Impressions from TYPO Berlin

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the TYPO conference in Berlin. I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments and what I took away from the event.

Prior to this, the only other design conference I had been to was Creative South earlier this year, which had a very different vibe. There were about 4 times as many attendees at TYPO as there were at Creative South. That's over 2000 type geeks under one roof! While it was inspiring to see so many passionate people, it was much less of a tight knit family, and more like a chaotic mini-society. I mean that in the best way. One thing was for sure, we were all there because we were curious and hungry to learn.

Since the schedule was totally packed, I went to the sessions and workshops that appealed to me most, but I also spent time wandering around and meeting people. It was fascinating to speak with people from all over Europe and hear about where they came from and what the creative community is like there.

Calligraphy Workshop with Andreas Frohloff

Calligraphy Workshop with Andreas Frohloff

I learned so much within the short amount of time. It's quite hard to sum it all up. However, I did notice an underlying theme throughout the event...

The main thing I picked up on from the speakers was simply how FUN everyone's work was. There were elements of humor, surprise and delight in each of their projects, and they all spoke with a huge smile.

Flipping through the sketchbook of Drury Brennan

Flipping through the sketchbook of Drury Brennan

The energy was contagious!

I won't summarize all of the talks since many of them are viewable up on their website. But I figured I would share a few amusing examples:

- Tina Roth Eisenberg and her confetti drawer

- Jon Burgerman doodling on everything in sight

- Gemma O'Brien and the #spewbagchallenge

- Critiquing "Font Recipes" at the TypeCooker sketching session

- George Zisiadis plagiarizing all his work from his 8-year-old self

Nina Stössinger comparing her reverse contrast type to an inside-out stuffed animal

Nina Stössinger comparing her reverse contrast type to an inside-out stuffed animal

I clung to the fact that these people create work that is not only beautiful and functional, but also lighthearted and entertaining to the soul.

When we are so focused on progression, we often forget where we came from and why we got into this creative pursuit in the first place.

Creativity comes from the curious kid inside of us, and that shined bright through everyone I met. After spending a few days around these people, I have a renewed desire to play and experiment. After all, making great work doesn't need to be so serious.

How do you find ways to make your work playful and fun? Shoot me an email at and let me know!

Eric Friedensohn