Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Monotype Exhibition Review

On Friday, I went to the Monotype - Pencil to Pixel exhibition at Metropolitan Wharf. It featured material from Monotype’s historic archive of original artwork, type drawings, equipment and publications.
However, I was personally a little disappointed...
Don't get me wrong, it was a beautifully designed exhibition. It did indeed feature original type drawings, artefacts, publications and assorted ephemera. It was held in a posh space with some very nice glass topped display cases and slick exhibition graphics. It was very, very interesting but I guess I was just expecting something more ...physical.
It's not that I was expecting some heavy metal letterpress typefest but I think that there was just a lack of sheer physicality! It may have conveyed the the day to day workings of a drawing office in an academic sense but I feel it missed the part that the manufacturing process played in the practicalities of type design in a historical context.

Luckily for me, the tour that I was on was conducted by Dan Rhatigan from Monotype (below) who was an excellent guide - very interesting and he made the exhibition come alive.
There was archive film about Linotype machines and many past issues of the Monotype Recorder - (although I can't recall reference to Beatrice Warde, surely the most well known editor, although I may have missed this) and they were all safely in glass cabinets.

It contained much about the design of particular typefaces - all interesting stuff but I just thought that as an "archive" show, it was a little lacking in the explanation and possibly demonstration about just how physical and industrial the world of type and print was, back in the 20th century - all a bit too smart and shiny for me! (...and possibly a bit more pixel than pencil).

Pretty good but not brilliant ( ...in my opinion!)

Pencil to Pixel is supported by: SEA Design | D&AD | The University of Reading | Eye Magazine | The Drum| Pureprint Group | That other paper company based in Hull!
Posted by Justin Hobson 27.11.2012

1 comment:

  1. Hi J
    Still loving the blog. I read your piece on this exhibition and I think you might be right. I went along and thought it was OK but I wonder if I was swayed by the reviews by Designweek, creative review, eye and other blogs which of course have universally praised it! I reckon that you might have something here. it was OK but just not that great. Keep blogging. Best, Beanie


Thanks for your comment! If I like it, I'll add it on. Cheers J