On Corita Kent’s International Signal Code Alphabet

As part of the celebrations of what would have been designer and nun Corita Kent’s 100th birthday, a monograph of her International Sign Alphabet, which reimagined the possibilities of lettering and signs, is being published

Atelier Éditions, Corita Kent International Signal Code Alphabet spread

The publication of the monograph by Atelier Éditions, in collaboration with the Corita Art Center, coincides with a major exhibition on Corita Kent’s work at the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft in Sussex.

The current interest in Kent’s work – which had an emphasis on both social issues and activism – is timely, says Ditchling Museum curator Donna Steele. “It’s hard to ignore the similarities between the 1960s cultural climate and that of the current day,” she says. “The names, details and dates may have changed, but the social and political issues and concerns remain the same and are once again heightened.”

Known to many as the ‘graphic design nun’, Kent was an activist, artist and educator who was indeed a nun for most of her life, and worked at the art teaching department at the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary in LA. There, she worked mainly in printmaking and drew the likes of Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Saul Bass and the Eames to her classes.

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