The Letterfirm Reader

I curated Letterfirm, an exhibition of international expressive typography, featuring some of the most diverse graphic designers and typographic artist in active practice today. The exhibition was held in conjunction with TypeCon 2013. It opened on August 20th at Reading Frenzy.

Published in conjunction with the exhibition was The Letterfirm Reader, a 96-page booklet of recent essays on graphic design, aesthetics, history, and criticism. It is available at the exhibition, and was given away for free in the TypeCon goodie bag given to all participants.

An excerpt from the inside cover:

Every year at TypeCon, the goodie bag is stuffed full of objects filled with text, yet that text is most often crafted with the lone intention of highlighting foundries’ latest offerings. This booklet is intentionally the opposite—it is a booklet that was designed to be read in the downtimes between speakers, in bed, or at a bar or café. 

 The Letterfirm Reader is an attempt to bridge the disconnect between design criticism, typography-oriented writing, and pure ol’ plain fun prose. It is a casual follow-up to The Space Is The Place Supplement, a booklet of a similar nature that was available for free at my exhibition at Land Gallery in Portland in 2011.

 I am excited that the Letterfirm exhibition is being held at Reading Frenzy—my introduction to graphic design was through the DIY small press. Reading Frenzy is Portland’s longest-running retailer of small press ephemera. I was a volunteer at the old shop on Oak Street in the mid 90s.

 I hope you enjoy The Letterfirm Reader. These essays, as well as a dozen more, will be published in a new book in the upcoming year. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The booklet was printed in an edition of 600 by Eberhardt Press using split fountain printing. It was edited by Scott Michael Craig.

All photography by Bitna Chung Photography.