TYPE TALKS: Ikon Gallery: The typefaces of Fiona Banner

James Langdon is an independent graphic designer. He is one of six directors of the artist-run gallery Eastside Projects in Birmingham, UK; and founder of the itinerant School for Design Fiction. In 2012 he received the Inform International Award for Conceptual Design, presented by Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany. Curatorial projects include ‘Arefin & Arefin: The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2012); ‘Construction School’, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012); Norman Potter’s ‘In:quest of Icarus’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012); and ‘Book Show’, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2010). He has lectured internationally at institutions including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France; Brno Biennial, Czech Republic; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden; Royal College of Arts, London; Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, Netherlands; HFG Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany; Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Simon Taylor, Ikon Gallery’s Head of Learning, discusses Fiona Banner’s use of type and the origins of ‘Font’, used for her current exhibition at Ikon SCROLL DOWN AND KEEP SCROLLING. Banner’s font is an amalgamation of typefaces she has worked with previously, through full stop sculptures and typeset and published works:

“It’s a family tree arrangement where the child of Avant Garde and Courier mates with Peanuts and Didot's child. Bookman and Onyx mate; their child mates with Capitalist and Klang's offspring - the final font is an unpredictable bastardisation of styles and behaviours” – Fiona Banner

‘Font’ was conceived during the artist’s attempt to survey her practice, in preparation for her first survey exhibition, showing at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham from 10 October 2015- 17 January 2016. Banner deploys it as the in-house font for the Ikon show and it appears at Frith Street Gallery, forming a link between the two exhibitions.

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