Type Only, the forthcoming book from Unit Editions, looks at contemporary graphic design that relies solely on typography, unsupported by illustration or photography, to get its message across. In his essay for the book, CR’s Mark Sinclair explores the roots of a design technique which has been reinvigorated by a new generation of practitioners. Here, alongside an edited version of his text, we feature some of the radical type-based projects selected for inclusion in the book
This year Liverpool’s Graphic Arts graduates shunned the traditional gallery space in favour of a bar – London’s Social, just off Oxford Street. Here wall space was unavailable, so work was projected in a slideshow onto a screen. The course is multidisciplinary, and output falls broadly into the categories of graphic design and illustration. Here are some of the highlights:
Health and safety may currently have a bad reputation, but for almost 100 years The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has helped combat risk on the roads, in the workplace and at home using images, type and illustration. The recent rediscovery of its archive reveals a rich design history
The prevalence of plastic street signage has brought an increasing sense of sameness to the American visual landscape. However, traditional sign painters and hand-letterers are fighting back and their craft skills are being sought out across the country. A new book, Sign Painters, introduced by the V&A’s Glenn Adamson below, looks at the people keeping this art alive
Skewed, stretched type, clashing colours, too little or too much spacing – across Europe a new generation of designers and art directors is breaking every rule. But is their work rebellion for rebellion’s sake or does it have wider implications for visual communications?