What Type? at Woodbury Museum celebrates lettering

The words you are reading are in a simple type. The headline you already read is bolder, colorful, stands out. But did you even take note of the intentional difference?

What Type, on display at the Woodbury Museum and curated by Brandon Truscott and Jim Godfrey, explores the importance of type. From font choice to kerning and its impact on the way we perceive a piece of art, the power of words goes beyond what they say.

“Type is sometimes invisible if you are not a graphic designer,” Godfrey told the UVU Review. “You see it all the time and you don’t really think about it. What we wanted to do was to try and create an exhibit that gets people to notice type.” 

Art pieces include printed work, sculpture, and more that celebrate the importance of lettering. There is an emotion and a message that comes with each design choice, and the power of type that evokes a time or place is an important part of branding.

Patrick Wilkey, an associate professor who teaches graphic design at UVU, created several pieces for the exhibit, including a simple and powerful letter board. Wilkey wrote in his artist statement:

“The art of typography is rooted firmly in the rules of tradition yet designers are rebelliously (and successfully) breaking the rules of all the time. Written word is static but is formed from movable type. It’s characters are recognizable but but the forms are different with every new typeface design. Typography adds mood, tone, and voice. Ellen Lupton states that ‘Typography is what language looks like,’ so perhaps typographic voice also provides vision. Typography tells us much more than the mere words it spells out. It adds truth by placing text into proper context.”

The exhibit, which is on display at the Woodbury Art Museum at the University Mall, ends December 23.