​Current Characters Convention

Review of the Current Characters Convention organized by the Graphic Design Festival Breda on Wednesday 14 October 2015. It was a good one!

Current Characters Convention during the Graphic Design Festival Breda 25 September to 25 October, was a packed afternoon with talks on current (design) themas by six engaged designers, researchers, authors and a rapper.

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The afternoon kicked off with Basma Hamdy, an Egyptian designer and author. Her talk focused on the book she published, together with Don Karl, “Walls of Freedom”. Which tells the story of the first three year of the Egyptian revolution through striking images of art that transformed Egypt’s walls into a visual testimony of resistance. You can buy “Walls of Freedom” here or visit there website.

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Islamic activism and terrorism researcher and writer of the book “Branding Terror — The logotypes and iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations” Artur Beifuss, learned us how terrorist organizations get the most attention by being the most notorious. And the why the US government doesn’t understand the power of branding. You can buy Beifuss book here.

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Teun Castelein’s talk showed that he is a real artistic entrepreneur. Castelein is the creator of Halbe beer, weed cheese, clothing brand Allah and his latest project Rederij Lampedusa. He showed how a simple engaged idea can be developed to a product ready for market, for example: Halbe beer or My Polar Ice.

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Graphic designer and politic activist Ken Garland (1929), took us from the declaration of Breda, via the walls in Belfast to the amateur and professional graphic styles of the protest / occupy movement.

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Information designer, Nicholas Feltron shared his life of the last decade with the world via data visualisations. Since 2005 he published annually his personal Feltron report in which he wave numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics reflecting his years activities. The 2015 edition is his last but you can start track your own life with the Reporter app he created.

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Last speaker of the afternoon was professional ‘Hate Mailer’ the London based illustrator (and rapper) Mr. Bingo. He learned us how to write a rap, the benefit of self publishing, and how to make the perfect kickstarter video so people will pledge your project.

The current character convention was a good one! The festival curators formulated four characteristic attitudes for current designers, the ‘Author’, ‘Journalist’, Scientist or ‘Disruptor’. These characters where reflected well in the mix of speaker who showed on there own unique way how they approach graphic design and themas they are dealing with in our digitalized world.


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