Thursday, 11 February 2010

Alan Fletcher Work:Play exhibition Cube, Manchester

I went to the opening night of the Alan Fletcher exhibition in Manchester a few weeks ago. What an amazing show, I was never that familiar with Alan's work previously, which is quite shocking considering his unique approach and impact on the british design scene. Peter Saville was invited down to open the show and say a little about Alan, whom he had worked with briefly at Pentagram.

Peter said:

“One day I saw him crouched over a piece of paper with a paintbrush. Trying to ignore typesetting, he was putting down a message onto the paper in his handwriting. I stood over him and asked ‘Alan, can you remember typefaces? Or are you too old now?’, to which Alan smiled and replied: ‘Yes, I remember them, they’re a crutch for designers like you.’”

I was so impressed by the work and the great curation that I went back the following week to take photos and notes. One thing that stood out to me was that when he was studying at college, the tutors would lock the sans serif typefaces away in cabinets so students would not rely on them to create good work. I also thought his technique for collecting ephemera was particularly useful and original, keeping characters in bags by the letter and specific icons like the wine glass symbol from boxes to make new compositions. It's his fun and inquisitive nature that gives his work so much character and appeal.

Should buy the art of looking sideways.

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