Perspectives

Business Questions for GRANSHAN 2013 – Part III

What are the main objectives expected from hosting GRANSHAN 2013 in Bangkok?
We firmly believe that GRANSHAN Conference and Festival can raise awareness for design and writing as cultural techniques and cultural repositories. And we believe that in addition to the social and public aspects also economical perspectives are granted in the longer term in consequence of the advancements of the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Considering that design as a part of the creative industries is one of the world's fastest growing industry sectors.

How do you see the potential of Thai designers, Asian designers or AEC designers?
The ASEAN region is one of regions with the best perspectives, especially with a view to the now arising economic community. The multiculturalism of this region includes the chance for great stability with a simultaneous challenge of different languages and various script systems.

What are the current global typeface trends?
The »Unicode Trend«.
Exploring the potential of the Unicode table enables designers to create fonts for a very wide range of tasks and making it easy for users to profit from this diversity.

Yesterday’s alive.
There are a lot of new fonts with historical references. Their creators draw from the past, deal with yesterday’s intellectual world and bring it into the here and today. This is a very well-founded way of handling the history of writing.

Form follows sense.
On one hand there are more and more incredibly well-founded and fully developed fonts for body text. On the other hand today’s technical possibilities enable designers to create especially display fonts at high speed and even so in a very high quality.
This means that the number of available fonts and especially the number of the available very well fonts is growing strongly. Statements of Kurt Weidemann, Massimo Vignelli and other »forebears«, they actually wouldn’t need more than six font styles, don’t fit in today’s reality anymore.
At the same time type designers today have to face a great challenge: Their fonts have to fulfill specific tasks – one of those might of course be the special suitability for certain worlds of scripts … like a specific script system or even across all script systems.

Actually and last but not least: the trend to Non-Latin Typefaces …
We think at this point we don’t have to repeat the reasons for this international trend.

What are the key factors-driven successes for the Non-Latin Typeface design industry?
This is easy: For the Latin script there are more than enough fonts. With limited exceptions in »Non-Latin Typeface countries« (e.g. China) the economic growth and also the perspectives beyond are significantly larger. To make it more easy: In future you’ll find the menu of an Italian restaurant not just in Italian and English but also in Chinese.

Are designers supported by government in Europe and how?
Not in a direct way. But the leading cities have realized long ago that the creative industry includes one of the key factors for (economic) development. Accordingly, the cities (and the states) invest a lot of money in areas and actions in the field of design.

What is the direction for government in Thailand and AEC to support typefaces design industry?
Here we see two answers:
1) In the international competition it can play a great role also for Thailand and AEC to use the leading factor of design for opening new economical, social and cultural perspectives.
2) Especially the integrative effect of the Thai script in a multiethnic state is something of great significance for an external cultural and social perspective. It is the merit of organizations like SAC (Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre), which have focused this topic and deal with its roots as well as with its changes. We would be very happy if Thailand will become a pioneer in the awareness for the meaning of the connection between script and identity.

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