next(con)text: Seminar on typography and type


Seminar on typography and type

Media Factory & Department of Media
Media Centre Lume, Sampo Hall, 18th of November 2010

For over the past five hundred years, typography has been bound to paper, to the printed page. Not anymore. A growing part of our communication happens in the electronic world of the Internet, and more and more of the typography we read is pixels instead of ink. The screen be it laptop, TV, tablet, e-book, mobile is the next context for text. What does this paradigm shift mean? Should we re-think typography? Which are the new kinds of fonts to be used? Which are the new kinds of font licenses for Web page use?

Our one-day seminar will cover several of the key issues of the future typography. There will be a diversity of speakers: some concentrating on technical issues, some on the aesthetical aspects of type and some even covering both. Jukka K. Korpela, a researcher and writer, whose book on web typography and layout is soon forthcoming, presents the possibilities of web page layout and typography. PhD researcher Harri Heikkilä is going to talk about e-readers and different ways of producing content and visuals for screens. Teemu Suviala, creative director of Kokoro&Moi, presents creative ways of doing typography on the Web. International speakers include the legendary type designer Gerard Unger, especially famous for his work on legible typefaces for newspapers, like Coranto, Gulliver, and Swift; and Peter Bilak, a pioneer in extensive OpenType fonts for wide range of languages as well as a forerunner in web fonts. The third type specialist is Sami Kortemäki, the graphic designer of the year 2010 in Finland, our own type star of Underware, the makers of fine-tuned, popular fonts like Liza, Sauna, Auto, and Bello. Saku Heinänen, designer and lecturer of Aalto University, acts as the MC for the event.

The seminar is intended for professionals in design, publishing and advertising as wells as for researchers and of course to all students interested in these areas. The day includes morning coffee, a light lunch and afternoon coffee.

Program (preliminary, subject to changes!)

8.30-9.15 Morning coffee and registration

9.15-9.45 Introduction: the state of digital typography, Saku Heinänen

9.45-10.30 Web typography: be realistic, but do the (almost) impossible, Jukka K. Korpela

10.30-11.15 The new reading devices: Is there a new visual paradigm emerging? ePUB Bootcamp: Workflow of an eBook, Harri Heikkilä

11.15-12.15 Keynote speaker 1. Web fonts solutions, Peter Bilak (NL/SK)

12.15-13.15 Lunch

13.15-14.00 “Happiness outside the bell curve” A talk about cultivating random accidents and opportunities, Teemu Suviala

14.00-14.45 Randomness vs cleverness, Sami Kortemäki

14.45-15.15 Coffee

15.15-16.15 Keynote speaker 2. Letterforms on screens, Gerard Unger (NL)

16.15-17.00 Panel discussion on web fonts and typography

17.00- Drinks and refreshments

For more information please contact Saku Heinänen, email: saku.heinanen [at]

Peter Bilak has designed several fonts including the large Fedra family, published by his foundry Typotheque. He is a forerunner in web font issues and has designed fonts for several scripts including Cyrillic, Arabic, and Devanagari.,

Harri Heikkilä studied sociology in University of Helsinki, graphic design in UIAH and usability issues in School of Science and Technology. Postgraduate student at the Aalto University of Art and Design. Currently researcher in Next Media project. Remit: user experience of new eReading devices.

Saku Heinänen graduated from the University of Art and Design. He works as a graphic designer and type designer, and teaches type design, typography and publication design at the Aalto University, where he focuses on electronic publishing and web font issues.

Jukka K. Korpela, a mathematician by education. He has authored a large scale of web publications, books, and articles on web publishing and its technologies. His specialties include (X)HTML, CSS, web forms design, and accessibility. He is also an expert on character codes and the author of the O’Reilly book on Unicode, and he has contributed substantially to current Finnish national standards on Finnish orthography and keyboard layouts.

Sami Kortemäki studied graphic design at the Lahti Institute of Design and at the KABK in Den Haag. His pan-European design collective Underware create versatile fonts like Bello, Dolly, Fakir, and Sauna, conducts type workshops and runs the radio station Typeradio. Sami tells us why the development of Underware’s most recent typeface Liza took five years.

Teemu Suviala is Creative Director and Co-Founder of multidisciplinary design consultancy Kokoro & Moi, specializing in brand identities, design strategies and visual communication. He is a crossover between design, art and business who believes in breaking boundaries, cultivating coincidence and the great power of details.

Gerard Unger studied graphic design, typography and type design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. He teaches as visiting Professor at The University of Reading, UK, and he is Professor of Typography at the University of Leiden. He has designed many typefaces, including Argo, Capitolium and Capitolium News, Coranto, Paradox, Swift, Vesta and BigVesta. Gerard asks in his presentation if there is any reason to make letterforms on screen different from those for print. What happens to the idea of mass communication? What happens to graphic design on screens – and what will designers of type have to think of in the future?

Panelists (so far)

Markus Itkonen is a Finnish designer, typographer, type historian. Writer of the Finnish handbook of typography, Typografian käsikirja (1st ed. 2003). Doctoral student at the University of Art and Design, writing his doctoral thesis about Finnish type designs in 1920–1985.

Kristjan Jagomägi (EE) has been noted for his poster type work for Nordic Symphony Orchestra and for contributing to the rise of “national typography” wave. Kristjan leads design and development projects at DF Ltd., teaches at the graphic design department of Estonian Academy of Arts, and does public speaking, corporate trainings, workshops etc. He contributes to Estonian design scene as a member of advisory council at Estonian Design Centre.

Ewa Satalecka (PL) is PhD, graphic designer and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice and at the Polish Japanese IT Institute in Warsaw. She has organized a series of international lectures, exhibitions, workshops and international conferences, as well as given lectures as a visiting professor in Poland and abroad.,

Petri Seljavaara MA from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and a Business degree from Germany, Heidelberg. Prior to setting up his own company he worked in Nokia Mobile Phones as a Global Graphics Manager. He was responsible for the User Interface Graphics strategy and design, and he design managed the Nokia Font. Currently he heads the development and sales of multi channel optimization software innovation LumiTools.

Eva Wilsson is a Swedish graphic designer and teacher. She studied graphic design at London College of Printing and Konstfack College, Stockholm, and worked at design agencies in London and Amsterdam for several years before settling down in Stockholm again to start her own company. Now also a teacher in graphic design and typography, the course director if Grafiska Institutiet, Stockholm University, and an active participant in the organisation Stockholms Typografiska Gille. Eva’s blogghemsida: