Berthold Wolpe – The Total Man

23 Mar-24 Jun 2018

Lettering Arts Centre, Snape

“The spaces are as important as the letters” – Berthold Wolpe

The creator of over 1500 Faber & Faber book cover designs is celebrated in new show, featuring unseen, hand-drawn artwork, typeface designs, paintings, creative tools, personal objects and artefacts from the Wolpe family collection.

This is the first exhibition to present the whole story of a master of graphic design. Berthold Wolpe – The Total Man will celebrate the work of the prolific book cover artist and creator of the most widely-used advertising typeface in the UK.

Developed in conjunction with Berthold Wolpe’s family, the exhibition will bring forward the character (not to mention disorderly working conditions) of a man with a curiosity for collecting anything that might give him inspiration. Countless personal items, including Wolpe’s design tools, hand-drawn sketches and artwork for his celebrated Faber & Faber covers (complete with white correcting paint refining the hand-drawn black lettering) will give a new insight into the natural skills, honed techniques and creative process of a master of his craft.

Guest curator, Phil Cleaver, Professor in the Creative Industries at Middlesex University and visiting Professor of Typography at Birmingham City University, said,

“We would like you to leave the exhibition with a feeling of having met this master of calligraphy and type design. The wealth of artworks that we are able to display carries the human touch, an element so evidently missing from our computer-generated age, where graphic design is becoming increasingly surgical and sterile. These artworks open up a bygone era of design and will hopefully inspire young designers to close their laptops and get messy with paper and ink, producing work which carries their own DNA and not that of the Mac.”

The exhibition is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (including Bank Holidays) 11am – 5pm. Admission is free.


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