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August 2, 2002

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter

Matthew Carter imageOpening on September 9th and continuing through December 7th, UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter. Organized by the Library Gallery with guest curator Margaret Re, assistant professor of visual arts at UMBC, the exhibition will examine the significant contributions of Matthew Carter to the field of visual communications. Mr. Carter is one of the pre-eminent type designers of the 20th century and a historian of printing. His career has encompassed the typographical revolution which evolved from working with the Enschedé printing house, where he learned how to cut metal type, to Carter & Cone, one of the first independent digital typefoundries. Typefaces to his credit include ITC Galliard, ranked as one of the most significant design contributions of the twentieth-century and Verdana, likely to be ranked as one of the most significant design contributions of the twenty-first century.

Exhibition Support
Typographically Speaking has received major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support has been provided by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences, AIGA Baltimore, the Friends of the Library & Gallery, and Carol Twombly. At UMBC, support has been provided the Department of Visual Arts, the Graduate School, Special Sessions Policy Committee, and the Humanities Forum.

Matthew Carter imageAbout the Exhibition
Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter celebrates the art and form of typography through the achievements of Matthew Carter, a type designer with more than 40 years experience, ranging from hand-cut punches to computer fonts. During his expansive career, Carter has pioneered all aspects of typography in its evolution, continuously pushing the creative and technological envelope as it relates to typography and visual communications. Carter's work bridges a knowledge of technology that extends past historical and technological divisions, ensuring that the very real human needs for readability, legibility, and expression are met. A major artist with whom most people are unknowingly familiar even as they encounter his work daily, Carter has made typefaces for journalistic purposes that daily grace the pages of popular magazines and respected newspapers. His typefaces for on-screen viewing regularly lend readability, legibility, and efficiency to screen-based communications. He has received major commissions to design proprietary typefaces, whose use are restricted to one organization, for major news media corporations, software companies, and cultural institutions. The exhibition will present a selection of original typefaces designed by Mr. Carter and will also include the work of selected graphic designers demonstrating how pervasive Carter's influence is in the field of visual communication. The show will be accompanied by an illustrated catalog.

The exhibition has been designed to serve as both an introduction to Carter's work and to the breadth and range of his typefaces, as well as a visual document of how his typographic innovations have influenced the state of visual communications. The core of the exhibition presents the work of Matthew Carter with type panels selected from Carter's own archive. Twenty-eight panels document the wide range of Carter's typefaces, some well-known and familiar, such as Bell Centennial, ITC Galliard, ITC Charter, Mantinia, and Miller, and others less so, such as Airport, National Geographic Caption, Elephant, and Olympian.

Carter's final product is the words used to make thought visible across time and space. Essentially, Carter makes a tool which others, such as graphic designers, use to give form to a message, realizing that form given to a text influences the reader's comprehension of the content. Desktop publishing has put the capability to develop the design or presentation of a text in a finished manner within the reach of most. Non-designers are grappling with the relationship between form and content as we ask ourselves if a typeface is situationally appropriate as we compose documents such as business memos, school papers, and personal letters "trying on" different typefaces much as we try on different clothes for a specific occasion.

Public Program
On September 26 at 3 pm, Matthew Carter will lead a gallery tour of the exhibition, and a panel discussion will address typography as an industrial object, focusing on the relationship between type design as a form of industrial design and visual communication. Panel participants include Matthew Carter; Margaret Re; Johanna Drucker, the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia; and Steve Heller, design educator, author, and art director for The New York Times Book Review.

Matthew Carter imagePublication
The accompanying publication comprises two books: one functions as a catalog to the exhibition, offering insight into Carter's career and typefaces, as well as documenting the works included in the exhibition as originally present at UMBC. Contributing essayists are Johanna Drucker, author of the Alphabetical Labyrinth: The Letters in History and Imagination; Margaret Re; and James Mosley, visiting professor at the department of Typography and Graphic Communication, University of Reading, who recently retired as the librarian of the St. Bride Printing Library in London. The second book, nicely pocketed in the first, is a specimen book, designed and with an introduction by Carter, which documents all of his typefaces and shows those typefaces that can be made in PostScript and TrueType formats.

About Matthew Carter
Matthew Carter is a principal of Carter & Cone Type, Inc., an independent digital typefoundry in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is internationally known as a type designer with over fifty typeface families to his credit, including Bell Centennial (designed to accommodate the format of telephone directories), Miller News (a newspaper text type), Walker (proprietary to the Walker Arts Center), and Verdana and Georgia (designed for the internet and commissioned by Microsoft).

Scholarly publications include "Galliard: A Revival of Types of Robert Granjon," in Visible Language, "Communicating Graphically," in Journal of the Royal Society of Arts; and "Typography and Current Technologies," in Design Quarterly. Articles about his work have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Eye, Graphis, and I.D. Magazine, and books such as Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History and Twentieth Century Type Designers.

Carter chairs the type designers' committee of Association Typographique Internationale. He has been a juror of the triennial Morisawa International Type Design Competition, and has also juried the Presidential Design Awards, and competitions organized by the Type Directors Club and the Society of Publication Designers. He has held a faculty appointment as a senior critic at Yale University since 1977. Awards he has received include the Frederic W. Goudy Award for outstanding contributions to the printing industry (1986), the Middleton Award from the American Center for Design (1995), the AIGA Gold Medal (1995), the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design (1996), and the Type Directors Club medal (1997).

Gallery Information
The Albin O. Kuhn Gallery serves as one of theprincipal art galleries in the Baltimore region. Items from the SpecialCollections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over theworld, are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for theUniversity community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitionsare occasionally presented, and the Gallery also sends some of itsexhibits throughout the state and nation. Admission to the Gallery isfree.

Hours of Operation
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

General Gallery information: (410) 455-2270
UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): (410) 455-ARTS
Media inquiries only: (410) 455-3370

UMBC Arts website:
Gallery website:
This press release as a pdf document (3.5 Mb):

Matthew CarterImages for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email or postal mail.

All the images in this release are available at 300 dpi on the abovewebsite.

From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 toexit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs tothe Albin O. Kuhn Library.

From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mileto the entrance of UMBC at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue andHilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B.Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Albin O.Kuhn Library.

Daytime metered visitor parking is available in Lot 10, near theAdministration Building. Visitor parking regulations are enforced onall University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadwaysrequire a parking permit unless otherwise marked.


Posted by dwinds1 at August 2, 2002 12:00 AM