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Ein Paar Tage in Freiburg mit Smashing Magazine

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I've had a very pleasant few days in Germany. Good food, good beer, beautiful surroundings, and more web designers and developers than you can shake a Volkswagen at. Smashing Magazine have done a fantastic job of hosting their first ever conference!

The Main Venue Photo by SmashingMagazine

Monday morning kicked off with (coffee, obviously) name tags, goody bags and plenty of anticipation as the audience awaited the first speaker. I was situated more or less in the middle of everything. The seat next to me was empty and I was a little surprised when Oliver Reichenstein sat in it. What do you say to a typographical design icon, whose work you've been drooling over for years? I came up with:

Couldn't you get a seat at the front?

Brilliant, Ian.

Oliver Reichenstein on stage Photo by SmashingMagazine

But that's what happens at conferences where speakers and audience can mingle and talk - all the big names were available and approachable.


The line up of speakers was very impressive. Sixteen in total, delivering talks on web design business, technology, technique, theory, workflow and everything in between. Here's a quick breakdown:

Not bad, right?

(I wouldn't worry Lea - we're all human after all!)


Smashing Magazine have a great team - always friendly, always helpful, and their energy carried the whole event on perfectly. Let's face it, sixteen hours of talks in two days is pretty intense, but the atmosphere made sucking up all the information a breeze.

Saying that, the conference wouldn't have been what it was without Marc Thiele and Vitaly Friedman. Marc, who's found a niche in organizing web events (check out Beyond Tellerand if you're in Germany later this year) is the stage presence and social animal needed for the job. Vitaly, is the heart and soul of Smashing Magazine, famously friendly, and it was great to grab a beer and a chat with him on the closing night.

Vitaly and Marc Photo by SmashingMagazine

My original plan was to write a post, summarizing some of the things I've learned here. But that's not going to work - I've learned too much! Instead, you can expect some articles and tutorials which give some of my favorite tips and tricks the attention they deserve. Stay tuned for that..

In the meantime, you can check out the #smashingconf hashtag on Twitter, or the summary posts over on Smashing Magazine.

Smashing Magazine and Envato share many of the same values, so it's always a pleasure to see Vitaly's projects thrive. Smashingconf 2012 was a winner and whenever the next one happens (and it will) you need to get your name signed up as quick as you can - tickets will be snapped up faster than a new batch of smoked Black Forest sausages!

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