Type exhibition with a difference

30 artists, three new Monotype fonts and an open brief: the Mill Co. 2011 annual exhibition launches tonight

London-based creative agency Mill Co. has teamed up with Monotype Imaging for their second annual exhibition, which launches tonight. But it’s no ordinary exhibition…

Over 30 artists are gearing up to unveil new work – created in complete secrecy – featuring three of Monotype's newest and arguably more exclusive typeface families: Akko, Neue Haus Grotesk and Rotis II Sans.

Briefed to do “anything they would like” with the fonts, it’s a risky strategy – but Monotype is confident the new fonts will lend themselves well to the artistic venture:

“The risk element adds excitement and mystery and provides the ‘something different’ feel, which is exactly what the whole event is about, deconstructing our perceptions about typography and opening it out to new interpretations,” says James Fooks-Bale, marketing communications manager at Monotype.

A handmade 3D letter by Jimmy Fiction ESQ

A handmade 3D letter by Jimmy Fiction ESQ

“We briefed designers working in different artistic genres, from traditional print to illustrators and product designers. The idea was to break the normal perception of type as a message-carrying device, so we think there’s going to be some really different interpretations and installations,” he continues.

With opening night numbers expected to near 1,000, the exhibition is intended both to showcase London’s emerging talent and raise awareness of the future of fonts.

“The event promises something different,” adds Fooks-Bale. “You’ll get to experience some fantastic artistic work from the city’s top emerging talent. Hopefully it will change the public’s view of typography and remind them of the importance of font in the world today.”

After tonight’s private launch, Saturday 15 October will be the public’s first chance to get a glimpse of the artists’ interpretations. We’ll bring you the initial reactions from the event, and go behind the scenes with some of the artists involved.

The Mill Co. 2011 annual exhibition will launch at The Mill Co. Project, Vyner St, E2 and will run until 2 December, featuring as the November Time Out First Thursday show.

Our private view invitation arrived last week: GF Smith provided the stock and Generation Press pulled out all the stops for the printing and foiling. Beautiful.