For the 2 days, on the last weekend of April, Soho Factory has become the pulsing center of polish graphic design. On April 22-23 we had a great pleasure to attend Element Talks – design conference related to art, creative processes and business. It was our second time at Element Talks and I have to say – 2017 edition was as exciting as our first time.
Element Talks Spaces
The event took place at a new place – post industrial spaces of Soho Factory. This change was a great decision which let the organizators to host over 2000 participants. As in the previous year, lectures were presented on two stages – main and expert one. Especially the second benefited from the change of place as separate hall could hold much more people. The overall impression of Soho spaces was great. We loved the new common space with stands as well as round tables zone. Also Bookoff store gave us a comfy area to admire and buy an awesome variety of editorial masterpieces. We also have to mention the food truck corner with a great pizzas, burgers and pastas that helped us to top our energy supplies up.
But what about the meat of the Element Talks – the lectures? We are really satisfied with the variety of the talk subjects! It’s great that Element Talks 2017 was addressed not only to the beginners, so also experienced designers could attend a few more specialized speeches – it’s something we really missed last year. As you can remember in 2016 we were also a little disappointed by the fact that Expert stage turned out to be mostly Sponsors’ stage – this year’s edition did a 180 degree turn! We listened to a few really professional live keynotes deeply analyzing user experience, research process or even concept art! But overall, what we liked most?
nuSchool – Hacking Design Pricing
Guys from nuSchool did a great opening of Element Talks! They gave us three ways of pricing design based on value, retain or stock options. Comparison of pros and cons of each solution was eye-opening for both beginners and experienced designers. For us talk by Ran & Lior was one of the best during entire conference! Thanks a lot!
Grzegorz Róg – A sketch! I guess…
Within his speech Grzegorz make a quick workshop about great design tool – Sketch. As you know recently we’ve fallen in love with this app so we were very excited to know even more about Sketch’s options. And we were not disappointed! Beside basic tools of Sketch Grzegorz showed us a few amazing plugins that let designer to create UI faster and more effectively. Love it!
Erik Kessels – Perfection is boring
What is the best way to be remembered? Make everyone cry with laughter. Erik showed us that mistakes are great source of inspiration. The absurdities of everyday life make them more interesting. Mistake is part of all design processes. We can’t avoid it, but we can make it a whole new thing. Our world, the Internet and social media are full of confusing, strange and incomprehensible things. We just need imagination to create new concepts based on it. Forget about perfection – it’s boring and omnipresent. It was pleasure to hear Erik and his amazing stories. The greatest applause in the whole event was deserved!
Wojtek Mierowski – BNA – Beware of „good” advice
Wojtek reminded us of the basics of the designer’s work. He drew attention to the worst advice given to beginner designers. Moreover, he gave us a hint that the beaten track is not always a good one. We should remember that good design is art and craft – not only one of those. Common myths about design create space for boredom and repetition. Let’s be ourselves and it turns out that our work is unique. Much inspiration and pertinent insights. It was a very pleasant lecture with an experienced speaker.
Dawid Szczepaniak – VML – How to build an advertising agency?
The idea of Dawid’s presentation was great! His speech about building advertising agency was based on his cooperation with his partners at work. Every tip on creating a successful brand was reflected in the people in Dawid’s company. He showed us that diversity is something that strengthens the business. Each person can teach us something new. This charming lecture has given us a lot of positive energy and the belief that despite of the differences we can create a great complementary team.
Kuba Matyka – Melt – Designing for VR
Virtual Reality is the future. We should stay tuned and check if we can create something new with this tool. Maybe in a few years we will be designing only for lenses with augmented reality? Will we completely switch the real world for VR glasses? Many of these questions still don’t have the answers. However, working on the augmented reality allows us to believe that things will change soon. We love MELT’s works which we saw in the presentation. Amazing shows and animations guaranteed unforgettable impressions of events. Great job MELT!
Have to admit – not all talks were mind-blowing, and a few of them turned out to be completely different than we expected. Main reason was usually stress of the speakers (let’s be honest, not everyone makes life keynotes in front of +2000 people everyday) or big ego combined with political frustration (sorry Mike, we love your design speeches but this time… just no). However despite of this drawbacks we can’t find any imperfection in the organization of the Element Talks conference. Really, Paulina, Olga and their team did an amazing job!
Year by year Element Talks conference is getting better and better! Awesome organization, amazing spaces, and fascinating speakers really do a great job! That’s why we can’t wait to the next edition! See you in 2018 guys!