Friday, October 24, 2008

Liverpool Design Symposium

A few of us had a well deserved day out yesterday in the European capital of culture, Liverpool. As well as checking out the massive regeneration program that is still in progress in the city center and around the docks, we also made a trip to the Tate and to the gold at the end of the rainbow aka the Liverpool design symposium.

It took us ages to actually find the event, and we had walk a complete lap of the building it was in twice before we noticed the A5 poster inside the entrance (which just looked like a fire door). But when we got there it was an interesting day.

We started with a lecture by Bruno Maag of Dalton Maag fame. For anybody on my course the words European Graham Tansley should sum it up, but for everybody else this guy is an extremely knowledgeable and opinionated typographer.
I'm quite a fan of this typeface for Southampton Council, although I'm not sure if this clean Utopian image is an honest representation of Southampton.
Listening to him talk and explain projects it really made me realise how little I know about type, and given me a lot more respect for the industry.
Two typefaces commissioned by BMW, one called Mini which is a custom drawn humanist sans, and another simply called BMW which similarly to Helvetica is designed for neutrality and clarity, but is executed in a different manner.

We also went to a D&AD presentation showcasing a lot of the winning work from last years awards, which was all amazing... really put things in perspective and makes you want to improve your work. I've read in several places before one of the main judging criteria is the "oh I wish I'd though of/done that" factor. I can safely say I thought that about 99% of the work.

Anyway, the final lecture was by Matt Pyke of Universal Everything. He is one a few designers who used to work at Designers Republic (whose website seems to have dissappeared, but they still have there online shop here) and have left to set up there own amazing studios. If you've got time maybe check out yo-lo and build. I've always thought the way his company works is really interesting and potentially the future for some (not all) areas of design. Basically he is the only member of staff, and run's the whole agency out of his garden shed in Sheffield. He then collaborates with a whole range of freelance designers/musicians/programmers etc.

This is a great example of the type of work they do.
20,000 unique postcards trying to get children interested in the lovebytes festival. They were created by programing design parameters and letting the computer randomly create each character.

This is a flyer for the event the previous year, plotter patterns inspired by the local landscape of the peak district.

And this is some work they did for Nike.

To be honest most of their stuff is video based, and they have loads of quicktimes embedded into their site. go have a look!

There inspirational site called everyone forever is a great resource of experimental and inventive thing across all areas of life outside the world of graphic design. Definitely worth a look.

Right, I've got some work to crack on with. Ta-raaa xx