What I learned at TYPO Berlin 2014

Last week I attended TYPO in Berlin. It was quite a cool conference and very inspiring. Since I am not from the “Design Design” scene, I was mainly there to soak up the habits and culture of visual Designers and it turned out to be insightful.

Here are some things I learned:

1. In general: If you invite 1700 people for a conference, you need to get your shit together. Organization, technology, speaker’s slides – they just have to work.

2. Also in general: If you wanna make your event awesome and are not sure if 1. will work perfect, you need a charming and professional moderation. Not awkward “does my microphone work?” – moderation.

3. About Designers: I had always heard it’s the case, but designers really don’t talk about how they work. Either they don’t abstract their methods or they don’t want to trivialize their profession, but Designers only talk about results.

4. Designers don’t talk without visuals. That means if 1. does not work right and their slides don’t show, they stand there and don’t say anything. After 15 minutes, they will leave the stage without having said anything.

5. Designers are rock stars. And I don’t mean the excellent performance of the anarcho-agency SNASK (complete with industrial band, costumes and farting jokes), but really some of the old school designers. They might just burp into the microphone and let everybody feel that they really don’t feel like giving this talk.

6. As a Designer, it’s totally okay to talk only about yourself and flick through your projects without any coherent story line. Here’s how you structure your talk:
– Hey, I’m happy to be here.
– I grew up in… (preferably unknown small town) my parents were… (preferably craftspeople)
– I went to arts school in… (preferably good arts college) where… (some awesome designer) was my teacher.
Intro is over, here comes the main part, supported with picture after picture from your projects:
– I was really interested in… Then I got interested in… and then I did a project for… and then I started to… and then I experimented with… and then I changed to… and then I got interested in…

Nevertheless, we love you Designers!