The flexible system you created allows for many permutations – was this playful approach deliberately at odds with what could be considered quite a serious design conference?
The TypeCon identity is typeset, rather than drawn, using elements from MuirMcNeil’s TwoPlus type system exclusively. This was developed as a custom monospaced family for TypeCon, built on the framework of our earlier TwoPoint type system. All 76 TwoPoint and TwoPlus fonts map to the same set of core outlines which can be manipulated in layers to provide a huge number of variations, somewhat like unpredictable mutations of historical chromatic fonts.
All of the visual components are plain geometric forms and their structural relationships are governed by a few equally simple conditions: use only one size of type; allow the format to dictate line breaks, information flow and overall shape; use contrasts between glyph-based overlays and background panels to become more or less legible; emphasise or diminish parts of the information hierarchy accordingly.
The playfulness of TypeCon identity is the direct product of its own system. In essence, the identity is the expression of a set of logical rules in a variety of visual outputs, everything from badges to programmes to interstitial animated movies. The algorithmic principles employed might be said to mirror the methods used by contemporary type designers, where sophisticated structures can be built parametrically on axes of weight, width, optical size and so on. Likewise, the use of geometric letterforms that resemble bitmaps also reflects the origins of digital type design. However, a key feature of our method is that its end results can be volatile, unpredictable and unfettered by notions of good or bad taste. For this reason, the design might be perceived as somewhat provocative in the way it challenges accepted conventions of legibility in the context of a 'serious' type conference. But, for us, seriousness is seriously overrated.