Ruth was asked to speak at the private view of the London Transport Museum exhibition ‘Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design’ which opened on 13 October 2017. As part of her ongoing research into the history of women in graphic design in Britain, Ruth wrote an essay for the book that accompanies the exhibition.
We designed the graphics for the Crafts Council’s touring exhibition ‘A Curious Turn’. The exhibition launched in London a few days ago, and will set off on a nationwide tour in October. The exhibition explores the history of automata – ‘amazing moving mechanical sculptures’ operated by the turn of a crank to set the mechanics in motion to amaze, entertain and provoke thought in the audience.
Coinciding with Women’s History Month, and international women’s day, the exhibition was based on Ruth’s ongoing research into the history of women in Britain in graphic design. It was on show to the public at Central Saint Martins from 23 February to 22 March 2016.
Many thanks are due to the team of CSM graduates and students who helped make the show happen: Miho Aishima and Kat Garner for their invaluable work on curation and design. Thank you also to Amanda Choy, Clara Metter, Elky Li, Emilien Rabin, Lucy Budd and Syd Hausman.
During the restoration of the Sandham Memorial Chapel, Stanley Spencer’s First World War paintings which were painted for the chapel were shown in an exhibition at Somerset House. The exhibition, designed by Casson Mann, showed the paintings as they would have been in their original setting in the chapel, but gallery lighting enabled visitors to see them as they had never been seen before.
Sandham Memorial Chapel
Stanley was commissioned by Mr & Mrs Behrend to paint the murals in their recently commissioned chapel in 1923, and they were completed in 1932. During our research into fonts of this period we discovered the font Granby, which was cut by foundry Stephenson, Blake & Co in 1930. Interestingly it is almost identical to Johnston, the font designed by Edward Johnston for the London Underground in 1915-16. So similar in fact, that why London Transport didn’t object to it being produced is not entirely clear, but it could be because Stephenson, Blake & Co. cut the original wooden masters for the Underground lettering.
Granby font sample
What we did
Due to the weights available, we decided to use the New Johnston font, which is an updated version of Johnston, but still keeps some of the original quirky features, for example the diamond dot above the ‘i’, and diamond shaped comma, and full stop.
Using this font as the basis for the identity REG designed the title panel, the exhibition graphics and accompanying booklet for the exhibition.
The booklet needed carried the caption texts for the main paintings so needed to be easy to carry around and have low production costs. We decided to use very thin paper – inspired by ‘bible paper’ – and to allow the ‘show-through’ of text to reflect the honest nature of the paintings. Inspired by churches and the period we used bronze staples to add a interesting detail. All the graphics were produced using one colour throughout the exhibition, for this we chose an earthy dark brown inspired by the colours in the paintings.
Thank you so very much indeed for all your work on this – you have combined period charm with contemporary elegance, and it looks wonderful.
Amanda Bradley, Assistant Curator of Pictures and Sculpture for the National Trust and co-curator of the exhibition.
REG has designed a new identity for Mike Smith Studio; design and art fabricators. The final part of this project is the launch of their new website which we designed & built using bespoke WordPress content management. Mike Smith Studio website.