Alphabetical lithographs and appealing font styles: The art of letters

24th May 2017 in Archives Centre, Art & Exhibitions

Kindersley lithograph

 

One of David Kinderley's lithographs from the Bevin Library. ©The Cardozo Kindersley workshop, Cambridge.

At the Churchill Archives Centre, we recently looked into letters of a different kind to the usual archival samples. As part of updating the Archives Centre’s standard caption style used in our displays and exhibitions, we reviewed numerous suggestions for the most legible and appealing font style. Some inspiration came from five lithographs created by David Kindersley that serve as a reminder of the various effects which can be achieved by using different font styles.

In 1968, Kindersley, Britain’s premier letter-cutter of the second half of the twentieth century, created a series of 18 hand-printed lithographs in which he creatively explored different font styles. Five of these free drawn alphabets were presented to Churchill College by Michael Ashburner, who was one of the College’s first undergraduates, in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2011. Since then, the lithographs have prominently decorated one of the walls in the College’s Bevin library, where they have found a home between the vast arrays of font styles that can be found in the library’s numerous books.

Kindersley lithograph

 

©The Cardozo Kindersley workshop, Cambridge.

Kindersley lithograph

 

©The Cardozo Kindersley workshop, Cambridge.

Kindersley lithograph

 

©The Cardozo Kindersley workshop, Cambridge.

Kindersley lithograph

 

©The Cardozo Kindersley workshop, Cambridge.

The Archives Centre’s updated font style can be found in our latest exhibition ‘General Elections in the Archives’. It will be on display outside the Dining Hall until Thursday 8th June.

— Julia Schmidt, Archives Assistant


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