TYPO Labs 2017: International conference of the font industry

Before the international design conference opens its doors, the TYPO Labs conference takes place for the second time in Berlin from 6 to 8 April 2017. Like Typo Berlin, the conference is organised by event organiser Monotype. Over three days, font companies, leading engineers and practicians in the font industry as well as OS developers and programmers will convene in the Silent Green cultural quarter to discuss new technologies, tools and strategies. The aim is to improve the presentation and editing of texts on screen. In addition, visitors to the conference can look forward to exciting workshops, technology sessions and two podium discussions with high-profile names from the industry.

Typo Labs 2017: New dimensions in type engineering

Under the motto “New dimensions in type engineering”, the leading names in the font scene will get together in Berlin to exchange their ideas about the “small industry”. Conference director Jürgen Siebert is especially looking forward to the experts getting together again, pointing out the importance of typography, which we encounter every day when we read websites, e-mails, news and of course when we create our own texts. According to Jürgen Siebert, the objective is that words, languages, icons and emojis can be used with more ease and flexibility. Emojis have become part of everyday life and we can hardly imagine life without them any more. They express emotions and enter our language use. They now constitute characters, which is why they are the subject of serious debate amongst type designers in particular.  TYPO-Labs speaker Roel Nieskens , who has specialised in the development of variable emojis and colour fonts, will add some colour to the Labs line-up in this area.

New font format at the centre of discussions

Already last year, the major software and OS manufacturers agreed on the OpenType variable font standard. However, the audience are still waiting in anticipation to see how the Office and graphics programs will use the new font technology, and insiders are engaged in critical debate regarding the market launch of this new technology. As a result, the appearances by Dan Rhatigan (Adobe) as well as Peter Constable and Rob McKaughan (both from Microsoft) are expected to be very interesting. Typo Labs offers sufficient space to continue the debate and meets with interested listeners. The debate will be continued directly on the opening day of Typo Labs under the title “Business Opportunities And Challenges In Bringing Variable OpenType Fonts To The Market”. The discussions will feature reputable experts that include Matthew Rechs, Director and General Manager at Adobe Typekit, Font Bureau founder David Berlow , Ivo Gabrowitsch , Director of E-Commerce Marketing at Monotype and Alexandra Korolkova , Art Director at ParaType, and will be hosted by the well-respected industry expert Adam Twardoch , Director of Products at FontLab. The objective of the discussions is to use the stimulating presentations to bring forth new arguments in favour of the new OpenType technology.

Metrics, font technologies and font programs

On the second day of the event, a group of well-known type designers and font developers will discuss the metrics from the lead type era. The discussion will centre on their place in today’s world. The podium discussion will be hosted and chaired by Dutch type designer Just van Rossum, who will get international lateral thinkers like font developer Bianca Berning  (Dalton Maag), Victor Gaultney (Senior Type Designer at SIL International), John Hudson  (Tiro Typeworks), Rob McKaughan (Microsoft), Toshi Omagari  (Monotype) and Iranian designer Sahar Afshar[FC15]  on stage on the Saturday to shine new light on the topic.

Tom Rickner and Bob Taylor from Monotype will present an outlook on the quality of future font technologies, such as variable fonts, introducing the different tools and strategies designed to help font engineers to build the standard-compatible fonts. In addition, the main font production programs Robofont, Glyphs, FontLab and FontMaster will be introduced, with a presentation of their newest versions and functions.

Further highlights of Typo Labs 2017 in Berlin

Another highlight of Typo Labs 2017 in Berlin is the workshop “Stop Clicking: An Introduction To Shell Scripting”. Co-founder of the US-based Process Type Foundry, Nicole Dotin, will demonstrate practical tips for everyday work and the most commonly used Unix program lines that can be used to automate recurring font production processes. For all fans of the DTL FontMaster tools, type designer Frank E. Blokland and software developer Jürgen Willrodt will hold a workshop entitled “Preparing, Creating, Profiling and Modifying Variable Fonts”.


List of speakers


Information on tickets


Foto © Norman Posselt

Posted on 06.03.2017

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