Relief and dismay over squirrel monkey thought killed in space

This evening I went to the launch of an exhibition of typographic works – not a typeface, exactly, but individual works based on typefaces by Melbourne design studio Letterbox.

The exhibition, titled Orbit Oblique, is “a typographic tribute to the animals lost in space,” and Letterbox founder Stephen Banham explained their goal to use typeface as a storytelling technique, to explore the “sad and strangely comic misadventures of these animals” – and for me it was really these stories that made the works come alive (that and the sheer amount of colour, light and heat being emitted from the lightboxes). You may have heard of the Russian space-dog Laika, but there were also squirrels, mice, monkeys, spiders and numerous other dogs, many of whom didn’t survive. Some of their stories are told in the exhibition’s placards. Sad, yet strangely comic… Banham was right.

The catalogue, however, is neither sad nor comic – well, maybe just a little bit comic (it features “ads” for the lost animals), but also lovely to hold and behold, as you’d expect from these guys. The cover is letterpressed (that typeface is Bisque, by the way – the latest from Letterbox) and the layout is perfect throughout. Have a look below, then go to the exhibition and see the lightbox displays, which look nothing like the catalogue. Seriously, they’re something else.

Orbit Obilque will be on show at that mecca of all things lovely, Craft Victoria, until May 17. There are a couple of other exhibitions on there too, so it’s well worth the free entry.

And FYI, some bonus links:

Honouring the animals that took a giant leap (An article about the exhibition, from yesterday’s Age)

Space Today: Animals in space (Worth it for the pictures. That little monkey? Aww.)


:: kate ::

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