Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language

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“In 2004, The Museum of Modern Art approached typographer Matthew Carter about “refreshing” their icon MoMA, set in Franklin Gothic. Carter said it was, ‘like asking an architect to design an exact replica of a building.’ The result: The new logo - rechristened MoMA Gothic - looks just like the old one, but stretched vertically one eight-hundredth of an inch… . Will anyone notice? Glenn D. Lowry stated: ‘I suspect that if we’re really successful the public won’t really notice the difference, it will just feel right.’”

If I understand the evolution correctly, this text is a portion of an essay by Andrew Blum, originally published in The New York Times, July 21, 2003, as “The Modern’s Other Renovation.” In the winter of 2011-12, it became part of Identity, a wonderful exhibition video prepared by Dexter Sinister (Princeton University lecturer in graphic design David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey) at The Artists’ Space in New York City. Most recently, it is part of The Serving Library’s 3rd issue and the exhibition catalogue for Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language at the Museum of Modern Art until August 27, 2012.

Bulletins of the Serving Library (Berlin, Germany: Sternberg Press; New York, NY: Dexter Sinister, 2011- ). Electronic resource

Complete Identity catalogue:

Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language brings together historical and contemporary works of art that treat language not merely as a system of communication governed by grammatical rules and assigned meanings, but as a material that can be manipulated with creative freedom, like paint, clay, or any other artistic medium.”—MoMA press release

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Thanks, Julie. Nice. And I didn't know the Serving Library, but have just read a very interesting piece on the typeface used for German car number plates. No, really. It is interesting! S