The Type Directors Club (TDC) continues to explore the ways typography is used to form and transform creative communities and the broader culture, this time focusing on Latin America with Cha Che Chi, the upcoming edition of its Type Drives Culture conference series taking place virtually on March 3-4, 2023.
The name Cha Che Chi comes from sounds that echo across Latin America: chabona, chango, chava, chela, checar, chicha, chichón, chido, chimichurri, chulo, churro, salsicha, chimarrão, bochecha, pichação. Across languages, that common alliteration connects the cultures of the continent, serving as a thread amongst very diverse people.
TDC, part of The One Club for Creativity, will bring the dynamic range and rhythm of Latin American culture as it manifests visually, and typographically. The conference will look at specific design movements and styles that are prevalent in Latin America, explore how the connection to history and heritage manifests among Latin American diaspora, and showcase for the rest of the world on how Latin American typography and design exists and innovates.
The conference lineup was curated by Sol Matas, Berlin-based independent type designer originally from Argentina and a member of the TDC Advisory Board, and Laura Scofield, a Brazilian-born, New York-based designer, strategist, and educator who currently serves as senior design manager at The Atlantic Re:think. Both will introduce, and moderate sections, of the conference.
Other confirmed speakers include:
“Cha Che Chi is a unique forum for the design and typographic communities to explore cultures that aren’t often gathered on the same stage,” said Sol Matas. “The scope of Latin American communities is enormous, and spread over a vast geography including the diaspora. This will be a rare opportunity to celebrate the abundance it has to offer.”
The conference will cover a range of topics, from amateur street typography to agency boardrooms. Presentations and discussions will include the behind-the-scenes of a logotype that dances to the beat of Rio Carnival, distinctive reinterpretations of popular Mexican imagery, Perú’s Chicha public placard and poster styles, the evolution of a campaign to raise women’s voices, and how lettering and politics mix in the famous distinctive style of Brazilian graffiti Pichação.
Conference branding was created by Nubia Navarro at Nubikini Studio in Bogotá. Encompassing vivid colors, rectilinear patterns, and constant movement, the brand is inspired by aguayo cloth, street lettering traditions, and the ingenuity of having to innovate out of limited resources — bringing together a clash of traditional and digital, old world and new.
Cha Che Chi follows on the heels of TDC’s Ezhishin, the first-ever conference dedicated to Native North American typography held last fall.