Sunday, September 07, 2008

SP08 (part 2)

day two started with one of the speakers i was most looking forward to - derek henderson. he is one of new zealand's most respected photographers and seems equally at home photographing models in venice as he is photographing the deserted streets of backwater new zealand towns. i wasn't disappointed - he showed us a lot of his work and added anecdotes to each of the images. interesting stuff.

sea design were next. i actually can't remember too much about their presentation - probably due to the fact that i've taken so long to get this review posted, but also maybe because it didn't make a huge impact on me. when i was researching for this post, though, i visited their website: home page = wow. check it (refresh it to see different background images).

then dumbo feather after lunch. kate bezar is a new zealander based in australia - a st cuths girl turned management consultant turned magazine publisher. her magazine 'dumbo feather, pass it on' is an interview magazine that talks to ordinary people achieving great things. kate's story is a classic 'getting sick of corporate world so decides to follow her passion and using all the money she made in the corporate world to do something new and altruistic' story. her talk was based around that theme. i don't mean to sound sarky about it - it was a good talk.

debaser are an australian design agency that specialises in album cover design. they had some nice work and it was interesting to hear about their experiences and the processes of album art.

after afternoon tea was danny yount - i think i might have a new hero. he's a seemingly ordinary guy who ended up in the business of creating title sequences for movies. for me this is fascinating because it often involves typography in movement. danny yount designed the opening titles for a fairly successful tv program called 'six feet under'. his recent work includes the end titles for 'iron man' and 'the invasion'. he has also recently finished work on the new guy ritchie film. fantastic talk.

the superstar of the event and the supposed headline act was stefan sagmeister. he's fairly famous (to say the least) in design circles. he's the sort of guy that people will pay any amount of money to design whatever he likes. that puts him in a whole different universe from most of the people at the conference. he talked us through a project he's worked on called 'things i've learnt' or something like that. it's a famous project that most of us had probably already seen. he didn't seem too worried about the time constraints and was still going when i left half an hour after the finish time.

morning and evening - the second day.

it really was good having the event as two days this year. at the end of the first day i wondered how i was going to absorb another day's worth of info but i was ok after a nice sleep. you run into problems when you put designers in front of a large audience - a lot of them probably never dreamed that they would be hauled away from their macs and placed in front of a vast auditorium of people. but the proportion of speakers that were able to make that transition well was higher this year than the other two years i've been. i think the organisers of this event should be congratulated because they are clearly trying to bring the latest thinking about design to new zealand. that means that we are getting the benefit of a vast amount of cultural capital every time this event is held - and i think this was particularly true this year.

i'm not finished posting about SP - next i'm going to write about some interesting highlights. meanwhile here is some design work from the speakers (in order of appearance):

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