Typographics is a design festival dedicated to typography, and this year it started with Tobias Frere-Jones asking the following question:
"Why do we make more typefaces?"
Pretty deep for a typography conference, right? But since the festival is meant for people who use type, I found that opening question to be really suitable. And the answer Tobias gave helped set the tone for the following days of talks, workshops and tours: "Typefaces are solutions, and we keep having problems."
Yes, typography can solve problems. More specifically: communication problems.
Typography can carry and deliver a message, not only by being the medium, but by setting a voice through what is commonly known as a "font".
Just ask Eduardo Danilo, or Roger Black, who showcased some great work that is highly based on the daunting task of understanding who your user, or reader, is and crafting a compelling experience through typography.
Typography can also have an "entertaining" and playful side, as we saw on Emily Oberman and Jakob Trollbäck's talk: It can be used not only for communicating purposes, but as a completely dynamic experience that is complemented with rythm, movement, and diverse effects to appeal the masses.
Not enough? Stephen Doyle showed how far typography can really go when you take a step back and uncover the power in the meaning of words.
Personally, I was most inspired by Marta Cerda, Victoria Rushton, Nina Stössinger and Tracy Ma. They all showed a very wide range of amazing work supported by great stories of finding your own voice and style, working hard, and the power behind a woman determined to do something (I am a feminist at heart).
To top things off Typographics also had Typelab, which is a secondary space dedicated to the more experimental side of typography:
Want to create an alphabet entirely with CSS? Check!
Want to explore sound within certain typographic elements? Check!
Maybe you just want to learn about non-latin alphabets, or how to build a community surrounding type design? Check all of that too!