4 April 2016
For the second year running, ADF has programmed the keynote presence at one of Asia's leading typography gatherings, BITS (Bangkok International Typographic Symposium). This time, Anthony Burrill was selected to represented the UK.
I was invited by the British Council to travel to Bangkok to speak at BITS (Bangkok International Typographic Symposium) and lead a type design workshop with a group of students. Arriving in a new and unfamiliar place is always exciting and inspiring. The first day was spent with students working on a type design project. I like to encourage graphic design students to leave behind the computer once in a while, I think it helps reconnect with graphic design in a much more physical and direct way. I asked the students to develop letterforms based on a simple grid, starting off at a small scale sketching out on paper. Once we were happy with the letterforms the workshop moved outside and we started to paint on a much larger scale. It's great to see everyone working with brushes and ink to scale up their designs. The outcomes were great, a combination of abstract mark making and geometric letterforms. We pushed the abstract letterforms as much as possible, using negative space and bold geometric shapes to compose the letterforms.
Day two was spent at the Typography Symposium, it was an interesting day, full of fascinating presentations. I particularly enjoyed Mark de Winne’s talk exploring vernacular type designs in his native Singapore. During the breaks in the conference I explored as much of the city as I could. Whenever I’m in a new and unfamiliar place I love wandering down side streets and finding hidden parts of the city. I take lots of photos of signs, street graphics and architecture trying to soak up as much as I can, feeling inspired by everything I’m looking at.
On the final day it was my turn to speak about my work at the conference. I talked about my approach to design, my sources of inspiration and how my career has developed. Presenting yourself and your work in a new and unfamiliar context is a challenging and revealing experience. It forces you to analyse who you are and what your work is about. I found the experience extremely valuable and hope to take away inspiration that will help inform and develop my own work.
Anthony Burrill’s persuasive, up-beat illustration and design has been commissioned by cultural, social and commercial clients around the world from New York, to London to Tokyo. He has also gained a following in the design world for his innovative collaborations with friends and fellow artists, designers, print-makers and film-makers. He regularly collaborates with musicians and animators to make films, music promos and animations, using his distinctive visual vocabulary and passion for fusing sound and image. His installations and 3-D work have been commissioned by Colette in Paris and The Design Museum in London among others.
BITS took place in Bangkok between 31 October and 1 November 2015.