Mary Ann Bolger, Clare Bell

Divided by a Common Typeface

December 19, Friday 19:00 – SALT Galata

free admission

Probably no other area of visual culture is so ubiquitous and yet so invisible as typography. In everyday life, typography is looked through, rather than at. In Ireland, certain styles of lettering have come to be associated with ‘Irishness’, whether‘ authentic’ or ‘fake’. On directional road signs, posters, book covers, murals, monuments, newspapers, packaging shop-fronts and buildings, the role of lettering in the construction of Irishness is evident in a vast range of objects.

In tracing the development and mediation of Irish cultural and national identity through the use of ‘Irish’ lettering and typographic styles, this lecture examines the historical means by which such forms became the dominant and ‘natural’ way to write ‘Irishness’. The Irish language is a fundamental term in the discourse of Irish national identity, yet its visual manifestation through typography is often over looked.

Through the course of the lecture, Clare and Mary Ann will explore how the visual representation of one language can be ‘translated’ into another. They look at how typography enhances the symbolic utility of language as a conduit for myth, and for the demarcation of religious and cultural difference in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Mary Ann Bolger is a lecturer in design history and critical theory at the School of Art, Design & Printing, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Her primary research interests are in twentieth-century Irish graphic design and typography, material religion and visual culture. She is a graduate of the joint Victoria and Albert Museum / Royal College of Art M.A. in History of Design and is currently completing a PhD on the topic of post-war Irish typography and graphic design at the Royal College of Art.

With her DIT colleague, Clare Bell, Mary Ann represents Ireland as country delegate for the Association Internationale Typographique (ATypI). Together they organized the2010 ATypI conference in Dublin. They are co-founders and coordinators of Typography Ireland, a research group dedicated to furthering typographic practice, research and education in Ireland. Mary Ann has written a book on Irish graphic design, Design Factory: On the Edge of Europe (Dublin & Amsterdam: Lilliput/BIS,2009), as well as many articles and conference papers. Her most recent publication is an essay on graphic design and typography in 1950s Ireland in the exhibition catalogue Patrick Scott: Image Space Light, (Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2014). She has an unfashionable fondness for the typeface American Uncial.

Clare Bell lectures in Visual Communication at the School of Art, Design & Printing, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). She received her BA in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins and worked for a number of years as an editorial designer on The Guardian newspaper. She is currently undertaking PhD research entitled ‘Typography, culture and society: the visual representation of the Irish language in Northern Ireland’at DIT.

She is co-coordinator and founder member of Typography Ireland which runs a monthly seminar group with the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM), and represents Ireland both as country delegate and as a board member of Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). She was also co-organiser of ‘TheWord 2010’, ATypI’s annual conference held in Dublin in 2010. She is a regular assessor on the educational student awards issued annually by the International Society of Typographic Designers. She is a practicing designer and recent clients include IMRAM Irish Language Literature Festival, In Print journal (DIT), Typography Ireland, NCAD/GradCAM (Object Matters: Making 1916), ATypI (The Word 2010), The Joinery Gallery and Soundsdoable radio production company (Culturefile/Soundstories).

Jonathan Barnbrook

What You Want Is Not What You Need

May 02, Friday 19:00 – SALT Galata

free admission

The talk is a journey through 20 years of personal and professional projects. The subjects covered range from the trouble caused naming a typeface after a serial killer, to the work for the designs on the secretly recorded album for David Bowie ‘The Next Day’. Barnbrook will also be showing his anti-advertising work and wide ranging political projects. The talk does not aim to explain ‘how’ but very much why, in a wider context of all society not just the world of graphic design.

Jonathan Barnbrook is one of the most well-known graphic designers in Britain. Rather than becoming a purely commercial designer he has chosen to work with a mixture of cultural institutions, activist groups and charities as well as completing a steady stream of personal posters. He is also know for his collaborations with Adbusters, Damien Hirst, his work for David Bowie,. His ubiquitous fonts such as ‘Mason’ and ‘Exocet’ are released through Emigre and his font company Virusfonts. His contribution to graphic design was recognised by a major exhibition at the Design Museum, London in 2007.

Jérôme Knebusch

From Handwriting to Type Design

December 20, Friday 19:00 – SALT Galata

free admission

Instant is a type family with no common distribution of roman, italic and their respective heavier or lighter fonts. Instead, a ‘diagonal’ has been adopted: from thin, informal, quick handwritten letters to stable, black typographic shapes. Each of the five styles correspond to a specific stroke speed and weight: Vivid, Quick, Regular, Slow, Heavy. Started as research project in 2005 at National Atelier for Typographic Research [ANRT, Atelier National de Recherche Typographique] France, hommage to the poet, painter and writer Henri Michaux (1899–1984), it questions type family consistency and the relation and usage of roman, italic and bold faces. The talk will go back to it’s genesis and drawing process as well as discussing type classification and fundamental aspects of letter constructions.

Jérôme Knebusch works in visual art, graphic design, editorial design, typography and type design. He teaches graphic and type design at the Lorraine School of Fine Arts, Metz, and is regulary visiting the post-graduate National Atelier for Typographic Research [ANRT], Nancy, both in France. He lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Instant, published by BAT Foundry Paris, was selected favorite typefaces of 2012 by Typographica and best ten fonts of 2012 by Fontwerk.