A History of Type Design (2011-ongoing). Gavin Morrison & Scott Myles
Spread from, Zeitschrift #24: Acid, 2013
In conjunction with the artist, Scott Myles and using a variation on the Japanese frottage technique of Takuhon, impressions have been taken from the headstones of prominent type-designers. These images have then been used within magazines, such as Zeitschrift #24: Acid and have been used to create a lithographic edition with the Barcelona print studio Polígrafa Obra Gráfica.
This body of work exists as an ever expanding, but idiosyncratic, anthology of type design. It is necessarily erratic in that it is constrained by the difficulties of determining locations, access and the logistics of finding the grave sites. As a result certain prominent type-designers will fail to feature.
An initial impetus for this project was a questioning of whether the designer's own type-design is utilized in the stone-carving, in effect if their monument uses the work of their own hand. The process itself contains an interesting relation to the type-design role in publishing as the takuhon process is a simplistic form of printing where the gravestone serves as a de facto printing plate.
To date imprints have been taken from the following type-designer graves: William Caslon (1692-1766), William Morris (1834-1896), Linn Boyd Benton (1844-1932), Eric Gill (1882-1940), Edward Johnston (1872-1942), Kurt Schwitters (1887-1947), Morris Fuller Benton (1872-1948), William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956), Stanley Morison (1889-1967), Jan Tschichold (1902-1974), Maximilien Vox (1894-1974), Herbert Bayer (1900-1985), Will Carter (1912-2001). The project is ongoing and new works will be appear in different forms.
This work has been exhibited at Hammer Museum, LA and The Menil Collection, Houston, USA (both 2015). A catalogue is available for these exhibitions.