The Conference

For designers and typographers, for type designers and users of type, for researchers of script, reading, and writing, for those not merely using script but wanting to consciously shape their day-to-day experiences with means of script. GRANSHAN explores, brings together, translates, connects ... the different worlds of type, ways of communication, semiotic systems. During the conference, renowned designers, researchers of script, and typographers from all over the world will illustrate the many ways in which the beauty of language can be expressed through type. Even more so when a language and its letters are »different« or foreign: it allows us to experience cultural diversity and the bond between the users of a language and their respective native lands. The GRANSHAN conference will take a closer look at the phenomenon of »difference«, the broad variety available. Join us in this exploration of design: a path of surprises, inspiration, and exchange of ideas.


GRANSHAN Conference Opening Evening @ Brown Sugar, 25.7.2013

6:30 pm - 7:00 pmRegistration
7:00 pm - 8:30 pmBoris KochanWelcoming
 Stefan SagmeisterDesign and Happiness
8:30 pm - 10:00 pmReception

GRANSHAN Conference Day @ TCDC, Theatre no.5, SFX Cinema, The Emporium, 26.7.2013

10:00 am - 10:30 amRegistration
10:30 am - 12:45 pmBoris KochanWelcoming
 Alberto ManguelConversations with the Dead – The History of Reading
 Gerard UngerLegibility in a modern world, or: How do I orient myself in a world with many languages and scripts?
12:45 pm - 1:45 pmBreak
1:45 pm - 3:30 pmAnuthin WongsunkakonThe missing handbook for designing Thai script –
10 useful things you might want to know before designing Thai
 Robert BringhurstThe Ecosystem of Meaning
3:30 pm - 4:00 pmBreak
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmGerry LeonidasYou make it happen: document demand, typeface supply
 Lars HarmsenSlanted goes Typolyrics – Identity and Culture
 Boris KochanClosing Notes

For the sake of good order we have to point out that there can be updates in timing and line-up in due to external circumstances.
All lectures will be held in English.


Part 1: 10:30 am - 12:45 pm – Reading and Perceiving
Reading opens up new worlds

Chicken or egg? Reading or script?
Long before script came into existence, people knew how to read the seasons, stars, tides, and tracks.
Today, we read text. First, we perceive, then we recognise, and finally, we interpret signs. Interpretation turns into content … the letter “A” is undoubtedly understood by each and everyone of us as exactly that, different interpretations of the written word, however, will usually reflect a wide range of individual meanings.
Reading thus is a complex act of translation, allowing for a lot of freedom especially for designers.

Part 2: 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm – Writing and Abstracting
Writing expresses individuality

Script is an expression of personality. A person’s handwriting will be recorded in their memory and will become part of their identity. Individual characters of a written language will be ingrained in the collective memory of a society and form an integral part of its DNA.
Handwriting and writing with the help of tools are both expressions of technique and art, systems of documentation and craftsmanship. Writing and abstracting are logical developments of reading … as are the multiple uses of script in today’s world of multimedia.
Designers are masters of script and their interpretations influence the public image of culture.

Part 3: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm – Designing
The open spaces of design

Somewhere between native tongues and foreign languages, between multilingualism and responsive design, we find the day-to-day operating principles of typography. New technologies allow for entirely new forms of communication – while Non-Latin Typefaces still are used in limited ways only.
Today more than ever, companies and organisations understand the value of intelligent design. And in spite of hugely advanced technology, courageous designers are still very much needed. Professionals who can future-proof interfaces between people and machines as much as in-between individuals.