ATypI welcomed attendees to its 60th annual conference in Warsaw, Poland, 13–18 September 2016
The conference, based at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (ASP), had the theme “Convergence”, reflecting on the fact that the wider design world and mainstream channels are increasingly recognising typeface design as a fundamental element in communication, with profound implications for learning, work, and entertainment. Participants would explore the ways in which the typographic community is advancing the field and shaping the future of our interactions with text.
Tuesday September 13 was the day for workshops, which took place at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technologies (PJAIT) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (ASP).
- Right Left Up Down: The Kinetics of Calligraphy — Brody Neuenschwander
- Greetings from Warsaw (letterpress) — Aleksandra Stępień
- Arabic Lettering Workshop: Epigrams — Khajag Apelian and Kristyan Sarkis
- Show me Your type – type design workshop for students — Verena Gerlach
- Masterclass — Designing a sans in one day — Martin Majoor
- Asian Type Design in Glyphs — Georg Seifert and Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer
- FontLab VI in Depth — Adam Twardoch, Thomas Phinney and Yuri Yarmola
- Responsive Typography Workshop: using type well on the web — Jason Pamental
- Take Care of your EULA and your EULA will take care of you — Joyce Ketterer
- RoboFont In Practise — Frederik Berlaen
- SVG in OpenType — Miguel Sousa
Wednesday September 14 was the day for the technology, business, and education forums, which took place at the National Audiovisual Institute (NInA).
ATypI was particularly proud to host the landmark Special OpenType Session, at which representatives from Adobe, Apple, Google and Microsoft announced OpenType Variations — otherwise known as variable fonts — and committed to produce and support the new fonts. It is said that this occasion was the very first time that Adobe, Apple, Google and Microsoft were together on a stage. The joke “the font wars are over” reflected significant business rapprochements as well as six intensive months working together on the new font technology specification. John Hudson’s article, Introducing OpenType Variable Fonts, was published the same day.
Earlier in the day the FontLab team were pleased, finally, to be officially Introducing FontLab VI, that they had already shown off in the workshop session. In the evening, the conference Main Program at the Academy of Fine Arts opened with Polish letters, Piotr Rypson’s keynote presentation. Rypson, Deputy Director at the National Museum, Warsaw, spoke about the development of typefaces and lettering in Poland since the Renaissance to modern times.
Thursday September 15 was the first full day of the Main Program. For stimulation between talks, numerous exhibitions were located throughout ASP for the duration of the conference including the TDC62 and Granshan 2015 winners, and a show from students in the Type Studio at the University of Arts in Poznań. Antikvariat Morris offered tempting books on typography and related arts. The annual type crit, now an ATypI staple, was this year moderated by Indra Kupferschmid as Veronika Burian, Gerry Leonidas and Jean-Baptiste Levée offered their valuable critiques to type designers willing to have their work dissected by experts in public. In the evening, ATypI hosted the European premiere of Briar Levit’s documentary work-in-progress, Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production. The film explores graphic design production of the mid-twentieth century through the 1990s—from linecaster to photocomposition, and from paste-up to PDF.
Friday September 16 was the second day of the Main Program. The ATypI annual general meeting was on the schedule, offering many the dubious opportunity to escape the main conference track.
Saturday September 17, the third day of the Main Program, contained an item not on the programme — the retirement of David Lemon from Adobe, where he had worked for 30 years. David has been involved with the entire modern history of digital fonts and his statement, “There are remarkably few jerks in this industry (…) because we love what we do” rang true with most if not all of the audience. The final talk of the conference was Brody Neuenschwander’s It is written, a preview of an ambitious documentary on the origins and future of writing, seen as a global process. [The result, released in 2020 and presented by Lydia Wilson alongside Neuenschwander, is the mini-series The Secret History of Writing.] The closing party, “Bracka—Nights and Sound” at Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy, Bracka Street, was very well attended and gave everyone a chance to relax and meet old and new friends, not to mention eat and drink well.
Sunday September 18 was the day for a visit to the Poster Museum. Those who missed it soon regretted it when they heard the reports and saw the photos of those who had made the trip.
Program & videos
- Main program and Technology track — YouTube playlist, 78 videos
ATypI would not be possible without the dedicated team that prepares and runs the conference. This year’s team has been: Andreu Balius, Clare Bell, Marina Chaccur, Simon Daniels, Hypnotype Group, Borys Kosmynka, Indra Kupferschmid, Gerry Leonidas, Bruno Maag, Marta Myszewska, Thomas Phinney, Henrique Nardi, Tamye Riggs (Executive Director), Ewa Satalecka (Chair), Adam Twardoch and Onur Yazicigil.
Many thanks to our generous sponsors, without whom the conference could not take place.
- Super Titanium Sponsor: Adobe TypeKit
- Titanium Sponsor: Google Design
- Platinum Sponsor: Founder Type
- Platinum Sponsor: Monotype
- Platinum Sponsor: Morisawa
- Presenting Partner: Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
- Presenting Partner: NInA
- Presenting Partner: Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technologies (PJAIT)
- Presenting Partner: Poster Museum at Wilanów
- Presenting Partner: Element Talks
- Silver Sponsor: Dalton Maag
- Silver Sponsor: Glyphs
- Silver Sponsor: Type Network
- T-shirt Sponsor: FontShop
- Bronze Sponsors: FontLab, MyFonts, Klim Type Foundry, ParaType
- Fragmentary report from ATypI 2016 Warsaw — Ilya Ruderman