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Graphic Stories Cyprus: Carson, Beetroot, Tsevis and more highlights from the 5th creativity fest you should know


or three days this past spring the graphic design community gathered in Cyprus for the fifth Graphic Stories Cyprus, Conference on Graphic Design & Visual Communication. Held with great success between 15-17 of March 2019, with the partnership of the Bank of Cyprus, the event included lectures by prominent designers and professionals in visual communication, both from Cyprus, Greece and abroad, specialized workshops and the highly curated and inspiring exhibition of the established international poster contest. Here, exclusively for Typeroom, Angeliki Athanasiadi presents us with the highlights of this ultra-successful venue.

The conference’s lectures took place on Friday 15th of March at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. Dr. Katerina Lambrou, Head of the Press and Communication Office of the Embassy of Greece in Cyprus, referred to the utilization of the dynamics that has developed in recent years in the field of audiovisual both in Greece and in Cyprus, as a means of development, while stressing the state's support for any remarkable action centered on culture and arts.

Yiorgos Tsangaris, artistic director of the international festival of Animation of Cyprus, Views of the World, presented through artistic posters - his own and friends - many fruitful collaborations that were born from 2001 until today, aiming at the promotion of independent cinema. The presentation included collaborations with top artists of the international community regarding the design of posters for the festival.

Illustrator Costis Papatheodorou in his lecture entitled "Revolution and Artists" answered questions related to the evolution of arts and their relation to the progress of technology, over time. How much revolution does a paint tube carry? How many artists does a graphic tablet launch? To conclude that art advances hand in hand with technology and our perception follows.

The well-known designer and academic Costas Mantzalos, through a historical retrospection on Graphic Arts in Cyprus from 1960 until today, in a lecture of particular local interest, referred to the evolution of the design culture on the island, accompanying his presentation with visual material and examples of graphic arts in Cyprus from 1960 until today.

Artist Irini Gonou talked about the power of words that protect through writing, as in many traditional societies and cultures they are said to have magical qualities and provide metaphysical protection. She presented her study of how poetic vocabulary replaces magical prescriptions by reviewing existing perceptions and reviewing the healing properties of art in modern society.

The President of the Association of Cypriot Cartoonists, Sotos Voskaridis - BOSS with his distinguished humor, spoke about the value of cartoons as an educational tool, stressing that people's hope for a better society is School.

Journalist Apostolos Kouroupakis and internationally renowned designer Charis Tsevis presented for the first time to the general public the book-album "Graphic Stories" by Angeliki Athanasiadi, speaking of the importance, historical and educational role of books, especially in modern digital time. The 256-page "Graphic Stories" album contains 62 theoretical texts and articles, in the form of a chronograph, aimed at introducing and familiarizing the reader with the basic concepts of visual communication and design and 28 interviews of important professionals from the field of visual communication and arts, from Greece and Cyprus.

This album can be considered as a guidebook of reference, the first and only of its kind, for contemporary graphic arts and visual communication both in Greece and in Cyprus. Thus, the target group of the book are not only professionals and higher education students in the field of graphic arts and visual communication, but also high school students and the general public who is seeking for a comprehensive guide to the creative world of modern visual arts. Parachute Typefoundry fonts are exclusively used in the design and creation of this album, which is prefaced by the founder of Parachute Typefoundry, Panos Vassiliou.

The well-known illustrator and calligrapher Vladimir Radibratovic talked about the majesty of the letters and the playful search for their unique shape and form. He showed letters he created with the usual calligraphy tools and letters she drew from hair, flour, stones, clouds, and even coffee.

The director, Konstantinos Kambouroglou, spoke about his documentary "How to Steal a Chair", which was screened on Saturday, March 16, at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. He explained how and why he started from New York, telling the story of Stergios Delialis and the legendary Design Museum of Thessaloniki and how he witnessed the last battle in a war that was lost 20 years ago.

