The Past is the Present

Monday, July 8, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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For over a decade Commercial Type have been designing and releasing contemporary typefaces, from modern classics like Graphik, Druk, Publico, and Guardian through to more experimental faces like Orientation and Styrene. Some of them like Lyon and Portrait have been informed and inspired by the past, but not dominated by it. At the same time they have been searching through the vast archive that is St Bride Library, looking for hidden gems, designs long forgotten and no longer available. Rather than being modern interpretations where the designer leaves an obvious mark, they are careful reconstructions, made not for yesterday, but for today’s users. They take the old forms, and expand them in new directions, whilst retaining the charm and beauty of the originals. 

Commercial Type partner, Paul Barnes will explain the project and will be joined for a Q & A session by partner Christian Schwartz, and designers Greg Gazdowicz and Tim Ripper. 

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Paul Barnes is a British graphic designer, specializing in the fields of typography and type design. With Christian Schwartz he is a partner in Commercial Type, an internationally renowned type foundry with offices in London and New York. After graduating from the Typography course at the University of Reading in 1992, Barnes worked in the early 1990s at the studio of Roger Black and later he became the art director of Spin magazine. He worked independently and in collaboration on a wide range of design projects since 1995 before co-founding Commercial Type. He has served as a design and typographic consultant to many publishers including The Guardian and The Observer Newspapers, GQ, Wallpaper*, Harper’s Bazaar, and frieze. As typographic consultant to The Guardian he was involved in the iconic redesign in 2006, and with Christian Schwartz created the new series of typefaces. For this as part of The Guardian redesign team they received the prestigious Black pencil from the D&AD, as well as being nominated for the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year. In September 2006, with Schwartz he was named one of the 40 most influential designers under 40 in Wallpaper*. A year later The Guardian named him as one of the 50 best designers in Britain. 

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