Yesterday morning, I attended the CreativeMornings event in Vienna. Lukas Paltram, the speaker, shared what inspired him and his team in the development of the font for the Austrian capital.
(Super interesting, even when you’re not a typography nerd. You can check out the talk in a short while on the CreativeMornings Vienna website.)
Lukas talked about the historical influences that inspired him and his team. He allowed us a glimpse into the mind of font creators and what factors shape their decision so they create beautiful art like Wiener Melange, the name of the official font of the City of Vienna.
I learned a lot of new things during this delightful morning.
The same day I started my journey to Ireland. Arriving in Dublin and moving further down to Cork the next day, I couldn’t help but check out street signs, shop windows, pub names and book covers to get a sense of what the typography is telling me about this place that I feel so connected to.
Here’s a few impressions of where my eyes wandered:
The wonderful, insightful and fun talk has definitely shaped how I walked around the rest of the day and the following week.
I was welcoming the inspiration and let it influence my experience. For me, it was also a conscious process. I was quite aware how the glasses that I put on on my trip were influenced by the information that I absorbed just before embarking on the plane.
The reason why I’m writing about this is that we are not just influenced by the information input we’re absorbing consciously. I believe we’re influenced by all the information, emotion, energy we consume and ideas that surround us, to a great extent unknowingly.
Moving from this inspirational example to looking at the larger picture, you can say that our culture, values and norms shape how we experience the world and what we pay attention to.
Unless those values and norms are in our conscious awareness, our experience – and subequently our mindset, emotional state and actions – will be shaped by the unconscious, our autopilot.
If you’re only looking for what’s hard or difficult, you will always find something that’s hard or difficult.
If you are hung up on a problem, you will never be able to fully let go of it or transform it. The glasses you put on are the ‘problem detection’ glasses.
The news you absorb shape your experience. They shape the glasses you put on when you leave the house or meet a stranger.
And what you learn and absorb not only shapes what you see, but your entire experience.
Defining our current culture’s values is a first step in identifying what is influencing your thinking, feeling and being. Once you’re clear about hat, you can re-evaluate if those are the values you want to embody and x. If something doesn’t work for you, it’s up to you to take the lead and intentionally change it.
Change happens one person at a time. One situation at a time.
Individual experiences shape the collective.
What collective do you want to live in?