I'm currently sitting in St Bride waiting for the second day of the foundation's tenth annual conference, Critical Tensions, to start. The train journey down was accompanied by the Pixies, in honour of the first speaker of the day, Vaughan Oliver, the man behind 4AD record label's visual identity. A long time admirer, I'm looking forward to hearing him speak about his work.
The event has thrown up some interesting topics of conversation already. One of the reoccurring themes for me, much like the Graphic Design: History In The Making conference I came to earlier this year, is the lack of recognition graphic design gets relative to other creative arts. I'm slowly building a cannon of examples when this topic raises its head in lectures, conferences and general conversations. This doesn't just seem a prevalent topic among practitioners, design journalists and historians; first year students at UCS, relatively new to Graphic Design, are picking up on this as well. Expect more posts here on this in the future.
That's not to say that this is all that is being discussed here. Certainly not, and all naval gazing aside, during Critical Tensions yesterday it was great to hear some of the stories behind Jonathan Barnbrook's fonts; Gerry Leonidas spoke about typographic structure still being defined and restricted by books and newspapers when these formats are increasingly less relevant in non-paper based design; Alan Kitching showcasing new and old work; and Tom Ferrand looked at breaking tradtional ways of working to inject fresh thinking and innovation in the not for profit sectors through the Design For Nothing project.
For more details about the conference, see the previous post on Dubdog for a link to Eye's take on the morning session yesterday, (and see if you can spot me in the audience—this is the second St Bride event I've been to and ended up on Eye blog as a result).
Apologies for no links in this post, I'm writing this on the go, and will provide a list at the end of the two days.