Documenting a lost iron-on typeface through 70s and 80s sub-cultures

Date
18 March 2015
Reading Time
1 minute read

A typeface without a name or a known designer is the subject of a new exhibition that chronicles its use in the 70s and 80s throughout a variety of subcultures. Heated Words: Initial Research is a show curated by Rory McCartney and Charlie Morgan, examining this typeface – one that existed only as physical iron-on flock lettering, and was appropriated by New York street gangs and b-boys, as well as band like The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite.

Available only through a few independent shops in New York between the early 70s and late 80s, its primary function had been for sports jerseys. The exhibition features photography, period apparel and ephemera depicting the rich cultural history of the type adopted by the likes of Malcolm McLaren, the club Paradise Garage , Biz Markie and the Rock Steady Crew.

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Heated Words: The Clash

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Heated Words: Rock City Crew

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Heated Words: Malcolm Mclaren

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Heated Words: Heated Words

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Heated Words: Furious Rockers

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About the Author

Billie Muraben

Billie studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art before completing an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. She joined It’s Nice That as a Freelance Editorial Assistant back in January 2015 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis.

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