In early November 2016 the Bartlett School of Architecture held Drawing Futures, a conference discussing “how the field of drawing might move forward as an important vehicle for speculation in the realms of art and architecture”. The research and explorations that led to the conference were collated into a book designed by the consistently formidable A Practice For Everyday Life.
The compendium of research on the subject “encompassed drawings, plans, photography and essays, so our design needed to be able to accommodate this wide range of different formats,” APFEL told It’s Nice That. “The layouts maximise the amount of content that can be included in each spread, whilst maintaining balance and offering breathing space to the diverse works and texts.”
To house all of this lengthy academic information the designers decided to completely typeset in Lining Gothic, “a decorative neo-grotesque sans serif typeface” created by A Practice of Everyday Life. The influence for the typeface came from the original Lining Gothic, a typeface of the same name that APFEL says was first advertised by the American Type Founders Company in 1897. The designers manipulated the original by transforming “the squared-off angles of its letterforms” the studio explains, in order to “give it a modern digital appearance, which belies the 19th Century origin.”
The logo for the event, printed in a luscious combination of orange and blue, is celebrated on the book’s front cover. APFEL explained that it used a medium weight of its devised typeface, “adapted to create links and bridges between the lettering until it takes on a structural quality, filling the space”.
Each element of A Practice For Everyday Life’s design for Drawing Futures, whether it be the typeface, layouts, use of imagery or colour combinations, reflect the content at hand. “Many of the works submitted for inclusion in the book were quite ‘maximalist’, detailed and visually busy, and we wanted to echo this in the design without creating an overwhelming effect," – an aim the production of this publication fully achieves.
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