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Work / Publication

Design studio work-form talk awkward typography, black holes and metallic gold

Everything is Sculpture: Immaterial Constructions, Material Realities developed out of a series of talks held by the Royal College of Art’s sculpture department on issues and ideas relating to the production of, and potential contexts for, sculpture today. Designed by London-based studio, work-form, the publication is a magpie’s dream – oversized, metallic gold and glossier than a 90s hair advert.

“A lot of our initial conversations with the editors surrounded ideas of contrast”, work-form tells It’s Nice That. “It’s a publication with a deliberately provocative title, yet it contains texts that, in a number of cases, appear to have little direct relevance to sculpture – for example, the essay about black holes.” The designers wanted to reflect theses contrasts in content in the publication’s form: “[it’s] deliberately large-scale, yet light-weight in its use of materials – a decision triggered by the convention of sculpture as a material medium, something that has to have weight, or presence.”

Threading this principle through their design process, work-form emphasised the principle of contrasts in the use of glossy magazine paper, variations in type style, size and layout. “We wanted to shift the perceptions and expectations that the reader might have, by presenting what are often serious, scholarly texts on glossy magazine paper and reflecting each shift in tone – from panel discussions to biographical texts and lecture transcriptions – through changes in typeface” work-form tells us.

“The use of gold was in response to the title, and the choice of type on the cover was intentionally heavy and a bit awkward. We wanted it to stand in contrast to the sensitivity in the tone of the publication” they say. For work-form, Everything is Sculpture was an opportunity to design the publication in a way that made it “feel something like an object”, or perhaps, sculpture.

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art

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work-form: Everything is Sculpture, Royal College of Art