Last Wednesday night saw the third event in Grafik’s Letterform Live series of events, presented in partnership with Monotype and the ISTD, and hosted by Protein Studios in Shoreditch, East London. The audience enjoyed five different speakers, each giving a short but rich and image-filled presentation, kicking off with a single typographic letterform of their choice and spiralling outwards from there. Our chosen theme for the night was ‘Experimental’, something very much open to individual interpretation. As the American designer and theorist Buckminster Fuller once said “There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes”.
Before introducing the evening, our co-host and ISTD board member Freda Sack gave an impassioned speech in favour of experimentation in arts education, to much applause. In a politically turbulent time for the UK Freda spoke of the dangers of the proposed English Baccalaureate, which contains no creative subjects, an educational experiment we aren’t in favour of.
Our first speaker of the evening was Malou Verlomme, co-founder of the foundry LongType, and since February senior typeface designer at Monotype. His first project was the update of Johnston, London underground’s iconic typeface, not a bad way to start life in London. Malou began his talk with his chosen letterform, a rather eccentric but beautiful pound sign that he saw in a talk given by veteran typography expert and former St Bride librarian James Mosley.