Type News

ISType 2015 - swift

June 04, 2015 by
Yves Peters
Yves Peters

It’s hard to keep up with the typography conferences this Spring. Next week, after Kerning in Faenza, Italy, you can go East to the border between Europe and Asia to attend this year’s ISType (Istanbul Typography Seminars) – unless you are at the other side of the Atlantic for Typographics. The organisers describe the event as “[a]n international gathering for students, professionals and enthusiasts where ideas and inspiration can be shared and thrived, ISType 2015 invites you to explore the swift interactions between practice, theory and history in the field of typography.” Even though the early bird registration just ended, the event is still dirt cheap, given the impressive speaker line-up and rock-solid workshops. €100 for two days of seminars, and €70 per workshop? That is an unbeatable price. So what are you waiting for? Book a flight to Istanbul and attend this great conference.

The ISType 2015 seminars and workshops will be held at SALT Galata, the Turkish contemporary art foundation housed in a landmark building unique to Istanbul with surprisingly distinct architectural styles . The city of Istanbul provides a unique setting for the conference. John D. Berry described it in 2012 as “[a] unique location as a pivot point to consider typography East and West, North and South, traditional and radically new.” When I gave my talk at ISType 2013 “Stroke” we arrived a couple of days early to visit the city. It was an alternatively enchanting and overwhelming experience, especially considering our visit coincided with the Taksim Gezi Park protests.

Massimo Polello workshop “The Origin of the Serif: Capitalis Romana with Flat Brush” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType
Massimo Polello workshop “The Origin of the Serif: Capitalis Romana with Flat Brush” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType

The weekend of seminars is preceded by a day of workshops on Friday, June 12. Two of the three are already sold out – calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander will explore writing as physical expression in his Body Language workshop, and graphic and type designer Peter Brugger will give an Introduction to Designing Display Type. Fortunately the third workshop still has the very last spots available, and it sounds fascinating – Dalton Maag type developer Azza Alameddine will teach the participants how to match Arabic & Latin scripts in logotypes.

Robert Bringhurst delivering the opening keynote “The Shape of Thought, the Shape of Vision” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType
Robert Bringhurst delivering the opening keynote “The Shape of Thought, the Shape of Vision” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType

The two day programme of seminars boasts an interesting mix of speakers.

On Saturday, June 13 world famous information architect, type designer and author Erik Spiekermann will be looking at the state of sans serif typefaces with Grotesque – A wrong name for the right typefaces at the right time. Type designer and educator Sofie Beier’s Typeface Functionality will visit the worlds of psychology, neuroscience and design to discuss different aspects of typeface legibility, typeface familiarity and typeface connotation. Designer Fahri Özkaramanlı’s Adventures in Web Typography will take you on a journey through technologies and design trends in web design and try to analyze how they affected typography on the web. Associate Professor in Typography at the University of Reading, UK, Gerry Leonidas will undoubtedly be his usual brilliant self when talking about Swift Strokes and Sampled Constructs._ Typography expert Thomas Phinney will discuss a topic very close to my heart given my involvement in the #AdobeTypeUI movement. Why OpenType Succeeded Where GX & MM Didn’t will explore the attempts to come up with a next-generation digital font format in the 1990s. Typeface designer and researcher Alice Savoie will tell why she thinks the phototypesetting era is a fascinating period, often overlooked yet still of relevant for practicing designers today with From Lead to Light: Phototypesetting, a Revolution for Type Design.

Luc(as) de Groot bedazzles his presentation about font production “On Hinting” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType
Luc(as) de Groot bedazzles his presentation about font production “On Hinting” at ISType 2013. © 2013 ISType

On Sunday, June 14 legendary type designer and TDC Medal recipient David Berlow will reveal some of his projections and hypotheses about the future of typography in Abstract Type for Abstract Documents. Amsterdam-based Lebanese designer Lara Captan’s When Ra meets Sheen & Qaf will take you on her journey exploring the richness of the Arabic script, and explain how her knowledge of the script information helped her move from script to type. Text artist and calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander will take a look at the origins of writing around the world, seeing how different writing systems developed in different cultures with It is Written: How Writing Influences Print and Screen Technology. Iconic Dutch type designer, teacher, researcher, and writer Fred Smeijers wonders in Swift, Efficient and Clear whether swiftness actually exist in the typographic discipline, now that we hardly write by hand anymore. DecoType’s Thomas Milo will give a progress report about the webQuran project which aims to display, search and quote Qur’ān text on the web in a typographically stable and orthographically flawless manner with Computer Typography Without Fonts. And finally Lars Harmsen, the editor/publisher of the design and typography publication Slanted, will examine what happens when worlds collide – when typography smashes into editorial design – in Shortcut Editorial.

If you would like to sample the atmosphere of ISType, go to their Vimeo page to view the presentations from the 2012 edition.
ISType’s videos on Vimeo