Next Berlin speaker

Anna Hebbeln

More info

March 6, 8:30am • Spaces Prenzlauer Berg • part of a series on Identity

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Introducing CreativeMornings SKILLS!

by Katie Zanecchia

We know you’ve got skills! Hidden talents, creative hacks, professional expertise, self-mastered methods and crafts — the list goes on. There is no shortage of talent in the CreativeMornings community and we want to learn from you.

So, we’re inviting you, in video form, to answer the question: what will you teach the world in two minutes or less? We’re hoping this project inspires our community to showcase their skills and empower each other to celebrate our unique, quirky, fun, informative, creative talents. Let’s do this!

Anyone can watch videos, but you must login to your CreativeMornings profile to upload your video. Don’t have an account? Create one!

FreshBooks and CreativeMornings

by Sally Rumble

CreativeMornings recently reached our 120th city globally (YAY!), and we’re thrilled to welcome FreshBooks as our new Official Partner for Invoicing and Accounting! The story about FreshBooks and CreativeMornings is a long one, going back to the very beginning.

One September morning in 2008, Tina Roth Eisenberg (swissmiss) started CreativeMornings as a “studio coffee and chat” in DUMBO with a room of 30 people. Amazingly, FreshBooks helped make that first event possible by buying everyone breakfast, and has supported the NYC chapter every breakfast since.

FreshBooks’ connection to the creative community dates back to when its founder and CEO, Mike McDermott was running his own design studio in 2003. In a moment of frustration over sending invoices to his clients, he coded a solution that led to a side project, which over the past decade has become the cloud-accounting system we now know as FreshBooks.

Similar to Tina’s mantra of “Don’t Complain, Create,” Mike has built FreshBooks bit by bit to help solve the invoicing and accounting woes of those running a small business. Mike also released a book aimed at helping creatives who have struggled to put a price on their services. “Breaking the Time Barrier” has been downloaded over 200,000 times.

Together, we are so excited to continue CreativeMornings’ free events to local creative communities around the world. See you in the morning!

To learn more about FreshBooks visit our partner page, and to become a FreshBooks customer, head to their website. (And, huge thanks to Tory Williams for shooting the image above!)

July’s theme is Collaborate!

We’re told that no man is an island. We’ve all had the opportunity to share great ideas, build exceptional things, and create something beautiful. Artistic collaborations throughout history have had their own way of propelling creativity, and often it’s the teamwork that leads to something remarkable. This month, 117 cities will be celebrating the theme of Collaborate.

This month’s theme was chosen by our Amsterdam chapter and the banner was photographed by the incredible Tory Williams. You might notice it’s a bit different than what we’ve had in the past — in the spirit of collaboration, we’d like to invite you to contribute to this month’s illustration. Head to our blog to learn more and get remixing:

A few speakers this month include:
• Phil Yisrael on building brands through the collaborative nature of Instagram (Amsterdam)
• Doug McCraw on organizing an emerging city hub for grass roots inspired creatives. (Ft. Lauderdale — their first event!)
• Antonio Sabater on supporting Latin American artists on YouTube. (Mexico City)
• Nadine Achilles on flexible workspaces. (Berlin)

 Sec Pitch, June 19, 2015: Summary & Links

1. Evgeny Onutchin, WebPgr, @webpgr on his new platform

“WebPgr is a fascinating live editing web design platform – no coding, no limits. Build zooming, swipeable and interactive web sites in a blink of an eye. Replace Flash with SEO compatible HTML code. Prototype, design, implement and host in the same place. Reach the editor directly from your website, simply drag, drop, move, rotate and resize your content.”

2. Anne Meekers, @AnneMeekers: Fjord, Berlin

“I’m a Business Developer at Fjord in Berlin. We’re a design and innovation consultancy, part of Accenture Interactive. With our new offices in Berlin (Pappelallee 78) we’re als offering 5 new positions:
• Business Design Lead
• Service Design Director
• Service Design Lead
• Senior Visual Designer
• Senior Interaction Designer”

June’s theme is Robot

Revolutions aren’t strangers to the creative community. We’re a community that breaks rules, challenges stereotypes, and makes change. We care deeply about the cities we live in and fight passionately for our convictions. This month, hosts and speakers in 115 cities will explore this theme of Revolution.

June’s global events are presented in partnership with Shutterstock. The theme was chosen by our Raleigh chapter and illustrated by the talented Mark Weaver.

A few speakers include:
• Dr. Paul Tinari hypothesizing about the lasting impacts of 3D printing (Vancouver)
• Kurt Cavanaugh championing urban planning as a revolutionary act (Charleston)
• Jennifer Armbrust exploring the collisions between business and art (Portland)
• Ian Warner speaking on architecture in the wake of the Berlin Wall (Berlin)

Free tickets for #cmber are available starting Monday, June 15 at 10:00 am CEST! Be sure to follow the global conversation on Twitter and Instagram with #CMRevolution and take part with our local hashtag #cmber.

