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Divided by a common typeface?
November 2008 Thursday 20th November 2008 – 7.30 p.m.By Clare Bell and Mary Ann Bolger
National Print Museum, Garrison Chapel, Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland
T: +353 1 660 3770 E: email@example.com
Probably no other area of visual culture is so ubiquitous and yet so invisible as typography. In everyday life, typography is looked through, rather than at. In Ireland, certain styles of lettering have come to be associated with ‘Irishness’, whether ‘authentic’ or ‘fake’. On directional road signs, posters, book covers, murals, monuments, newspapers, packaging shop-fronts and buildings, the role of lettering in the construction of Irishness is evident in a vast range of objects. In tracing the development and mediation of Irish cultural and national identity through the use of ‘Irish’ lettering and typographic styles, this lecture aims to examine the historical means by which such forms became the dominant and ‘natural’ way to write ‘Irishness’. The Irish language is a fundamental term in the discourse of Irish national identity, yet its visual manifestation is often over looked. Through the course of the evening, Clare and Mary Ann will explore how the visual representation of one language can be ‘translated’ into another. They look at how typography enhances the symbolic utility of language as a conduit for myth, and for the demarcation of religious and cultural difference in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Mary Ann Bolger MIDI MA (RCA) runs the historical and theoretical elements of the BA (Hons) Degree in Design (Visual Communications) at Waterford Institute of Technology.
Clare Bell, designer, researcher and lecturer in typography, received her primary degree at Central St Martins in London and worked as a designer at the Guardian newspaper before returning to Dublin.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com