Type News

TYPO Labs 2017

August 31, 2016 by
FontShop Team
FontShop Team

The 2nd TYPO Labs Conference will be held in Berlin, April 6–8, 2017. TYPO Labs is an immersive type technology summit featuring talks, industry discussion panels, classrooms, peer learning and countless networking opportunities. The conference brings together leading engineers and practitioners from the font industry, OS developers and academics. Its purpose is to advance the state of the art in type development, facilitate its adoption in the industry, and encourage the integration of new type developments into future digital communication.

Though Facebook is predicting the end of the written word, text is as alive as ever. In today’s communication, it still proves to be surprisingly resilient. It’s compact, fast, flexible, subtle. The human brain processes it effortlessly because words are the building blocks of our critical thinking. We will never surrender the written word unless our entire civilization crumbles to dust.

For centuries, Western writing has been based on the same 26 letters. And this has not changed. But globalization and technology have completely re-defined the character set of all modern typefaces … for linguistic reasons, aesthetic reasons, technical reasons, and sometimes just for pure fun. Messaging and mobile communication have become the driving forces that shape the evolution of fonts. And now they have even more power over us than print ever did in its day.

Since more and more software and devices rely on written communication, the need to synchronize technical efforts is now more urgent than ever. This is what fostered the creation of TYPO labs, an annual summit on font technology and engineering. Stay tuned for more information and follow @TYPO_Labs on Twitter.

TYPO Labs website is online ... grab an earlybird ticket!
TYPO Labs website is online ... grab an earlybird ticket!

Buy Tickets Here



No static logo can do justice to an event that annually spotlights the rapid changes in a dynamic industry. The core of this trademark emblem is a “backbone” of letters, i. e. the word “labs” set in microscopically small print in FF Milo Italic by Mike Abbink, then enlarged many times over. Each of the four letters is built from the atomic particles of the font, which are RGB building-blocks colored by subpixel rendering.

In the beginning was the Word, set in 6 point FF Milo by Mike Abbink. In the Word was Light, made from Pixels, refracted by Sub-Pixels.
In the beginning was the Word, set in 6 point FF Milo by Mike Abbink. In the Word was Light, made from Pixels, refracted by Sub-Pixels.

Within the Light there was Life, and Life was begotten from the Word. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen its glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who descended from the Father, filled with color and surrounded by clouds.
Within the Light there was Life, and Life was begotten from the Word. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen its glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who descended from the Father, filled with color and surrounded by clouds.

And the Earth brought forth the grass and the shrub, the tree and the paper, the language and scripture. The Word waxed into Transcription and then spawned itself.
And the Earth brought forth the grass and the shrub, the tree and the paper, the language and scripture. The Word waxed into Transcription and then spawned itself.

As darkness fell, the Light and the Dark split asunder and color turned to day and night, black and white.
As darkness fell, the Light and the Dark split asunder and color turned to day and night, black and white.

Night turned to Day, casting itself upon the Earth as gray light. And the Word saw that this was good. And fertile.
Night turned to Day, casting itself upon the Earth as gray light. And the Word saw that this was good. And fertile.


The color fluctuations symbolize the vibrant energy of a vital industry. There are no silver bullets in font engineering. Diverse methods and visual cultures merge individually. By this token, there can never be the “one and only” TYPO labs logo.

A perpetual interplay of colors rightly embodies the vitality of the font industry – not only in digital applications, but also in the conference facilities.
A perpetual interplay of colors rightly embodies the vitality of the font industry – not only in digital applications, but also in the conference facilities.

For centuries, the written word has played a central role in visual communication. This has not changed in the digital world. In fact, the opposite is true: mobility, globalization, and automation, plus new applications like instant messaging, programmatic advertising and dynamic campaigns are fostering an ever-growing demand for custom-made font technologies.

White as a blank sheet of paper, or printed in color or black and white: just two samples from an array of TYPO Labs souvenirs.
White as a blank sheet of paper, or printed in color or black and white: just two samples from an array of TYPO Labs souvenirs.

Programmatic Advertising means fully automated and individualized purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. Custom-made advertising banners are generated based on individual customer data. The TYPO Labs corporate design plays around with this individualized marketing by furnishing its newsletter, printed matter, roll-ups and other information channels with changing logos that are individual and media-pertinent.

Title page TYPO Labs program brochure
Title page TYPO Labs program brochure

The TYPO Labs program directors are still working on the selection of speakers and topics for the 3-day event. But the title page of the printed companion is already designed: it’s programmatic, media-pertinent, topical, aesthetic, with extra space for notes. Contents will be published shortly. Stay tuned!