescent” – music by Peter Warren – and consists of a continuous cycle of drawing, erasing and redrawing. It is a mesmerising watch, full of surprises and typographic goodness.
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