Semi Permanent - Wellington 2013

Semi-Permanent design conference rolled around again and so I trundled on down to see what people had to say about words and images. Quote of the event went to  Shakespeare – ‘To thine own self be true’. Heres some other stuff that stood out. Gemma O’Brien from Sydney showed off her illustrative, handmade typography, it was tight. She talked about the need for design to experiment, to be authentic, and to be spontaneous. Next was Glue Society AKA The Friendship Club. They are project workers (not freelancers) that love audience participation and interaction, great ideas and great execution, moving away from conventions and work that can be both artistic and commercial. They also firmly believe that is their personal projects that lands them paid work. Michaela Webb from Round studio talked about the need for designers to be anthropologists. Approaching each new project like a tourist seeking to understand the human and cultural aspects that support it. She encouraged designers to move away from the boring, the predictable the safe in favour of the risky and interesting. Matt Checkowski closed the day off by discussing the idea that designers are story tellers that build culture and shape the future. He claimed that designers can tell better stories by improving their craft, and by seeking out new experiences and ways of expressing ideas. He also emphasised the importance of establishing emotional connections with the audience in our storytelling. Quoting Stanely Kubrick he said, ‘The emotions of people are more similar than their intellects, their common bond is their subconscious emotional reaction.’ Check out my favourite work from Semi Permanent by Gemma O’Brien. It’s a typographic spew puns mixed with pop culture scrawled onto vomit bags during a flight.