Our aim is to develop our skills and knowledge. One of the ways to do that properly is undoubtedly taking part in different meetings, conferences and events. Last weekend we participated in Element Talks, which was a great occasion to get some new inspirations. From Tooploox we had 5 participants: Bartosz Bąk, Kasia Górska, Paweł Charatonik, Paweł Pych i Agnieszka Sierzputowska. Check out our review with pros and cons of the event! Let’s get started.
Element Talks in a Nutshell
Element Talks is a well-known conference for creatives that takes part every year in Warsaw and attracts many guests. During the fifth edition of the event, we could listen to many interesting speakers discussing various aspects of designer’s work. Apart from strictly “industry-wise” topics, speakers focused on creativity, the comfort of designers and their mental balance. Let us show you the highlights of this event.
Kasia’s, Product Designer review:
Have you ever waited in a long queue to get this poor piece of food at a conference? Sure you have. After eating you think only about taking a nap and try not to fall asleep during the speech. Or maybe you didn’t want to wait that long and grabbed something sweet instead?
Łukasz Zbieranowski from Fajne Chłopaki (Nice Guys) studio explained what we eat influence our creativity, concentration, and quality of our work. The talk resonated with me since it had been on my mind for a few days. Why do we keep our desks and (try to keep) our desktops clean but don’t care that much about how clean we eat? When you think about it for a second, it seems irrational to put junk into your body and expect to get something good in return – like good ideas or good frame of mind.
The Nice Guy gave us a few tips for everyday work. Eating vitamin E and C can help you cope with difficult projects and when you want to find the best solution for a big problem, it will only come to you when you are rested and relaxed. He also proposed a few easy things to improve your habits like trying to pick a fruit instead of something sweet and having your own live-saving snack package always with you.
Does it seem so hard, doesn’t it? Yes, we are lazy species but let’s hope the hype for a healthy lifestyle and photogenic fit snacks will help us.
Bartek’s, Product Designer review:
Opening keynote called: “FIBO Design System” by Adi Binder was one of the best I’ve seen during an entire conference, not only in terms of visual examples but also a great foundation.
Adi has shown a few techniques on how he approaches UI design in terms of the proportion of the elements he is using to create an experience. FIBO, this is how he called the framework, is a toolkit based on THE FIBONACCI Golden ratio which has been made to helps designers understand and create a better visual hierarchy.
This SEQUENCE can be applied not only to the information allocation but also fonts, icons, and general visual representation. He also showed us how he uses this method to design things, for example, a wall in his living room.
After a while, it turned out I was sort of a using this framework without even knowing it. I’ve already started researching about it and there is not much of information in the internet at this moment but you can take a glance at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfQd1Ql6Sgo to see what FIBO is about. I’d recommend it for any designer interested in experimenting with the scale.
Aga’s, Graphic Designer review:
That was my third time at Element Talks since its first edition in 2014. Even though I’ve changed as a designer/illustrator and Element Talks has changed, I still find this conference interesting and worth my time and money ( sorry for being so down-to-earth 🙂 ).
I loved Elementarz Projektanta ( the original name) and their previous editions for the content I got during the talks itself and motivation they gave me to new work. This year I’m not so inspired by the talks and speakers but totally different aspects of the conference and Element talks brand. Here’s what I mean:
I’m actually most inspired by the talks I had with other people I’ve met during the event. And I’m not even referring to the speed talks (which I find very cool) or the consultation with the speakers (which is more like a small version of Q&A after the talk). This year met so many of my fellow graphic designers, illustrators and all of the other creative industry folks that are just bananas! That’s why the whole event felt more like strange, creative summer camp (also because it was unbearably hot at the venue). The price of the conference is really affordable, so people from different parts of Poland can come and create this wicked festival of awesome people mostly wearing black, talking about Pantone’s, grids or deadlines and buying ridiculously expensive designy socks or magazines. And yes, I bought them too.
As for the speakers this year I loved Petra Eriksson’s talk – very organized, well-structured and interesting. I didn’t know her work until I saw her on stage, and man, what an amazing experience it is to see and hear the artist behind all this amazing art! It adds a totally new background for a viewer.
I need to also point out how element talks changed and turned into this full-package platform with online content and videos creating. Videos, and for creating a community of Polish designers that can meet and talk even more about their deadlines. I’m rooting for this initiative to grow even more and will look forward to the next editions. FYI, there will be a new event this autumn dedicated to UX only. So be sure to check their website to get all the details if interested.
Paweł’s, Graphic Designer review:
Every field of expertise has a few conferences throughout the year which are the most popular, most important, most valuable. Element Talks lived up to this reputation.
Many designers or people interested in design came to Warsaw. And so did we! I’ll not going to write about a specific presentation. There were some good ones, and bad ones all well (ones that shouldn’t even be there).
The whole event is so much more than a few famous designers talking about their job and ideas. It’s a place buzzing with new ideas, conversations about b-movie posters, new free fonts, toys from the 60’s. I mean is that even if the specific talk wasn’t great, or it was too hot in the room (ohh, it was), you could go outside and complain for a while with someone, which pretty soon led to a more meaningful conversation.
Also, if the content of the talk was poor or too general, I was focusing on the structure of the presentation, tricks to attract attention and stage presence. It was very inspiring to see so many different approaches and for sure it gave me some food for thought on how I could prepare my own presentation. Overall, it was a worthwhile experience to meet all those people, look outside my own bubble, charge design batteries and get some inspirations.
Paweł’s, iOS Developer review:
I’m always keen to dig a bit deeper into areas I’m working on, which are outside my expertise. Understanding how the half-products are made gives me an overview of the whole picture. This is how I view design as an iOS developer.
Element Talks seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to get some new inspirations and references. The talks I enjoyed most were the one given by Eike König called “PAST PRESENT FUTURE” and Deyan Sudjic’s “The Future of Design”. Although some talks seemed a bit general to me, I was able to save some references and discuss them with other participants during the after party.