In November 2003 the design partnership Big Idea relaunched as Loman Street Studio. This new name makes an explicit commitment to the design environment by identifying the company with its building. An airy white attic that was once a timber shop, from now on Loman Street Studio is a site for nurturing design ideas: the big, the medium and the small. Calling your company by its address could be seen as insular, the by-product of a fortress mentality, but this is the very opposite of the intentions of the company’s directors. Rather than shutting themselves off, they want to open up the studio to other artists and designers, allowing them the run of their spaces and facilities. With luck, guests absorb something of the studio environment and in turn leave a trace of their own.
Ways of Saying is Loman Street Studio’s first collaborative project. It involves three practitioners, each of whom has worked with the studio to deliver a message through the medium of typography. The resulting work is diverse. Where Jake Tilson generates a huge wave of type-related imagery, a warm swell of letters, food and elegantly crumbling Italian architecture, Michael Marriott makes a small but powerful typographic gesture. David Blamey operates somewhere in between: entering the regimented and lucrative world of sports design, he emerges with a freshly minted punctuation mark, the product of extending the rules of corporate typography to a previously ungoverned area. The common thread between all three is an interest in the policing of the typographic environment. The way things are said is controlled by a large number of interested parties including the commercial and the social. By and large we take the outcome for granted. This exhibition is unusual in prompting questions about the nature of our everyday typographic surroundings.
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