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Kerning 2015 - What lies beneath

June 01, 2015 by Yves Peters

I cannot believe how fast time flies once the type conference season hits full force. An e-mail this morning reminded me there’s only three days left to Kerning! This great, friendly conference in the picturesque town of Faenza near Bologna, Italy focuses on web typography. I was honoured to be invited as a speaker for its first edition in 2013. Now in its third year, the organisers again succeeded in gathering an international group of speakers that rivals the line-up of established conferences. If you don’t have any plans for the end of this week and can get away from work for a lovely day of inspiration and information, I would highly recommend snatching one of the very last – and very affordable – tickets before the event sells out.

For the third consecutive year the wonderful Simone Wolf will moderate the day of presentations on June. Kerning still has the best hashtag ever.

As usual the conference takes place in Cinema Teatro Sarti, on Friday June 5. The conference day is preceded by two days of workshops. On Thursday, June 4 Smashing’s Vitaly Friedmann will teach the attendees clever tips, tricks and techniques for responsive design. The three other workshops last two full days, from Wednesday, June 3 to Thursday, June 4. You can learn to master the Spencerian script from the golden age of penmanship with Barbara Calzolari; an etching and letterpress workshop is jointly organised by Studio Battaglia on day one and La Vecchia Stamperia on day two; and Francesco Franchi and Nicholas Felton will reveal the ins and outs of the new aesthetic of the data narrative. The last workshop is completely sold out; but there are still rare tickets for the other workshops.

Francesco Franchi, art director at IL, the monthly magazine of Il Sole 24 ORE, delivered the opening keynote “Writing is no longer enough” at Kerning 2014.

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The day of presentations on Friday, June 5 kicks off with type designers Laura Worthington showing how digital script fonts can achieve a natural, organic, authentic appearance; and Tobias Frere-Jones investigating letter forms as a means of security for citizens and governments alike, thwarting forgery in plain sight and in secret. After the coffee break illustrator Marco Goran Romano teaches us a different way to tell stories; and writer, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine Vitaly Friedman how to improve web fonts performance. typographer and professor at HBKsaar Indra Kupferschmid will make sure you don’t doze off after lunch with her examination of typefaces in all of their forms and applications. Information architecture and data visualisation are the topics of the next two speakers, respectively the founder of Information Architects (@iA) Oliver Reichenstein, and Nicholas Felton of the Feltron Personal Annual Reports. The closing keynote will be delivered by type designer Bruno Maag of Dalton Maag who will explore what needs to be considered when designing type for a digital world, to make it work across different applications and environments, and maintaining the aesthetic integrity.

New York-based designer, illustrator, and author of ‘The Shape of Design’ Frank Chimero delivered the closing keynote “The Digital/Analog Flip-Flop” at Kerning 2014.

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The three intensive days are capped off with the Typekit party. There are also additional possibilities for the discerning type lover – visit the small exhibition of 50s and 60s posters and lithographic stereotypes by Litografie Artistiche Faentine in Botterga Bertaccini Books of Art, or discover the beautiful lettering on tombstones from the late 1800s to the early 1900s in the Cimitero Dell’osservanza. And don’t forget Faenza is the home of the International Pottery and Ceramics Museum MIC, one of the most important museums of its kind in Europe. So what are you waiting for? Grab one of those last tickets and enjoy a three-day immersion in all things typographic in beautiful Faenza in Italy. You won’t regret it.

If you would like to sample the friendly atmosphere of Kerning, go to their Vimeo page to view the presentations from the past editions.
Kerning 2013 on Vimeo
Kerning 2014 on Vimeo

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