Type News

Looking back on Granshan 2015

August 17, 2015 by
Yves Peters
Yves Peters

It is scary how fast these summer days fly by. TypeCon just concluded yet another successful edition in Denver, Colorado. Our typeface identification and editorial team was valiantly represented by David Sudweeks who took home the top prize in the annual Type Quiz. And it’s already a month ago that Granshan made a stop in the renowned University of Reading for their 2015 conference. For those who – just like me – missed out on those events, there is a possibility to catch up on what happened thanks to the videos that are available online. Granshan already published theirs, and if the ten videos from last year are any indication, TypeCon should follow suit soon.

Gerard Unger presenting _Letterforms from the edge of Europe, 700–1200_ at Granshan 2015.
Gerard Unger presenting Letterforms from the edge of Europe, 700–1200 at Granshan 2015.

My last TypeCon is already a decade ago when I was invited to give a talk at TypeCon2005 NYC “Alphabet City”. I recently realised this means I celebrated my tenth anniversary speaking at conferences in July. However, to my regret, I have not yet been able to attend Granshan. The description on their website explains its particular nature and focus:

“Granshan celebrates the diversity and richness of the typographic scripts that underpin global communication, empower communities, and enables identity. The annual Granshan conference is about typeface design and typography for familiar and unfamiliar scripts, for readable and elusive languages, and for design challenges that combine deep history and unmarked territories where innovation is the only way forward.”

Victoria Sarapina presenting _Architecture and Typography: Moscow’s Heritage_ at Granshan 2015.
Victoria Sarapina presenting Architecture and Typography: Moscow’s Heritage at Granshan 2015.

This July Granshan expanded the format to take advantage of the location in the University of Reading, the hub of research and practice in typeface design for global scripts. The theme of the conference was “Global design in practice”, with a programme developed around the idea of type for real typographic applications, and design for evolving document genres.

Bruno Maag’s joint presentation with Tom Foley and Michele Patané _What’s going on: challenges of/in a multi-script type project_ at Granshan 2015.
Bruno Maag’s joint presentation with Tom Foley and Michele Patané What’s going on: challenges of/in a multi-script type project at Granshan 2015.

The conference opened with a presentation plus exhibition on the recently launched Murty Classical Library of India series for Harvard University Press, one of the conference’s main sponsors. The first day was dedicated to talks by MATD graduates, to highlight the expanding influence of the programme’s graduates. On Friday and Saturday the conference welcomed a global range of speakers.

Dr. Fiona Ross delivering her closing keynote _Supporting effective typographic communication in vernacular scripts_ at Granshan 2015…
Dr. Fiona Ross delivering her closing keynote Supporting effective typographic communication in vernacular scripts at Granshan 2015…

… and her captivated audience.
… and her captivated audience.

A couple of weeks ago Granshan published the video capture of a whopping 20 presentations; that is more than two thirds of the conference programme. Enjoy them on their video channel on YouTube:

Granshan Conference 2015 London/Reading

Timothy Donaldson and Kang Byung-in’s multiscript calligraphy project at Granshan 2015.
Timothy Donaldson and Kang Byung-in’s multiscript calligraphy project at Granshan 2015.

All photos © Ben Mitchell