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You are here: Home / Keynote speakers announced for ATypI Antwerp 2018

Keynote speakers announced for ATypI Antwerp 2018

Annie Bocel, Matthew Carter, Sara De Bondt, Nelly Gable, and Fred Smeijers set to lead a stellar group of speakers in Antwerp.

Keynote speakers announced for ATypI Antwerp 2018

We're incredibly excited to share the news that five of the brightest names in type and design will present as keynote speakers at ATypI Antwerp: Type Legacies this September. Annie Bocel, Matthew Carter, Sara De Bondt, Nelly Gable, and Fred Smeijers will join an exceptional range of talented speakers and workshop leaders who will take the stage at this year's conference.

In the coming weeks, we will publish full details about what this amazing quintet will be talking about in Antwerp, along with information on our complete speaker lineup and the conference program. Until then, we hope you'll enjoy reading some biographical details shared by our keynotes.


Annie Bocel

A graduate of the Estienne school of engraving, Annie Bocel made her apprenticeship with engraver Jean-Luc Seigneur, then taught intaglio in a Parisian workshop and learned the impression of embossing within the company Creanog. Rich from these successive experiences, she opened a printmaking workshop in northern Finistère, and, at the same time, became an engraver of typographic punches at the Imprimerie Nationale printing office.

Bocel’s prints are about nature, time, and imprint. Sensitive to the idea of what is lost, what disappears, she likes to see things revealed and hear their stories. In this quest for forgotten forms, writing and geometry are essential.

Echoing this personal work, and following a three-year transmission in the framework of the Maitre d’art program set up by INMA (National Institute of Art Craft), Bocel contributes to the valorization and conservation of engraving of typographic punches, a profession recently listed on the inventory of French intangible cultural heritage.


Matthew Carter

Matthew Carter is a type designer with sixty years’ experience in typographic technologies, ranging from hand-cut punches to computer fonts. After a long association with the Linotype companies, he was a co-founder of Bitstream Inc. in 1981, a digital type foundry where he worked for ten years. Carter is now a principal of Carter & Cone Type Inc., designers and producers of original typefaces, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is a foundry partner in Type Network.

Carter’s type designs include ITC Galliard, Snell Roundhand and Shelley scripts, Helvetica Compressed, Olympian, Bell Centennial, ITC Charter, Mantinia, Sophia, Big Caslon, Big Moore, Miller, Roster, Georgia, Verdana, Tahoma, Sitka, and Carter Sans.

Carter has attended 34 ATypIs, starting in 1963.


Sara De Bondt

Sara De Bondt is a graphic designer and co-director of Occasional Papers, a nonprofit publisher of affordable books on the history of graphic design, art, architecture, film, and literature. Making knowledge available and affordable has become one of her central issues since starting Sara De Bondt studio in 2003. Based in London and Ghent, the studio’s approach is research and idea-driven, with strong emphasis on visual clarity and typographic detailing. This has led to a wide range of projects from international clients such as Taipei Biennial, WIELS, Tate, Institute of Contemporary Arts, V&A Museum, Artissima, WIELS, Camden Arts Centre, Haus der Kunst, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, and many more.

De Bondt is a teacher and researcher at KASK/School of Arts in Ghent, and previously taught at Central Saint Martins (London) and the Royal College of Art (London). She has given talks and workshops at conferences such as Integrated (Antwerp), Spark (Auckland), Otis (Los Angeles), and Kolla (Stockholm). In 2008, De Bondt founded Occasional Papers together with Antony Hudek, and since then has co-edited three books: The Master Builder: Talking with Ken Briggs and The Form of the Book Book (both with Fraser Muggeridge) and Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983–2011) (with Catherine de Smet).

(Photo © Jason Wen)


Nelly Gable

Type punchcutter at the Imprimerie Nationale, Nelly Gable was appointed Maître d’art (Living treasure of art) by the Ministry of Cultural affairs in 2013.

A graduate of the École Boulle in Paris, Gable had to impose herself in a male-dominated profession. She first worked in jewelry as a relief engraver serving Murat (for Guy Laroche and others). Then, in 1987, she entered the Cabinet des poinçons of Imprimerie Nationale to practice an endangered trade, that of type punchcutter.

Gable specializes in the graphic arts: “When we have experimented with other types of engraving, we realize that here we need extreme rigor. A letter is not like a jewel, it is part of a set. If the type weight is too bold or too light, the harmony of the page is no longer respected. We must facilitate reading.”

Gable, the first woman punchcutter, works at the restoration of the collections and is in charge of watching over the engraved heritage of the Cabinet des poinçons, which includes about 700,000 pieces classified as Monuments historiques. In 2002, Gable spent a year studying the striking of matrices with a former Foucher founder of the Imprimerie Nationale.

Gable is co-author of Pérennité des poinçons et matrices. Les principaux graveurs du XXe siècle, published in the book Histoire de l’écriture typographique, le XXe siècle, tome 1 : de 1900 à 1950. Publisher: Atelier Perrousseaux.

On February 26, 2018, punchcutting was finally listed in the inventory of French intangible cultural heritage.



Fred Smeijers

Fred Smeijers is a Dutch type designer, teacher, researcher, and writer. Educated at the school of art in Arnhem, he worked as a typographic advisor to the reprographic company Océ, then became a founding member of the graphic design practice Quadraat, which provided the name for his first published typeface (FontFont, 1992). 

Among the most versatile contemporary type designers, Smeijers has a range of distinctive typefaces to his credit: Renard (TEFF), Nobel (DTL), Arnhem, Fresco, Sansa, Custodia, Ludwig, and Puncho—first published by OurType, the font label that he co-founded and led as creative director until 2017. His custom type designs include bespoke typefaces and lettering for Philips Electronics, Canon-Europe, Tom-Tom, Samsung, and Porsche.

Smeijers’ first book, Counterpunch, was published by Hyphen Press in 1996, followed by the second edition in 2011 and translations into French, Japanese, and Portuguese. In 2001, Smeijers was awarded the Gerrit Noordzij Prize for outstanding contribution to type design, part of which was a book about his work: Type Now (Hyphen Press, 2003). In 2016, the Society of Typographic Aficionados awarded Smeijers the SOTA Typography Award.

Smeijers is a research fellow at the Plantin Museum in Antwerp, professor of type design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, and visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.