 Sec Pitch, May 21, 2015: Summary & Links

1. Ake Rudolf, IDZ, @akerudolf: UX Design Awards

“The UX Design Awards by International Design Center Berlin honour outstanding design and user orientation in products, digital solutions and services. The competition is run annually. All nominated product solutions are presented to the general public at IFA, the global trade show for consumer and home electronics in Berlin.”

2. John Ngo, @jngo: Films & Conversations

“I’m John Ngo, an interaction designer and web developer, based in Berlin. I’m also the host of Films & Conversations – a regular meet-up serving a diet of counterculture, substantial ideas, and great conversations; through the medium of film. Subscribe our newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming screenings and purchase tickets.”

3. Daniel Trattler, @dantra: We’re hiring

“My company Eobiont is always interested in talented freelance print design aficionados, mobile technologists, digital interactive usability creationists, new media mavens, copywriters, photographers, illustrators, 3-D animators, motion designers, video producers and post-producers, experts, geniuses, legends, etc.”

4. Lucia Hodinka, @luciahodinka: Cloudreporter

“Share your nicest cloud images and coud stories with us on Cloudreporter! Whether you just want to send in a single cloudreport or plan on doing it regularly, reporting clouds is easy. Just e-mail your cloudreport to with the following information: location (ie. city, country), date and your preferred cloudreporter name (nicknames allowed); optional are title, time, and text. Make sure the photo is in landscape format. No fancy filters, we prefer natural colors. Remember: clouds play the central role in your photo. If they don't, it's not a cloudreport.”

5. Matt Earp, @fvonf: Freunde von Freunden

“I’m the Managing Editor of Freunde von Freunden in Berlin. FvF is an independent and international publication documenting inspiring people from diverse creative and cultural backgrounds. With our growing international team and readership, we are happy to announce the expansion of our Freunde von Freunden team in Berlin. If you want to help us take our growing family to the next level, please send us a short note about your skills and experience plus some work samples.”

6. Anne Meekers, @AnneMeekers: Fjord, Berlin

“I’m a Business Developer at Fjord in Berlin. We’re a design and innovation consultancy, part of Accenture Interactive. With our new offices in Berlin (Pappelallee 78) we’re als offering 6 new positions. And we like CreativeMornings to be our guest next month.”

May’s theme is Robot

114 chapters around the world are geared up to nerd out over this month’s theme: Robot, presented by MailChimp. The theme was chosen by our Prague chapter and illustrated by the amazing Ella Cohen.

As technology with a capital T continues to dominate our world, we’re exploring the role machines play in creativity and disruption — from 3D printing to healthcare to transportation.

A few speakers include:
• Carla Diana, designer-artist exploring the impact of future technologies (NYC)
Nerea Iriepa, student of robotics and organizer of RoboCupJunior 2015 (Malmo)
Gregor Hofbauer, photographer and creative director (Vienna)
Manfred Hild, Professor of Digital Systems (Berlin)

Please note, that this month’s CreativeMornings Berlin will not be on a Friday, but on Thursday, May 21 (Haus der Kulturen der Welt). As always, tickets are available the Monday before this talk (May 18). Be sure to use the hashtag #cmber and we’ll see you in the morning!

Nadine Chahine

The Making of Zapfino Arabic

by Ajda Zupančič (Text) and Norman Posselt (Photos)

On Friday, April 17 2015, CreativeMornings Berlin presented Nadine Chahine, a Lebanese type designer who works at Monotype as the Arabic type design specialist. Among others she designed arabic versions of Frutiger, Neue Helvetica, and Palatino. She talked about her latest and most challenging project – the Arabic version of the well established Latin script typeface Zapfino.

Chahine has always been interested in the relationship between Arabic and Latin and how they can coexist in harmony. The idea of working on Zapfino Arabic started as a joke amongst her colleagues at Monotype – it seemed way too complicated to be meant seriously. But in 2012 she did a PhD in legibility studies, focusing on Arabic script, for which she designed three typefaces, including Afandem typeface, which is based on manuscript Naskh. It was her first attempt at a calligraphic design and she enjoyed the drawing of it, the elegance, the fact that it is not utilitarian, and the nice movement that comes with it. And after designing something so complex, the idea became really interesting.

In summer 2012 she was almost finished with her PhD, and — as she described it — slightly masochistically, she decided to start working on Zapfino. Chahine drew a few characters, printed them out and went to visit professor Hermann Zapf. He liked the idea, and for the next two years she would be visiting him. Nadine Chahine would draw characters directly on the computer and Zapf would give her feedback. They would always have pear cake his wife had prepared.

