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Kerning Conference – DIVINA PROPORTIONE

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Lars Harmsen war dieses Jahr einer der Sprecher auf der Kerning Konferenz, die dieses Jahr vom 7.–9. Juni in Faenza stattfand. Dort drehte sich alles um Typographie, Webtypographie und deren Anwendung. Lars’ Eindrücke zeigen, wie vielseitig interessant nicht nur die Kerning Konferenz und ihr Standort selbst, sondern auch die Veranstalter und Besucher waren: 


In the beginning of this year we received the great invitation to join the Kerning Conference in Faenza. Faenza is noted for its manufacture of majolica-ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as faience. A “must see” is the absolutely great Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche.

Enrico Stradaioli, fan of medieval sword fights and designer of labels for wine– and beer companies organizes this Festival together with Beatrice Bassi and Francesco Fullone, a beer lover and smart entrepreneur. For them, Kerning Conference is a passion that started a couple of years ago. They are old friends and were classmates during the Lyceum—with the idea to maintain vivid the scene while many others in Italy move to foreign countries.

So no wonder that the conference takes place in Faenza (and not in Milan or Rome!!!), a small medieval town half an hour drive south of Bologna. The conference lasts for three days: two days of workshops during June 7th – 8th and one day of conference on the 9th.

This years conference theme was DIVINA PROPORTIONE: “The inspiration of the title of this edition comes from the DIVINA PROPORTIONE by Luca Pacioli; basically we are still interested in the harmony and beauty of the the works of typography and how to make them even better.“

Enrico and Francesco, along with Beatrice Bassi and many other enthusiastic helpers, took this task seriously: besides being a great conference with international speakers as 
Jean François Porchez, Marianna Paszkowska, Antonio Cavedoni, Jan Charvát, Lars Harmsen, Dan Reynolds, Dan Rhatigan and Thomas Phinney, they managed to organize all of it in a very cozy and friendly atmosphere, offering great food and workshops. 

On this occasion I printed a poster in the hand-lettering workshop La Vecchia Stamperia. Damiano Bandini loves letterpress and movable types, carrying on passion and knowledge handed down from father to son. La Vecchia Stamperia is a historic workshop (Bottega Storica dell’Emilia Romagna): everything started in 1920, so this workshop has been printing movable types on paper for more than 90 years—and counting. He has got one of the largest collections of very rare metal block-prints and unique artistic wood letters in use.

One of the best experiences had nothing to do with type, but with the most important thing in the life of any Italian: pasta! A great “Mama“ gave us a the best pasta-workshop ever! It ended up with five different kinds of pasta, offered in a delicious five-star menu. 

Faenza is also known for its medieval Palio del Niballo, where horse riders try to hit with a wooden spear a target. The event is also called “Palio of the Youth” to emphasize the fact that the challenging knights are the younger ones of each town district, but for the rest rules and difficulties are the same ones of the main Palio del Niballo.

There is nothing more to say than: Thanks for this great event!
Hope to see you in 2018!!!