Typography Kenya 2018: a celebration of Afrikan Typography

Typography Kenya 2018 is a celebration of African typography and visual communication that has evolved over the centuries. The conference is an opportunity for design students, professionals and stakeholders to interact, interrogate and appreciate contemporary Kenyan typography and visual communication. This encompasses text, signs, symbols, icons and colour as applied in various mediums (example Digital, TV, publishing, packaging and corporate identity). The aim is to highlight innovations and applications of typography in various sectors such as manufacturing, health, agriculture, housing, media, textiles and the public.

The conference is one of the activities in the calendar of events for Design Kenya Society (DKS) that is a not for profit society of designers. Previous events include Nairobi International Design Conference (NIDEC) 2011 and 2017. DKS is a founder member of Network of Afrika Designers and Afrika Design Forum that are committed to the growth of professional designers in the continent.

Typography Innovations in Kenya

The overarching theme for the conference is: ‘Typography Innovations in Kenya.’

The focus is on the Kenyan landscape with a view to bring to the fore typography innovation as key to development of the other sectors of the economy. This is informed by the need to make Kenyan products globally competitive, to improve our communications, to package our products better and improve the customer experience even in cinematography and advertisement. A look at globally successful products and services shows that they have attention to design, including typography. So, this is an opportunity to take stock and appreciate what has been done right and learn from any mistakes that we as designers are making.

Typography Kenya: 7th December 2018

The conference is a mix of plenary sessions with keynote speeches, expert panellists, design student competition, paper presentations and an exhibition of the work done by both design students and professionals. We shall have awards and certificate presentation followed by a cocktail and fashion show.

The objectives of the Typography Kenya 2018 conference are to:

1. Provide a platform where designers can interact with, interrogate and appreciate contemporary African typography and visual communication and to envision a future for the same.

2. Highlight innovations in typography in Kenya and provide a starting point for the next phase of development across the sectors of our economy.

3. Be the precursor for the establishment of a graphic designer’s chapter that will influence the design landscape in Kenya and East Africa.

The focus is on the Kenyan landscape with a view to bring to the fore typography innovation as key to development of the other sectors of the economy.

The conference targets an audience of 200 participants that cuts across multiple sectors of graphic design and is segmented as follows:

1. Professionals in industry – those working in formal settings including advertising agencies, media houses, publishing houses and other graphic design firms.

2. Design Schools – these are tertiary institutions that teach design.

3. Freelancers – individuals working in graphics, media and visual arts.

4. Employers – employers and suppliers of designers who have an interest in new technologies, equipment, and materials for production.

5. Government representatives – to be able to influence policy in the future of design in Kenya and the region.

Target Audience

1. Plenary Sessions–Keynote addresses, panel sessions and presentations from experts leading the

discussion on the state of typography in Kenya specifically and Africa as a whole.

2. Students Design Challenge– students to register and participate in a short challenge given on site, that is judged and prizes awarded. Participate in the fashion show and exhibition.

3. Professional Challenge– a call for submission of works by freelancers to be judged and awarded.

4. Closing Reception– a networking platform to celebrate the learnings of the day and showcase the work of the winners in each category presented earlier in the day

5. Publications– after the event the agreed outcomes, best papers and pieces will be published online on the Design Kenya Society site and other related sites.


Conference registration for individuals is available in two main categories as follows:

1. Students (with valid student ID)– Kshs 500 (before October 20th 2018), Kshs 750 after closing date.

2. Professionals Kshs 3,000

All payments will be payable by Mpesa or bank deposit to:

Design Kenya Society, PayBill Number 303030. Account Number 2022099704.

Deposit to Barclays Bank Kenya, Queensway Branch. Account number 2022099704.

You can find more information about Design Kenya Society in our Design Directory and their instagram and website.

If you’d like us to post information about your project or event, please contact us and we’ll be happy to share it with our community.

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