Type Talks Graphic Film Night

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 17 NOVEMBER 2017
Adrian Shaughnessy Type Talks Film Night 2017

For the past four years BA (Hons) Graphic Communication, in the school of Visual Communication, have been organising monthly talks – dubbed Type Talks.

This month saw the launch of Type Talks Film Night; premiering the film 'Graphic Means' with an introduction by designer, notable writer and publisher Adrian Shaughnessy, who also features in the film.

We took a moment to speak with Adrian, discussing his involvement with the Type Talk Film Night and to learn a little more about 'Graphic Means'.

1 Can you tell us a little about 'Graphic Means'?

'Graphic Means' is a documentary film, made by Briar Levitt, which looks at graphic design before computers. Anyone working in design today will use a computer. Anyone studying design today, will learn to use a computer. The first graphic design computers appeared in the 1980s, but they have only been used extensively in design since the mid-nineties. Before then, most graphic design processes involved large amounts of manual skill. This film looks at graphic design techniques from the pre-digital era, and while the film doesn’t advocate a return to ‘manual’ design, it highlights the things that have been lost by the adoption of the computer as the primary - sometimes only - design tool.

How is the film linked with Type Talks and the Birmingham Design Festival?

 Type Talks hosts lectures and events that investigate typography in the fullest extent. Much of 'Graphic Means' is about how designers used and generated typography. The film fits neatly into Type Talks’ ongoing investigation into typographic practice. 

How will the evening help the students with their learning?

It's highly beneficial for students to be aware of the history of the craft they are studying. The film also provides insight into ways of working that are not totally reliant on the computer.

Do you have any advice to our students that may help them with their studies or their future careers?

I’m a great believer in learning from history, so a study of the past is always useful. But even more important is to take risks. It is only by risking failure that designers can hope to move from being "cogs in the wheel" to being originators of their own work.  

These talks have been a huge success, attracting many distinguished design speakers, such as Neville Brody, Jonathon Barnbrook, Seb Lester, Sarah Hyndman and Freda Sack to name but a few. Last year, in particular, was a great success as Geraldine was able to secure many high profile speakers drawing audiences that filled Parkside’s auditoriums.

This film event was organised in collaboration with the Birmingham Design Festival, who will be launching the first ever Birmingham annual design festival, in Summer 2018.

The collaboration between the University’s Arts, Design and Media faculty and Birmingham Design Festival is an exciting venture and we encourage people to come along to future events to find out more.

Talks are held in the early evening, attracting many people across the design profession and other educational establishments from the West Midlands and afar.

Type Talk events are run on a volunteer, non-profit basis by the Visual Communication Graphic students and coordinated by Geraldine Marshall, Lecturer in Graphic Communication.

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Type Talks Lecture 2017
Type Talks BDF 2017
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Type Talks Film Night 2017
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