A History of Type Design (2011-ongoing) is a collaborative print project by Gavin Morrison and Scott Myles. Using a variation on the Japanese frottage technique of Takuhon, impressions were taken from the headstones of prominent type-designers. These images were then used to create the edition with the Barcelona print studio Polígrafa Obra Gráfica using lithography.
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 whether the designer's own type-design is utilized in the stone-carving, in effect if their last words are given in their own hand. The process itself contains an interesting relation to the type-design role in publishing as the frottages are a simplistic form of printing where the gravestone serves as a de facto printing plate.
Each print is released in an edition of 20. To date the following prints have been created or are in production: 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), Stanley Morrison (1889-1967), Jan Tschichold (1902-1974), Maximilien Vox (1894-1974), and Herbert Bayer (1900-1985). The project is ongoing and new prints will be released periodically.
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Scott Myles (born 1975, lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland) has exhibited widely within Europe and North America. His works are held in public collections including Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Glasgow. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Meyer Riegger, Berlin; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Myles is currently developing his second book with JRP Ringier, to be published June 2012.
Gavin Morrison is a curator, writer and publisher based in south of France, where he runs IFF. Morrison also is a co-director of the publishing and curatorial initiative Atopia Projects, recent publications and exhibitions include: Lifting: theft in art, Beat Streuli Bruxelles Midi, Grey Hope: the persistence of melancholy, and Osaka Manifesto.