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TYPE TALKS: Morag Myerscough: Belonging

Morag Myerscough is one of the UK’s most prolific designers.Her work is characterized by an engaging boldness, creating specific, local responses to each distinct audience that will see and experience the design, using it to create community and build identity.

Morag makes places from spaces that people like to be in, which stimulate and often make you smile.  She creates and curates many different types of work. The eclectic breadth of work covers the conversion of a train to a café, installations, numerous exhibitions and interpreting buildings.  She has designed several exhibits for London’s Design Museum from Archigram to Formula 1 as well as the exterior of the British Pavilion for the 2004 Venice Biennale. She was recently awarded the contract to create the Design Museum’s permanent exhibition for its new home, one of the UK’s most important new cultural projects. With Cartlidge Levene she designed the wayfinding for the Barbican Centre and continuing their relationship they are currently designing wayfinding for Tate Modern’s new Herzog and De Meuron extension.Her recent clients range from Zynga in San Francisco to the British Council in Burma. She often works with community groups to develop ideas that reflect the identity of the users, drawing on shared cultural history and heritage of the local area. For the Sorrell Foundation she worked with London teenagers creating a visual narrative for a youth centre based on a poem written by local young people. Morag established her successful multi-disciplinary company Studio Myerscough in 1993 and founded Supergrouplondon with Luke Morgan in 2010. Being a small, bespoke studio, she often collaborates on projects, pairing with practices as diverse as architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (their collaborations were nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize) and with poet Lemn Sissay on the Movement Café.  In 2002, Morag opened Her House, a gallery/shop which has enabled Morag to curate/design/produce and party. Morag was recently on the cover of Creative Review and profiled in Eye magazine, which praised “her strong graphic signature driven by a feeling for type and lettering.” She’s been lauded with countless nominations and awards include the Design Museum’s Design of the Year.

5:30 pm17:30

TYPE TALKS: Stacey Barnfield: Local Heroes

Local Heroes: The creative minds that helped shape Birmingham

From Joseph Chamberlain to John Feeney and John Baskerville to George Cadbury, Birmingham built a manufacturing prowess thanks in no small part to creative thinkers and generous leaders. Stacey Barnfield looks at some of the key players in the city's industrial, design and creative legacy.

Stacey Barnfield is chairman of Downtown in Business Birmingham, a private sector lobbying and influence group which has more than 900 member companies and entrepreneurs from a variety of business sectors in its well-established offices in the north west. Before joining Downtown Stacey was the editor of the respected Birmingham Post newspaper; his most recent and high-profile media role in a 23-year career in the regional press. Prior to his time at the helm of the Post he was deputy editor of its sister title the Birmingham Mail. Stacey helped lead the Birmingham Post’s popular Hidden Spaces project which revealed the secret stories behind some of Birmingham’s most popular buildings through brilliant photography and expert insights. He is passionate about the city’s conservation, heritage and aesthetic legacy during times of constant change and regeneration. Stacey is also a director of the historic Birmingham Press Club, chairman of the Birmingham Mail Charity Fund, and steering group member for the Birmingham Big Art Project. Outside work Stacey enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys and has a keen interest in fitness, design, art, photography, music and football. He is a lifelong Birmingham City FC fan, for which he is keen to blame his dad. Finally, for the type enthusiasts reading this, Stacey believes you’ll be hard pushed to find a more timeless and beautiful typeface than the ever-elegant Johnston, read by thousands of London commuters every day.

5:30 pm17:30

TYPE TALKS: Yves Peters: Trajan in Movie Posters

Soon after its appearance on the font market more than twenty years ago, the Adobe Original Trajan was embraced by Hollywood. Now it seems to grace more movie posters than any other typeface. Its stately and classic character shapes made it the go-to choice for Oscar material. Yet in recent years the popular font has apparently fallen from grace, and a pretender to the throne is vying to take its place.

About a decade ago, after Yves Peters had joined Typophile’s Type Identification Board, he noticed that there was a real demand from people who wanted to know which typefaces were used on film posters. This inspired him to start writing ScreenFonts, regular reviews of film posters with a focus on the typefaces used in them. Originally published on the FontShop BeNeLux blog Unzipped, ScreenFonts was ported to The FontFeed when Yves Peters became its editor-in-chief. It quickly became one of the most popular series on FontShop’s design and typography blog. Now it has found a new home on FontShop News.

As Yves became more and more acquainted with the world of film posters through his review series, he started noticing things – picking up trends, and distinguishing specific (typo)graphic tricks. As he further explored the medium he discovered how film posters use their own visual shortcuts as a way to communicate more efficiently with the intended audience. This codified language is not limited to images and colour schemes, but is also applied to type styles that identify film genres.

However one typeface defies all categories – Trajan.

 After hearing one too many times that Trajan was the “movie poster font” without any evidence to back up this claim, he went on an epic journey (pardon the pun) to investigate if Trajan truly was the most-used typeface in the history of cinema posters, and if indeed it helped films “win Oscars”. The story of his investigation will not only make you discover many hidden facets of typography, but most of all, as Yves says at the beginning of his presentation: “I will tell you very little that you don’t already know; you simply just don’t realise it yet.”


Yves Peters is a graphic designer / rock drummer / father of three who tries to be critical about typography without coming across as a snob. Former editor-in-chief of The FontFeed, he has found a new home on FontShop News. Yves writes about type and talks at conferences. His ability to identify most typefaces on sight is utterly useless in daily life.

5:30 pm17:30

TYPE TALKS: Ikon Gallery: The typefaces of Fiona Banner

James Langdon is an independent graphic designer. He is one of six directors of the artist-run gallery Eastside Projects in Birmingham, UK; and founder of the itinerant School for Design Fiction. In 2012 he received the Inform International Award for Conceptual Design, presented by Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany. Curatorial projects include ‘Arefin & Arefin: The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2012); ‘Construction School’, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012); Norman Potter’s ‘In:quest of Icarus’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012); and ‘Book Show’, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2010). He has lectured internationally at institutions including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France; Brno Biennial, Czech Republic; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden; Royal College of Arts, London; Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, Netherlands; HFG Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany; Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Simon Taylor, Ikon Gallery’s Head of Learning, discusses Fiona Banner’s use of type and the origins of ‘Font’, used for her current exhibition at Ikon SCROLL DOWN AND KEEP SCROLLING. Banner’s font is an amalgamation of typefaces she has worked with previously, through full stop sculptures and typeset and published works:

“It’s a family tree arrangement where the child of Avant Garde and Courier mates with Peanuts and Didot's child. Bookman and Onyx mate; their child mates with Capitalist and Klang's offspring - the final font is an unpredictable bastardisation of styles and behaviours” – Fiona Banner

‘Font’ was conceived during the artist’s attempt to survey her practice, in preparation for her first survey exhibition, showing at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham from 10 October 2015- 17 January 2016. Banner deploys it as the in-house font for the Ikon show and it appears at Frith Street Gallery, forming a link between the two exhibitions.