The fourth International Conference on Typography and Graphic Communication took place in during the middle of June 2010, under the theme “lending grace to language.” For the first time, the ICTVC to place in Nicosia, Cyprus; previous ICTVC conferences took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2002, 2004, and 2007. The reason for the change of venue from the University of Macedonia to the University of Nicosia is organic: Dr. Klimis Mastoridis, the prime mover behind the event, now lives and works in Cyprus. I suspect that the fourth ICTVC is the first international typographic conference ever to take place in Cyprus.
Cyprus is a beautiful mediterranean island. Nicosia, the capital, is more or less in the center of the landmass. The city itself is divided; the northern half, like the northeast of the island, is Turkish. Otherwise, Cyprus is a Greek-speaking republic.
I attended this year’s conference as a speaker; it was my second ICTVC, as I also spoke at Thessaloniki in 2007. Back then, Greece was experiencing its warmest June to date, or at least it certainly felt that way at the time. This year’s weather was similar—daytime temperatures in Nicosia hovered around 40°C during the conference, although the air was not so humid.
Most of the ICTVC 2010 activities took place either in Nicosia’s Hilton Park hotel or on the campus of the University of Nicosia. The Hilton was located southwest of the historical city center; to get into town, a taxi ride of about 20 minutes was necessary. The area surrounding the hotel was typical suburban strip mall land. Across the street from the hotel was a Bennigan’s restaurant. A McDonalds was also nearby, as was a Gloria Jean coffee joint. This is probably enough detail to paint a good picture.
I traveled to the event together with Lorenz Schirmer, Linotype’s marketing director. Lorenz and I arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday, June 16th, and remained through Sunday the 20th. The main conference ran from the 17th through 19th, although there were a few pre-events that we did not attend. It took me some time to get to Cyprus from Berlin; I flew via Zürich, which took about eight hours. Lorenz and I flew in separately, as he was coming in from Frankfurt. Although he arrived at the hotel before I did, I only saw him the morning of the conference itself. After checking into the Hilton, I rode into town in time for dinner with several MATD Reading alumni. A few Greek designers and educators not associated with the University of Reading were with us as well. Tidbits about University of Reading staff and alumni are a common element of much of this report, so brace yourselves…
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