Typography Exhibitions 2013

Typography is quite often part of design exhibitions, but typography (almost) only exhibitions are less common. That’s why today we talk about 3 special exhibitions that you can visit these days in Europe and USA.

Chris Bracey – I’ve Looked Up To Heaven and Been Down to Hell

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This is London-based light artist Chris Bracey’s first major UK solo exhibition celebrating his lightning designs. We’re talking neon lights, so you’ll discover plenty of intriguing typography. Bracey has worked with neon and lights for over thirty years and the title of this exhibition alludes to his remarkable journey and career.

His personal life story is just as interesting as his career. His father was a neon sign-maker and Chris learnt to manufacture and design the neon signs at an early age. When it comes to his career, his fan base resembles a wing of Madame Tussauds, with names like David LaChapelle, Stella McCartney, Martin Creed, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. He also created installations for films like Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”, Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the Batman films.

You’ll discover iconic imagery from tattoo culture, Las Vegas and the streets of Soho too. But there’s so much more in this dense exhibition filled with wonder, nostalgia and glamour, while raising questions about morality, spirituality and the role neons play in society. The London exhibition runs until 1 June. And remember, “Neon is only happy when it’s on, when it’s alive”.

Pencil to Pixel typography exhibition, New York

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From London we move to New York for the ultimate showcase for the font fiends in all of us. Guilty for this treat is the British typography firm Monotype. Their exhibition offers typography fanatics a chance to get up close to rare implements, artwork and artifacts relating to type history charting the development of typography up to its present technology-infused state.

The exhibition opened last week and is actually a reprise of a first installment that was staged in London last November. The American leg will feature examples with special relevance to the United States, such as a copy of the 1931 Linotype magazine ‘Typographic Sanity,’ published in Brooklyn, as well as original Monotype Centaur typeface drawings by American typographer and type designer Bruce Rogers.

Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh

6 Things by Sagmeister & Walsh-The Jewish Museum, New York

Stefan Sagmeister (b. Bregenz, Austria, 1962) and Jessica Walsh (b. New York, 1986) are two designers known for their experimental typography and striking visual imagery. Six Things marks the first exhibition of their newly founded design firm. Sagmeister is the recipient of numerous design awards, including two Grammy awards for his packaging designs, while Walsh is a multidisciplinary designer, previously worked at Pentagram Design and Print magazine. The New York Times, AIGA, and EDP are among her clients.

Their work is by turns playful and unsettling, humanist and existential, and often expands the definition of design, embracing film, sculpture, poetry, and performance. Six Things is a continuation of a project on happiness. In five compelling short videos and a sound-activated sculpture, they examine six things culled from Sagmeister’s diary that he believes have increased his personal happiness:

If I Don’t Ask I Won’t Get
Keeping a Diary Supports Personal Development
Be More Flexible
It Is Pretty Much Impossible to Please Everybody
Now Is Better
Feel Others Feel

Enjoy the exhibitions and their famous or less famous fonts. And don’t forget to let us know if you’ve seen any of these exhibitions or any new ones.