In February, the 4th year of the Mouvo festival, organised by the Prague multi-discipline studio Oficina, took place in the Prague Archa theatre.
The event primarily focuses on graphic design, motion design and animation, but also overlaps into other spheres of human creativity.
For me, the star of the festival was Turkish guru Memo Akten, who started off the first day’s presentations. Memo comes from Istanbul and describes himself as an “artist, researcher and philomath, working with computation as medium, inspired by the intersections of science and spirituality; and collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion”. The linking elements between projects bordering art and science, presented by Memo in Prague, are artificial intelligence and machine learning.
During his presentation, Memo mentioned 19th century mechanical computers, not least because of a remarkable woman, Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and the first female programmer, who from her 17 years of age co-operated with Charles Babbage, the inventor of programmable counting machines. Lovelace had in her musings predicted that machines would be capable of creating – music, for example – if we provide them with enough inputs.
It is this parameter-based generation that Memo Akten focuses on in his projects. Be it generating random pictures which look exactly like deep space photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, or a robot’s answers to fundamental questions pertaining to mankind’s society. Memo’s robot first becomes acquainted with relationships between certain words, for example man-king, woman-queen; then learns to find similar relationships in large numbers of data. The results can be surprising. Try it yourself, with this simple quiz: man-doctor, woman-______. If you’re interested in knowing what Memo’s robot answered, have a look at Twitter accounts @wordofmath or @wordofmathbias; links to other projects or to recordings of selected talks can be found at Memo’s website www.memo.tv.
Another thing I found interesting at the Mouvo conference was the presentation by Italian designer Frederica Fragapane. Frederica creates breathtakingly aesthetic compositions of graphs and schemes portraying large amounts of data. However, as one spectator succinctly commented in a discussion, aesthetics don’t always go hand-in-hand with legibility. Frederica’s infographics are therefore not easily understandable without careful study of the legend. Frederica also presented her project titled The Story Behind a Line, a visually attractive tale of six migrants to Europe. You’ll learn why they left their homes, how long they travelled, how they managed to negotiate thousand-kilometre distances, and what joys and hardships they encountered along the way. You’ll find all of the above at www.storiesbehindaline.com.
Other speakers this year were presenters of the Kurzgesagt studio, Illo, Ian Andersen of The Designers Republic, Ash Thorp, or Nidia Dias. A big thanks goes to all of them, but also to the organisers, who managed to bring to Prague so many interesting personalities and thus present many inpsiration-packed workshops and presentations to the audience.
In the summer of 2018 the Slanted editors embarked on a trip to Prague to take a close-up look at the contemporary design scene there.
The list of designers Slanted met with boasts everyone from legends such as Rostislav Vaněk to well known figures from the contemporary design scene such as Briefcase Type Foundry, Anymade Studio, Studio Najbrt, and many more.
Only few days remains until the fourth edition of Mouvo. It will be held from February 22 to 23 and will be hosted by Oficina, an award-winning Prague-based studio.
Mouvo’s Fourth Edition is Driven by Education
Prague and motion design. A connection that is becoming ever closer, primarily thanks to the Mouvo festival. The audience at the Archa Theatre will once again be treated to the very best of the global motion design scene. The speaker list includes Ash Thorp, Memo Akten, Ian Anderson (The Designers Republic), Federica Fragapane, Ilenia Notarangelo & Luca Gonnelli (Illo), Nidia Dias and Daniela Görzen & Miri Lee (Kurzgesagt). In addition, the event will see the launch of a new educational platform – Mouvo Lab.
The festival will newly feature the opportunity to take part in an extended workshop. Those interested in 3D software such as Houdini or Cinema 4D will welcome the opportunity to attend a workshop led by Helge Maus, the popular German author of books and tutorials known under the brand of Pixeltrain.
Ian Anderson will lead one of the two thematic limited-capacity workshops. His workshop will last one and a half days and will cover the key principles and the problem-solving process in graphic design. The participants of the closed creative workshop will be able to meet one of the greatest figures in the history of graphic design in person and will have the opportunity to refine their skills under the leadership of a star of global proportions.
As in previous years, the festival will combine talks by the world’s elite designers and an opportunity to network, mingle with the motion design community or have a small chat with the speakers. Friday’s talks will be followed by a VIP party for the holders of Mouvo Lovers’ tickets, and Saturday’s all-day programme will be topped off by an after-party.
For more information and the full line-up visit the festival’s website at www.mouvo.cz.
TypeCon covers an increasingly broad range of topics, including: typography; type design; font production; graphic design; digital media; printing history; calligraphy; lettering; book arts; advertising; wayfinding; type in motion; literacy; type sales and marketing; legal issues; design education; and other related areas.
In memory of the late Dr Gerard Unger, renowned Dutch type designer and educator, and in celebration of what would have been Unger’s 77th birthday in January, TypeTogether font foundry has opened the call for entries for the Gerard Unger Scholarship, previously the TypeTogether Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme.
Dr Gerard Unger (1942–2018) was a Dutch graphic and type designer, writer, and lecturer. He was Professor of Typography at Leiden University, The Netherlands, from which he also received his PhD in 2013. Until his death, Unger taught as visiting professor at University of Reading, UK, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication. Unger created many typefaces over the years, such as Coranto, Gulliver, Swift, and Vesta. He also designed stamps, coins, magazines, newspapers, books, logos, corporate identities, annual reports, and many other objects. His four final typeface families were developed and released with the independent font foundry TypeTogether. Dr Gerard Unger passed away in his home in Bussum, The Netherlands in late 2018.
Unger and TypeTogether
TypeTogether started the Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme in 2014 as an initiative to help promising typeface design students develop their careers. Dr Gerard Unger, who taught José Scaglione and Veronika Burian, the cofounders of TypeTogether, and inspired many more generations of young type designers, was an avid supporter of the Incentive Programme from the start. He had a lifelong interest in education that manifested in his various teaching engagements, his research, and the practical as much as theoretical texts and books he wrote. Unger had a keen eye and a meticulous sense for detail, mixed with much wit and a kind of cheekiness — all characteristics which shaped not only his work philosophy, but also his outlook on life in general, and which encouraged his students to do more and do better.
Dr Unger was full of anecdotes and curiosity for people, with each project exploring fresh ideas that could solve the design problems at hand. He would often sit with his students, chatting about life, travels, history, projects, and of course typography.
Several years prior to Unger’s death in 2018, TypeTogether began discussing with him how to honour him after his passing. “He was too kind a man to ever answer straight, so we have taken it upon ourselves,” said Burian and Scaglione. “We would like to honour Dr Gerard Unger as the mentor and teacher who always generously shared his knowledge, so we are proud to announce that we are renaming our Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme as the Gerard Unger Scholarship.”
The annual Gerard Unger Scholarship will continue to offer guidance and support to at least one selected post-grad recipient, with the aim of enabling exceptional designs started during a course of study to be finalised and published commercially upon their course completion. The recipient receives mentoring to complete the project, a publishing contract, and funding to complete the project.
For details or to apply before 31 March 2019, visit this webpage.
The Forward festival will take place in Vienna, Austria, in Gartenbaukino from 4 to 6 April 2019.
Forward brings together the best international and local creative heads, who provide insights into their success stories in an exciting atmosphere. The conference, the centerpiece of the festival, is accompanied by various side events, such as workshops, live art sessions and networking events. Don’t miss out on exciting talks by David Carson or Anthony Burrill and many more.
Submit your fascinating, enriching and thought-provoking proposals you have in mind! Deadline for submissions has been extended to Thursday, February 10, 2019. More information at atypi2019.dryfta.com.