Offset 2009

[Oops…I wrote this post back in November about the Offset creative festival, and somehow forgot to post it. Here it is now, so it is.]

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Some of my high points from Offset 2009:

  • Scott from AAD, who did a great job of balancing a presentation of their work with a wider discussion about design and creativity.
  • Design legend Massimo Vignelli, who was extremely engaging and funny as he showed us decades worth of his elegant work. He had an interesting insight for me about why perpetual calendars (which I am constantly tempted by but never buy) don’t work: you have to tell them the date, which defeats the entire purpose of a calendar.

    House Industries
    : I’ve been a big fan of House Industries for a long time and it was great to see their presentation. The attention to detail that they devote to their study of type is mind-blowing. Their Photo Lettering project – the preservation of a huge archive of lettering – is fascinating, and their Photo Lettering online tool will be a great resource when it’s ready. Also, their Alexander Girard collection made me whimper with longing.  I bought this print the same day that I saw their presentation.
  • Chip Kidd showed us some of his famous work and explained his creative process, and on top of that was just completely hilarious.  He’s quite similar to David Sedaris, an author that he has worked with many times.
  • I probably took more pictures of Oliver Jeffers‘ work than anyones, and he did a lovely little doodle and autograph for my small girl.

Dave McKean, David Shrigley, Linda Brownlee and Anthony Burrill were also notably wonderful. And my pals Johnny Kelly, Chris Judge and Gisele Scanlon were all fantastic too.

I was really, really impressed with the polish and professionalism of many of the speakers, and how funny and charming they were.  I’ve been at a couple of presentations and conferences since Offset, and they’ve really emphasised how good the Offset speakers were.  These are clearly some people who are extremely skilled communicators, not just visually but verbally as well.

I can’t recommend Offset enough:  I’m still racking my brains as to how they managed to present such an amazing line-up and only charge €150 per ticket.  It inspired me in more ways than I could have predicted, and I’ll be there again for sure next year.

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