For the fifth time already the Tÿpo St.Gallen took place on the weekend of the 8th to the 10th of November, this time under the subject of balance. Balance between work and leisure, between text and white space, between freedom and rules. What is a good balance, how do you achieve it, what are its characteristics, successful ways of achieving it and what does all this have to do with typography? The numerous speakers tried to answer these questions and shared their own experiences with about 300 guests at the Schule für Gestaltung St.Gallen.
Clemens Theobert Schedler, who moderated the entire event in an experienced, highly entertaining and interesting manner, also introduced the guests to the upcoming three days. Sabine and Hans Bockting presented their own “Laws of the Jungle” in the first lecture of this years’ Tÿpo St.Gallen and discussed their many years of working together. Christopher Burke presented his research on the typographer Gerard Unger, who had designed typefaces for the signage of the Amsterdam Metro, and provided a good overview of Unger's work. Monika Malsy let us participate in her personal balancing act between intimacy and professionalism and talked about her work for and with the photographer Elgar Esser, with whom she published ten books. Sebastian Bayer, Andreas Hänggi, Pascal Hartmann and Vera Kaeser, who met during their studies at the ZHdK, presented their bachelor thesis, “Plakat 9:16 10s”. The classic Swiss tourism poster was translated into a moving poster. The evening was rounded off by Jost Hochuli, who presented his publication about his long-time friend, the recently deceased typographer Max Koller. In addition, each of the participants was allowed to take one of these books home. Thank you Jost Hochuli!
The start of the second day were four short lectures of fifteen minutes each. Kurt Dornig spoke about “Lork/Wife—the impossibility of separating work and life” and thus perfectly sums up the core theme of this year’s Tÿpo St.Gallen. Nina Paim and Corine Gisel let us participate in their comprehensive research on the history of Niggli. Judith Holly’s lecture “Pashkevilim in Mea Schearim: Innovation vs. Tradition, Concept vs. Improvisation, Production vs. Reflection” presented her research results on the medium of the Pashkevil, a flyer or poster. Novelle Noire originally wanted to perform as a whole, but due to illness it became a balancing act between only one person and the audience. The focus was on the work with a typeface design by Jost Hochuli, which they edited and digitized. Verena Panholzer from Studio Es in Vienna spoke under the motto of “Id, ego, super-ego” about the balance between external perception and herself. The young designers Lilo Schäfer and Anika Kunst talked in detail about their personal experiences in starting working as designers. Hans-Peter Kaeser spoke about type history, type designer Jacques Le Bailly about the transformation of the Nunito Sans into a variable font and Mireille Burkhardt from Studio BOB in “London—Zurich” about balance in her profession. Andreas Uebele concluded the lectures with an equally entertaining and informative presentation on the work of Büro Uebele under the topic “Consistently inconsistent.” A workshop with Clemens Schedler, Anika Kunst, Lily Schäfer and Sonja Frick was the last step before the evening’s end.
Most of the participants spent the Sunday morning together in the Sitterwerk in St.Gallen gaining an insight into the impressive library, material library and an exhibition of the works of Jost Hochuli, with a concluding lecture by Angela Kuratli, Roland Früh, Corina Neuenschwander, Martin Leuthold, Jonas Niedermann, Roland Sieger and Jost Hochuli. A successful balancing act.