11th Weltformat Graphic Design Festival

Tools & Rules

Author: Sebastian Schubmehl

This autumn, the 11th edition of Weltformat Graphic Design Festival takes place in Lucerne. This year’s festival theme is Tools & Rules. Nine exhibitions, a symposium with more than ten international speakers as well as talks, guided tours, film screenings, and much more will give visitors an insight into the topic.

In addition to current trends, socio-economic tendencies and personal preferences, the tools graphic artists choose to work with ultimately shape their designs. Technical innovations are a driving force behind graphic design and have a significant influence on the form and function of visual solutions. This year’s festival edition examines the wide range of traditional and contemporary tools used today.

The exhibition Designing Tools for example explores the question of whether unique graphic solutions and an unmistakable visual language call for self-developed tools tailored to the individual needs of designers. The exhibition focuses on the tools used by graphic designers—from modified technical devices to strict sets of rules and complex algorithms.

Today, easy-to-use poster, layout or logo generators offer fast and inexpensive graphic solutions to the general public. In addition, new technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing are used to further optimise the market-dominating design programmes. Although there are many advantages to these developments, the question arises as to how standardised and generic design solutions can be avoided. Designing Tools highlights how the tools used by graphic designers significantly influence their design. For the exhibited projects, no conventional design instruments were used, but existing tools were converted, modified and misused. Some instruments were developed especially for the realisation of certain projects—in close connection with the content. These instruments range from technical devices and digital programmes to predefined rules and regulations. The use of these individual and new tools leads to surprising visual results beyond generic or decorative design.

On the other hand, the exhibition Pre-digital is dedicated to the era before the computer became designers’ most used device, presents original designs by graphic artists such as Werner Jeker, Bruno Monguzzi, Ralph Schraivogel or Niklaus Troxler and offers an insight into the world of analog working tools. A small grey box from the Californian Palo Alto stands for probably the most radical change in the history of graphic design. In 1984, the age of desktop publishing was heralded with the introduction of Apple Macintosh. Initially still modest in quality and smiled at by many, it didn’t take long for the new digital design process to establish itself across the industry. After a few years, drawing tables, gluing utensils or Letraset letters looked like relics from the past. Processes established over many decades were suddenly completely obsolete. The digitalisation that is still feared by many industries today—it took over the field of graphic design more than three decades ago.

At the Weltformat Graphic Design Festival symposium, designers from all over the world will examine the topic of Tools & Rules in three thematic blocks: Using and Misusing Tools, Type and Techniques and Professional (R)evolutions. They will also present their own work in relation to the topics discussed. The panel Type and Techniques highlights the relationship between type design and technology whereas Using and Misusing Tools examines the potential of specifically developed design tools and concepts. The job profile and professional environment of designers is constantly evolving. Technical innovations, design standards and socio-economic progresses have shaped the profession of graphic artists since the end of the 19th century. The thematic block Professional (R)evolutions discusses these developments with a focus on the current challenges in the context of digitalisation and new technologies.

For this year’s festival poster of Weltformat Graphic Design Festival, the design studio Maximage has developed a digital tool; the Weltformat app with an integrated AR feature complements the festival poster designed by Maximage and turns the entire public space into a projection surface for typography.

Slanted is giving away 2 × 2 tickets for the Weltformat Graphic Design Festival including the symposium. To take part in the lottery, please send an email with the subject “Weltformat” to [email protected] until September 26th, 2019, 11 a.m. The winners will be drawn. Legal ways are excluded. By taking part you are accepting the privacy statement of Slanted. Good Luck.

When?
Festival:
Daily Exhibitions from September 28th, until October 6th, 2019
Symposium:
September 28th, 2019

Where?
Lucerne, Switzerland

More information here.