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TYPO Berlin 2018: insights and takeaways - TypoBerlin 2018: Day 2

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Second day
Between emotions and experiments


Type in Couture
by Elizabeth Carey Smith

Elizabeth Carey Smith at Typo18


It’s impressive to see how, in a typography conference, the most neglected element on the slides is actually the typography. When I saw Elizabeth’s first slide I said to myself, ‘Finally, some slides with terrific typography.’
A creative designer by trade, Elizabeth guided us through the story of the most famous and iconic fashion magazines to highlight how trends and taste have changed the face of typography in fashion.


  • Typography is a crucial part of the story and can represent history, current trends, and ages hidden in its descenders and ascenders.
  • Typography can emphasise images and express emotions.
  • Typography is used in fashion to create authenticity.
  • On the subject of authenticity, never read but talk. The audience needs more eye contact :)

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Things that don’t have a thing to do with graphic design
by Aaron James Draplin 

Aaron James Draplin at Typo18 

Among the talks I saw at Typo Berlin, the ones from graphic designer and founder of Draplin Design Co., Aaron Jampe Draplin, were the most emotional ones. He showed us his life, his family, his mistakes, challenges, achievements (a really proud guy, at least on stage. Rightly!) and the loss of his beloved father.


  • Use your design skills to save money.
  • We live in a complex world: Design to simplify.
  • Your job as a designer is a way to keep the things you love most close to you.

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Magic Eye
by Hansje Van Halem


Hansje Van Halem at Typo18

Graphic designer, Hansje Van Halem, entertained the audience with a range of different projects, some of which were truly amazing, where typography becomes a way to experiment. It comes to a very interesting conclusion, use your passion to experiment and do the things you love the most.


  • Your origins and the people around you in the early stages of your life can really influence your career (referring to her parents and their work, she ended up in a world of patterns and typography).
  • Find comfort in your passions.
  • When your idea is rejected, try to make something creative out of it.
  • Surround yourself with other designers to help make your idea possible.
  • Variable fonts: an open debate for me, but a very interesting experiment for Hansje.

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A Tinker Story
by dina Amin


dina Amin at Typo18 

A very young designer stepped on the stage on the second day of Typo Berlin. I really loved dina’s (yes, with a lower-case d) enthusiasm and sense of humour, but also the way she talked about her background in Egypt, and the preconceptions and challenges of being in what many called a third world country.


  •  If you don't know what you want to be, explore your possibilities trying what you think you love the most, even if it requires ‘tearing things apart’.
  • We live in a privileged world.
  • The Internet helps to overcome distances, and despite general beliefs, improves human interaction and the exchange of ideas.
  • Design can happen anywhere. Creativity can flourish out of necessity.
  • Privilege is not just about having fast internet, but also about having time to think, so you can choose who you want to be without rushing into a job you don’t like.

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