"Love, Peace, Technology from Cyprus" was the title of the lecture by famous designer Charis Tsevis. The creative, based in Anarita, Paphos, honouring and serving every one of these values, producing visual communication and expression for every (sunny and not so sunny) side of the planet.

Elias Pantikakis of the award-winning creative office Beetroot Design Group, represented by himself and the co-founder of Beetroot, Yiannis Charalambopoulos, analyzed through his lecture entitled “Going hybrid” how the new media and tools are challenging traditional graphic design.

The lectures of the conference ended with the presentation of the most famous contemporary graphic designer, the man who challenged and rewrote all the rules of traditional graphic design and typography. David Carson, the "superstar" of visual communication, was present at the 5th Graphic Stories Cyprus Conference, and sparked the audience not only with his creations but also with the immediacy and simplicity of his character which you rarely meet in professionals of this range.

With the comfort of a Hollywood star, but at the same time accessible and sincere, he greeted the crowd that shuddered the lecture hall and paid the organizers' credit, saying "Congratulations, you have succeeded where others have failed", basically acknowledging with his "vote of confidence”, the serious and systematic work of all these years. David Carson unveiled some of his recent works, along with a brief review of his career, while analyzing the importance of using the intuition and uniqueness of a designer in each of his work.

The lectures were followed by the inauguration of the poster exhibition of the 3rd International contest by Graphic Stories Cyprus, entitled "Graphic Design, Challenging the Perception", as well as the winners' award.

The contest gathered 800 posters from 27 countries from all over the world. The exhibition included 50 distinguished works that emerged from the competition, as well as 16 artworks by remarkable designers including the world-renowned designer David Carson and Angeliki Athanasiadi, Adonis Papadopoulos, Andreas Pitsillides, Aristarchos Papadaniil, Irene Gonou, Kostas Kanellopoulos, Costas Mantzalos, Michalis Theocharides, Paris Koutsikos, Spyros Drakatos - Tonia Avgoustaki, Charis Tsevis, Chao Yang, Kirill Sukhanov, Nataliya Schigorets and Sina Afshar

In the international category of the contest for professionals, the winner was Luis Antonio Rivera Rodriguez from Mexico, while in the corresponding category of the contest for international higher education students, Kai Wang from China was the winner. In the category of the Cypriot higher education students, Andreas Panayi was the winner, while in the category of the Cypriot students of lyceums and technical schools the winner was the student Marilena Papakyriakou, who worked under the supervision of graphic art teacher Souli Christou. The prizes were offered by the Bank of Cyprus and Parachute Typefoundry.

At the same time, on the same weekend, three specialized workshops were organized to provide accumulated and professional level knowledge and experience to the participating designers, professionals and students. The themes included calligraphy by Vladimir Radibratovic, improvised natural tools, traces and writing by Irini Gonou and digital illustration of a realistic portrait by Costis Papatheodorou. Also, two children's workshops were held, challenging the perception, by Panagiota Michael and cartoons by Sotos Voskaridis.

Graphic Stories Cyprus Conference was selected as one of the best festivals in Europe by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and was awarded the EFFE Label Award of Quality for Europe for the period 2019-2020. Graphic Stories Cyprus is an institution established in the consciousness of professionals, higher education students and high school students in the field of graphic arts and visual communication, with its continuous presence and its manifold action in the cultural events of Cyprus and renews its appointment with the creative community of the island from 6-8 of March 2020 for the 6th Conference on Graphic Design & Visual Communication in Cyprus.


Graphic Stories Cyprus' International Poster Exhibition, titled "Graphic Design, Challenging the Perception", will be presented at the 7th ICTVC, International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication, held from 17 to 21 June 2019 in Patras, Greece.

Enter the celebration of graphic design in the island of Cyprus here and do buy the album here.

Held with the partnership of the Bank of Cyprus, Graphic Stories Cyprus media sponsors are Politis newspaper, the cultural inlet "Parathyro", 107.6 FM Politis radio and RIK and our very own Parachute TypeFoundry. The conference is held under the auspices of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media of the Hellenic Republic and the Municipality of Nicosia.