Words. Where would they be without letters? Um, nowhere probably. We’d all be talking in 0s and 1s. And as big a fan of binary code as I am, a world filled only with 1s and 0s would just be, well, boring. Think of all the amazing glyphs we would be missing out in if our only form of written communication was a solitary straight line and an empty circle of no value. And don’t get me started on fonts – Franklin Gothic, Avant Garde Gothic Pro, MT Pop, Alchemy – my life would be so Times New Roman without them.
Our generation has grown up with computer word-processing and most are probably oblivious to the hard work involved in creating fonts and types. To us, it is automatic. Just there when we need it. Unless you are a graphic designer or typesetter or typographist, the art of type setting is probably not something you think about. Typography is an old, old art form, dating back thousands of years. The Phaistos Disc, which is argued to be the first movable type printing mechanism, dates back to around 1700 BC, which is like, sometime between the dinosaurs and Jesus. In the past 2300 years or so, typography has come a long, long way. It’s pretty near impossible to escape some sort of type today. Just like STDs on Paris Hilton, it’s EVERYWHERE. Lisa Rienermann even sees it in gaps between buildings (letters, that is, not Hilton’s cooties).
But, if you’re like me and sick of staring at the 5000 words of Arial in your International Political Economy essay or that lettering on the back of your Nutragrain box is becoming a bit stale, you’ll probably be excited to hear that Peer Gallery in Glebe are putting on a exhibit showcasing nothing but type based artwork. Nothing but pretty, artistic, shiny, colourful looking words.
Curator Marty Routledge articulates my feelings better than I can:
“Typesetting was once a hailed artform. Today due to our need to evolve we
restrict our alphabet to be purely functional, legible and often emotionless. This show is going to smash all limitations of everyday type and bring the uniqueness and identity back into type styling. “
The exhibit features Ben Frost, Joel Birch, Dave Foster, Numskull, Edward Woodley, Roach, Damien Dlugolecki, Andreas Linnell, Josh Roelink, Ques, Mark Drew, Sytak and my favourite Sydney artist/photographer/designer, Beastman.
Opening night is Wednesday 25th February. The exhibition also marks the grand opening of the gallery. There will be booze. There will be food. There will be tunes provided by Bad Wives. The exhibition is for ONE NIGHT ONLY!
GO FONT UR SELF* at Peer Gallery 153 Bridge Road, Glebe.
And if you want to learn more about this ancient art, check out John Boardley’s i love typograhpy blog. It’s kinda fantastic.