Chahine’s approach to designing an Arabic version of a Latin type is very pragmatic: She always starts with looking at the intended function of the original typeface and the function of the Arabic has to stay the same. I​t’s impossible to just copy the Latin style and implement it. Z​apfino is based on professor Zapf’s handwriting, so it had to look like he would be writing in Arabic.

The first challenge was which way to tilt. Latin is written from left to right and Zapfino is slanted forward. But Arabic is written in the opposite direction, so here is the first problem. If Arabic was tilted forward they would clash together. If you tilt them in the same direction one is forward and one is backwards and the logic doesn’t work. There is a calligraphic style in Arabic where the writing is back­slanted, but it didn’t fit the other criteria, so it had to be a hybrid. Chahine wasn’t just designing a calligraphic typeface, she was inventing a calligraphic style.

Another issue were the proportions of the ascenders and descenders — t​hey had to be a little exaggerated to give it the “Zapfino flair”. How big could she make them to still be acceptable? At the end of the day it shouldn’t look like a joke, it should just look like someone was really excited.

With thicks and thins it had to follow the Zapfino, but not 100%. “There are thins that we can accept in latin but not in Arabic”, Chahine explains. One of the most difficult aspects of the design was to draw the characters separately and make them look like it was one stroke. In Arabic there are many different context sensitive forms, different versions of every character because of the connecting logic with the one that comes before and after. There are around 20 to 30 possibilities for each character and they all just have to work. In the end it resulted in around 600­–700 characters. “It’s not a lot, when I scroll down, it finishes quickly”, she says.

Her design tool was Glyphs, because it enabled her to design in string. The changing connecting logic made it impossible to design only in individual letters, so she had to design in words. “The open type features are very complex, kerning is a nightmare but with this tool it was manageable.”

The project was one of the most difficult she had worked on so far. Maybe that’s why she respectfully calls it her Mount Everest. “The unofficial name of Zapfino Arabic is ‘Designed With Love’, this is how difficult it was. The only easy thing about the project was the name, everything else was just suicidal“, Chahine sums up.

Interestingly enough, she finds designing Latin harder and more frustrating: “It’s like you guys are sitting so close to each other and you’re trying to find a space to sit in the middle. There are so many typefaces that exist and there is nothing you can draw that wouldn’t look like something else.”

At the end of her talk at Creative Mornings Nadine Chahine added that respect for the other should be the basis for anything, and not just in type: “Specifically with Latin and Arabic we need to respect the other and understand that they’re different and that it’s OK to be different. And then you can try to make them work together, live together. And I’m speaking culturally, politically and design wise — it’s all the same.”

This blog entry was written by Ajda Zupančič (middle) from EdenSpiekermann; Ajda is also member of the TYPO Berlin Editorial Team 2015

 Sec Pitch, April 17, 2015: Summary & Links

1. Harry Keller, Scenery

“Scenery is a new Mac-App that creates product mockups. Users choose from dozens of authentic scenes and all the latest devices to instantly create mockups for a presentations or marketing. Scenery saves hours of retouching: Just drop a screenshot and see your designs on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and the Apple Watch. The App gives access to a premium collection of device photography, incl. neutral shots of actual devices.“

2. Verena Gerlach, Studio Space

“I’m subletting a work desk in my beautiful little office. It is part of a studio space, I’m sharing together with four lovely, young architects. Located in the very heart of Kreuzberg, between U-Görlitzer Bahnhof and Paul-Linke-Ufer. It also provides a large meeting room, tea kitchen and a sunny balcony. Costs: €130/month, all inclusive. If you are interested, please just contact me via“.

3. Mihalis Eleftheriou, Course Creation Centre Berlin

“Language Transfer is a project which offers free downloadable language courses with a methodology that explores the pluralism in our languages and teaches practical speaking in record time! Apart from the free downloadable courses, we also give fascinating language workshops all around the world. To see if there is one near you, or to arrange one, get in touch with us via Language Transfer is an independent, unaffiliated and unfunded project.“

April’s theme is Humility

Now in 112 cities and counting, we’re thrilled to kick off a month around the theme Humility. The theme was chosen by our Orlando chapter and illustrated by the Sean Tulgetske. He’s specialized in working with his hands, crafting typography, illustrations, and other things around that nature. Sean’s work is heavily influenced by vintage americana, the 1950’s, and of course the great outdoors. 

Set your alarms to register for Berlin’s next Creative Mornings on Monday, 13 April, 10 am! Our speaker on April 17 will be Nadine Chahine … and we’re pretty sure it will be sold out within minutes.