TYPO Berlin Goes East

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News | Yves Peters | May 14, 2013

In two days Europe’s biggest annual design conference reaches adulthood when TYPO Berlin celebrates its 18th anniversary. “Touch” opens on Thursday, May 16 at 2 PM with a keynote by the formidable Ken Garland, star of the most recent edition of TYPO London. This year TYPO has taken it upon itself to bring its audience in touch with design from neighbouring Poland and the immense Russia, two countries that experienced major social and political changes. These changes had dramatic influences on all aspects of society, graphic design included, and being exposed to them broadens your horizon and jumpstarts your creativity. For this focus on Poland and Russia TYPO Berlin 2013 has partnered with two facilitators – Rene Wawrzkiewicz and Helena Dell-Kolaschnik – both acknowledged experts in the design scene of their respective countries.

TYPO Design Special: Russia

The Russian design theme will be introduced on Thursday May 16 with a joint presentation by Peter Bankov and Mitya Kharshak on the main stage in TYPO Hall. Their presentation How to do a design periodical deals with the process and pitfalls of producing magazines in Russia’s current media landscape.


Editor: K.Kakovkin Designers: A.Ptitzin, A.Marynsky, K.Kakovkin & M.Simakov

On Friday May 17, the second day of TYPO Berlin, the entire TYPO Show track is dedicated to design from Russia. Communication designer Mikhail Simakov and Alexey Novichkov open the TYPO Design Special: Russia at noon with Infographics for Moskovskie Novosti and RIA Novosti, an examination of infographic design for two of the largest Russian news agencies.

After lunch Peter Bankov continues with Posters Every Day, showcasing items from his vast collection of Russian posters, his favourite design genre. He is followed by Alexandra Korolkova – head of the design department at ParaType – who has won several Cyrillic type design competitions and written a popular Russian typography textbook. Her presentation Native touch. Adjusting your Cyrillic for real use is devoted to the fine-tuning of the Cyrillic character set of a typeface for real-life use. With Young Russian designers Daniil Bolshov, Eugeny Malyshev, Svetlana Yakovleva and Elizaveta Kirilina introduce us to the Post-It Awards, Russia’s only (and free) design competition, and explain how it supports emerging Russian design talents.


Vestibule of Ryazansky Prospekt station, Moscow Metro sign. Photo by Mikhail Shcherbakov

After the coffee break logo and type designer Taisiya Lushenko focuses on a selection of Art.Lebedev Studio’s realisations – for the Moscow metro, an old Sovjet Park and a provincial town – with Some projects with challenges resolved with type. The TYPO Design Special: Russia is concluded by Svetlana Landl whose presentation St. Petersburg – Finding an ID documents the transdisciplinary project dealing with the urban identity and the branding of St. Petersburg, the second biggest city in Russia and the Russian capital for centuries.

TYPO Design Special: Poland

Rene Wawrzkiewicz presents ten graphic designers from Poland who have become internationally famous. The TYPO Design Special: Poland starts on the main stage in TYPO Hall on Friday May 17 with Why I killed the Polish School of Poster, Grzegorz Laszuk’s confession in the form of a musical revue, in which Poland’s most well-known poster designer and theatre group director allows us an entertaining look at his life and work. Then newspaper, magazine and web designer Jacek Utko will examine what constitutes an outstanding newspaper design in Print vs Digital.

On Saturday May 18 at 11 am Agata Szydłowska opens the TYPO Design Special: Poland track on TYPO Stage with Patriots or hipsters? New places of Polish graphic design, showcasing current trends and approaches in the industry. She is followed by a typographer born and bred: Marian Misiak, who studied typography in Warsaw and Reading and worked for Neville Brody, talks about Research and discovery – an exploration of Polish type design heritage from the Communist era.

After lunch the Polish track continues with Aleksandra Mizielińska & Daniel Mizieliński. Using design and all means necessary to teach kids and educate parents focuses on the soft crossover from the analogue into the digital world and back. Justyna Burzyńska & Maciej Lebiedowicz create a graphic style with retro motifs of the visual and linguistic culture of the Polish Communist era. Pan tu nie stał (You were not standing here!) recounts how they have turned their hobby into a genuine enterprise, including an outlet, and founded one of the trendiest fashion and design labels in Poland. During the coffee break Honza Zamojski will talk about his three-year experience publishing artists’ books, describing the organisation, management and expansion of a small publishing house in How it’s made vol. 14. And finally Piotr Rypson, university professor and research director of the National Museum in Warsaw, concludes the TYPO Design Special: Poland with Identity survival. Rypson’s monograph about grapic design in Poland from 1919–1949 (Against all Odds, Karakter, 2011) has attracted international attention. Rypson is an excellent observer of the roots of, and the developing trends in contemporary design in Poland.

A rich and colourful collection of work by the Russian and Polish speakers at this year’s TYPO Berlin, as well as by the other speakers, can be viewed on the speaker board on Pinterest and gives an idea of how diversified international graphic design has become.

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