Hoxton Heroes

After a stellar ten-year run, KK Outlet is moving on from its Hoxton Square home to pastures new, and farewell celebrations are well underway this week. In today's Take Five, KK Outlet gallery curator Danielle Pender picks her highlights from among the host of excellent graphic design and typography-related exhibitions they've held over the past decade...

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It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since KK Outlet first opened the doors of their Hoxton Square gallery and bookshop, but time flies – over the past decade, they've played host to a plethora of excellent exhibitions and events, showcasing the work of artists, graphic designers, type designers and photographers. This month, KK Outlet will bid farewell to Shoreditch and move on to a new, as yet unannounced venue, but they're going out on a high with All Our Friends, a blockbusting final exhibition of work from all the friends they've worked with or exhibited over the last ten years, a series of special events, and a moving-out party this week.

To mark the occasion in today's Take Five, KK Outlet Gallery Curator Danielle Pender shares her top five graphics and typography-related shows from KK Outlet's ten-year run, and reflects on the collaborative and experimental spirit that underpins all of their activities... 


The Language of London – Twitter Machine

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To celebrate 100 years of the Johnston typeface, we worked with TFL to create a super special Twitter Machine. We commissioned designer Florian Dussopt to create a machine that instantly printed tweets that featured the hashtag #dearlondon. The machine then created a series of playful mini-posters that were exhibited alongside posters from the likes of Alan Kitching, Build, Monotype and The Beautiful Meme — all of which each interpreted and incorporated the iconic Johnston font. It was a pretty mammoth undertaking, but it was great seeing it all in action in the gallery.


HORT

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HORT came to KK Outlet to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Never one to look back and create a “greatest hits”, Eike Konig and his gang brought over new work created on an artist’s residency at Villa Massimo. The new work was collaboratively made and represented the ethos of HORT, that it’s not a place or a person; it’s a feeling.


Colophon – Five Years

HORT alumni Colophon Foundry were also celebrating an anniversary – their fifth. To mark the occasion, we hosted a show where they created products onto which they applied their best typefaces. The images were rendered and printed beautifully. They were the most fun people to work with, meticulous and very drunk by the end of their launch party.


For Iraq & Syria

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Yasseen Faik, a designer with both Iraqi and Syrian heritage, commissioned 22 designers and studios to come together and produce ‘For Iraq and Syria’ – a thought-provoking poster series to raise awareness and encourage debate. The idea was to create bold yet simplistic posters in response to the current situations in Iraq and Syria, using only two colours. Whether featuring typography or illustration – literal or abstract – the imperative was to be creative and meaningful. The resulting 22 original screen-printed posters were a diverse and powerful series of reflections on a period of unrivalled crisis.


Anthony Burrill

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Anthony is almost built into the DNA of KK Outlet: he designed out identity, we hosted numerous shows and book launches of his, he designed our last ever poster, and he’s DJing at the closing party. Everything he has done fits so beautifully with what we’re about and he’s always an absolute pleasure to work with – the living embodiment of his famous WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE print.

All Our Friends runs until the end of February, and this Wednesday KK Outlet are holding a closing party featuring an art sale benefitting the charity Shelter, bands, DJs and the final few bottles of The Last Beer, a bespoke brew created by KK Outlet to commemorate a decade of deliciously boozy events and exhibition openings. Keep your eyes peeled for news of their next venue, too.

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