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Letterform Live

Unknown Outcomes

Type got experimental at last week’s Letterform Live, with a fascinating set of talks from our crack line up of speakers. Theo Inglis reports for Grafik

Last Wednesday night saw the third event in Grafik’s Letterform Live series of events, presented in partnership with Monotype and the ISTD, and hosted by Protein Studios in Shoreditch, East London. The audience enjoyed five different speakers, each giving a short but rich and image-filled presentation, kicking off with a single typographic letterform of their choice and spiralling outwards from there. Our chosen theme for the night was ‘Experimental’, something very much open to individual interpretation. As the American designer and theorist Buckminster Fuller once said “There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes”.

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Q&A at Letterform Live

The theme of Grafik’s Letterform Live this week was ‘Experimental’, and it was an exciting evening to be a part of. My aim for the evening was to bring a bit of ‘bonkers and magic’ at a time of so much anxiety. We filled the bar with jellybeans and asked the 130 audience members to guess each flavour from the style of the typeface on the label. If you weren’t at the event you can still take part in this experiment here.

Jelly beans at Letterform Live Jelly beans at Letterform Live

I spoke about how amazing the human brain is for the skilful way it creates a ‘sub-programme’ to perform the complex task of reading, which your subconscious performs automatically. Your eyes simply glance over a series of marks in a huge array of shapes and sizes and—as if by magic—stories, ideas, memories, songs, smells are conjured up right there in your mind.

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