Leipziger Typotage 2024

Not my type!

Author: Slanted editors

The 29th Leipziger Typotage 2024 explore how gender, social, and ethnic stereotypes manifest in typographic design. We were happy to be part of the event at the Museum for the Printing Arts in Leipzig on Saturday, April 27th. It was a day packed with interesting talks, centered around the influence of stereotypes in Graphic and Type design, and how they change our visual landscape.

This year, the event introduced exciting new elements, including an exhibition featuring works by the speakers. It opened on April 26th and showcased posters, designs, and publications. The exhibition was located in the same room where the lectures took place.

The event began with a talk with Uliana Bychenkova discussing Feminist Self-Publishing, its role in challenging patriarchal norms, and its impact on female visual workers, using her work Perlamur. Ukrainian Feminist Culture in Exile as an example, on Friday April 26th. Christine Hartmann and Alexander Works moderated the conference, leading us into the topic.

Jihee Lee was the first speaker, sharing her experiences as a female Korean graphic designer living in Germany since 2011. Through projects like Somewhere in Between and Feminism Reboot, she addresses the everyday racism and sexism faced by herself and many others. Then Irmi Wachendorff discussed her research on Typographic Self- and Other Constructions, exploring typography's role in expressing identity and perpetuating stereotypes, with examples including (resturant-)signage, stickers,commercial advertisements in public spaces, album covers, and product packaging. She has a particular interest in typography in urban spaces and in research that combines typographic and linguistic perspectives. Golnar Kat Rahmani lecture and work aimed to counter the negative associations surrounding Arabic-Persian script post-Islamist terrorism by creatively introducing its principles and visual culture, using experimental typography to foster curiosity, aesthetics, joy, and intercultural understanding while dismantling stereotypes. Hannah Witte talked about exploring gender-sensitive language and typography, offering strategies from her book Typohacks to disrupt discriminatory norms and challenge the binary gender system through typographic interventions.

During the breaks between talks, we were delighted to host a stand featuring our latest publications and other great books, engaging in conversations with fellow conference attendees.

Katharina Koch discussed her master's thesis, examining experimental typography through a feminist lens, advocating for a new, feminist practice in graphic design that challenges traditional typographic norms and embraces chaotic reality to create visually diverse worlds. Andreas Blindert presented on the exploration of the subjective nature of design, especially typography, in his master's thesis Politics of Type, in which he questions its principles, power dynamics and access regulations with the aim of offering insights for conscious designers. Anja Kaiser shared her unconventional graphic design toolbox that navigates between autonomy and commissioned work through chaotic, collaborative strategies, exploring tool boundaries, bureaucratic creativity and alternative narratives.

After the final talk, a group discussion was initiated, followed by a visit to the exhibition to apply the new insights gained from the talks. The event concluded on Sunday, April 28th, with a screen printing workshop by Golnar Kat Rahmani on Type & Politics and a letterpress workshop.

The 29th Leipziger Typotage provided yet another critical look at the use of typography and its impact. The event offered an engaging program for enthusiasts. The entire day was impeccably organized and executed by the speakers and organizers. The venue at the Museum for the Printing Arts in Leipzig added to the experience, allowing attendees to explore old and new printing presses between sessions. Many thanks to all involved, and looking forward to the next event!

Josephine Schröder visited Leipziger Typotage 2024 for Slanted Publishers and contributed this text and images.

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