Looking back at OFFF2014

I realise it’s over a year since I attended the OFFF festival in Barcelona. Rather than post initial reactions I tweeted through it, took extensive notes and sat back to see who continued to make an impression on me. 

Here’s a few of them whose work I’ve followed for personal interest, incorporated into my teaching, or both. 

Seb Lester

I adore Seb’s work. His career as a typography artist and later his calligraphy work are inspirational, funny and, well, a bit awe-inspiring if you like being a bit nerdy about type. Seb designed Neo Sans, used the world over, and I quietly yelped when I heard him present a bit about it as it’s used by the Labour Party. I’ve spent hours working with that font. His calligraphy work is beautiful and amongst the varied artwork we have crammed on our walls are two of his prints. However, it’s “tits” that always makes me, err, titter. I highly recommend looking up his cheeky #BreakingBadNewsGentlyWith Calligraphy work on Instagram. 

Website – http://www.seblester.com/

Twitter – @SebLester



Joshua Davis

Joshua’s work made my jaw drop. It still does. He started in graphic design and has latterly moved onto programming with a processing which sites on the Java platform. He creates hypnotic and interactive pieces that have been used to work directly, amongst other media. In particular, his innovative use of projection mapping (projecting moving forms onto people that track the persons movement) is the bit that made the jaw drop occur. His long career running Pray Station hasn’t dulled his wild exhuberace and enthusiasm for what he does. I urge you to look him up and follow him on Twitter. 

Joshua’s website – http://www.joshuadavis.com

Twitter – @JoshuaDavis

Casey Neistat

Is a New York filmmaker working creatively both personally and for clients. He came to documentary and shorts quite late on and has a wit about him that, even with his early rough and ready work, makes it a joy to watch. I still giggle at the Bike Lanes film. Casey is particularly interesting for his innovative and try anything approach to connecting with audiences view new social media platforms. Casey’s work is often cited in my lectures for documentary work along with his quote “Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything”. 

Bike Lanes – http://youtu.be/bzE-IMaegzQ

Casey’s website – http://casey.nyc/

Twitter – @CaseyNeistat

Erik Spiekermann

What is left to say about this world renowned typographer? Amongst many typefaces he created Helvetica, the giant that is “the one you use when you’re lazy”. Erick has now retired, sort of. Well, he decided to go analogue and open up a press using original, vintage type blocks. He produces original work and is as active as ever. I loved his discussion about his use of the agile methodology and some of the tips he wanted to leave students. Here’s an edited version of the ones I caught: 

  • Our work adds to your bottom line so invest in our future
  • Don’t work with arseholes
  • Finnish is good for testing type – no one can read it and nice long words
  • Used to work using the Waterfall method
  • Now uses Agile
  • Forget control, you have to make the decision at some point not to support Internet Explorer
  • Have a rubber stamp of an iPhone for wire framing
  • Style guides are really, really important, they need to be defined at the beginning of a project so for groups of designers working together there is consistency

Erik’s website – http://spiekermann.com/en/ 

Twitter – @espiekermann

There’s more…

I’ll update this post with a few more. It was an excellent festival and I urge anyone interested in media, design and technology to go. 

MsCrow Written by:

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