For immediate release JY&A
Objectspace exhibition champions New Zealand typeface design
Auckland, July 29 (JY&A
Media) An exhibition, Printing Types: New Zealand Typeface
Design Since 1870, has opened at Objectspace (8 Ponsonby Road,
Auckland, New Zealand), featuring work from New Zealand typeface
designers including Joe Churchward, Jack Yan and Kris Sowersby.
Designer and curator Jonty Valentine noted that there
had been an inadequate recognition of the discipline, even though
New Zealand had been steadily building a type design industry over
a 140-year period.
Running from July 25 to September 12, with free admission,
the exhibition aims to remedy what Valentine calls the invisibility
of type design in New Zealand.
Valentine observes that the purpose of this project
is to begin to establish, or at least begin to lay the case for
such a series of stories and to question why there is
so little written about this subject.
Objectspace Director, Philip Clarke, notes that Printing
Types, is I believe, the first exhibition and related publication
completely focused on contemporary and historical New Zealand type
Two highlights of Printing Types include the
1960s’ achievements of internationally celebrated New Zealand–Samoan
Joseph Churchward who is the subject of a new book, Joseph Churchward
(ed. David Bennewith, published by Clouds, 2009) and Tom Elliott
(designer of the iconic 1970s’ Air New Zealand typeface).
Jack Yan, whose typeface designs kicked off the digital
era in the late 1980s, says that Valentine’s exhibition is welcome.
I’ve seen type design ignored even by professional
publications here in the 1990s, he recalls. I remember
the first bit of press coverage I ever got was in the US, at a time
when the New Zealand design press didn’t want to know.
One of the ironies from that era is his Décennie
typeface family, shown as part of Printing Types, and
used for the exhibition catalogue’s typesetting. It was originally
developed for an Australian newspaper.
Since then, he says it has been a battle
to change perceptions, something which began to shift in the 21st
Jonty Valentine’s Printing Types will
be seen, in future, as one of the landmark events that has helped
raise the visibility of New Zealand typeface design, just as Te
Papa’s recent exhibition on Joe Churchward’s work, he says.
Valentine will give a talk on the exhibition at Objectspace
on August 1 at 11 a.m.
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