Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language at New York’s Museum of Modern Art has brought together 12 contemporary practitioners and an estimable spectrum of key 20th Century artists who do as the Dadaists do and eschew rational structures of language, form, sound – taking language, in particular typography, and “freeing it from its communicative and descriptive duties.”
Using all possible media, it’s a reinterpretation of written communication by designers, writers, performers, poets and artists, from Tauba Auerbach’s segment display paintings, essential concrete poetic works from the likes of Marcel Duchamp, spoken word by William Borroughs and Laurie Anderson and, notably, an installation by British graphic designer Paul Elliman.
Elliman has been collecting man-made objects – cutouts, offcuts, outtakes and takeaway cutlery – and building a kit of parts out of which he has created a usable font where no character is used more than once. For any designer/communicator, it’s a fascinating and liberating way to approach typography and Elliman’s growing collection has been of some interest to artists and designers alike since it’s start at the end of the 1980’s.
It’s exciting that typography and language is getting so much attention and Elliman’s Found Font is just one facet to a full spectrum of contextual and critically contemporary work that is being produced to continue the wilful misuse of words so that we might discover new ones to describe them better.
- All of human life was there: welcome back to the Best of the Web
- Jody Barton's passionate and political work masters many disciplines
- A Hail Mary pass: how to win the ads at the Super Bowl
- February diary: Where to go and what to see
- Hey Studio’s athletic and geometric typeface for ESPN’s magazine
- Karl Hab’s hypnotic photographs taken out of a plane window
- The importance of creative education: why making is as important as maths, reading and science
- Why Fonts Matter, and how they impact your mood
- How to beat creative block: one designer offers his invaluable advice
- Pentagram’s dynamic and shifting identity for a Serbian digital arts festival
- PETA’s x-rated Super Bowl advert banned from TV (NSFW)
- Bureau Mirko Borsche works with Nike Basketball on a new graphic language