Birmingham could lead the world in typographic design, according to the founder of an international festival that has moved to the city from Hertfordshire.

Caroline Archer, from Typevents, said Birmingham had the history and the talent to build a worldwide reputation for excellence in the creation of typefaces.

Ms Archer, who organises the Plus International Design Festival which takes place in Birmingham this month, said typography was increasingly important in an age dominated by the internet.

She added: "Good typography is more critical than it has ever been. We live in such an information-based society nowadays.

"Much of what we do is self service - such as online banking - and these things need instructions, and that means using words.

"The UK has good reputation for typography and there is kudos attached to being a British designer. By holding an international festival showcasing this talent, puts Birmingham in a very good position."

This will be the second year that the Plus festival will take place in the city, having moved from London in 2006.

Ms Archer said: "We had held the festival in London for four years, but last year our venue wasn't available.

"We decided to come to Birmingham instead, because the festival coincided with 300 years since the birth of John Baskerville."

John Baskerville was a Birmingham printer and typographer who designed the Baskerville typeface. He was born in Wolverly, Worcestershire, in 1706.

Ms Archer - who previously worked for publisher Faber & Faber - said the city's connection to Baskerville, the legacy of the Birmingham School of Print (now part of the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design) and the wealth of talent in the city made it a perfect location for the Plus Festival.

She said: "As an outsider, I was completely ignorant of Birmingham design and was totally overwhelmed by the wealth of talent and its vibrancy. Those local agencies that exhibited last year have huge potential and, when people come back to the event this year, I think they will see how these firms have progressed in the imaginative exhibits.

"Birmingham definitely hide hides its light under a bushel. There's a very intense design community here - it's very active, strong and it's very supportive.

"Whilst there is a rivalry between different design agencies, they are also willing to pull together which is why last year we were able to run the festival in the city at such short notice."

Ms Archer added that she hoped the festival would help encourage more designers and agencies to see Birmingham as world leader.

She said: "This festival is not just another Birmingham festival. It is an international festival help in Birmingham. It is these sorts of events that the city needs to hold if it wants to encourage talent to stay here.

"For example, we know that Birmingham design students that attended the festival last year were enthused by what they saw. If this gives them a reason to stay in the city, it allows Birmingham to build its reputation."

Plus, which runs from October 17 to 19, is now permanently based in Birmingham and will include a conference, exhibitions, workshops, public lectures and walking tours taking in the city's typographical heritage.

Ms Archer, who has now relocated Typevents from Watford to Birmingham, said: "Although we lost a few of our audience from London when we moved, the festival has maintained the same number of international visitors and added a few from elsewhere in the UK. Those who have come from foreign countries have been very impressed with the city." Ms Archer also praised the support she had received from local bodies such as Birmingham Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Birmingham City Council.

"In our experience, we have found Birmingham a fertile place for creativity and we have been amazed by the assistance we have received form local public bodies. Such an enlightened approach to the creative industries makes it an impressive place to be." :