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LETTERHEADS 2018: LONDON CALLING

This summer signwriters and lettering professionals from five continents will congregate for London’s first ever Letterheads ‘meet’. While these events are typically held behind closed doors, the organisers in London are opening things up to everyone. There will be an opportunity to see beautiful sign and lettering work in an exhibition, view live demonstrations, take behind-the-scenes tours to meet some of those participating, and much more.

Full details are available via the dedicated website at www.londonletterheads.com, and the hashtag #LondonLetterheads can be followed on social media.

Opening Hours

11am – 6pm (Thu to Sat 16-18 Aug)
11am – 4pm (Sun 19 Aug).
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing, and the last tours depart one hour before closing.

The Grand Exhibition of the Pre-Vinylite Society: An 18th Century Revival

The Grand Exhibition of the Pre-Vinylite Society : An 18th Century Revival is a contemporary signwriting exhibition that directly references an exhibition of signs that took place in London in 1762. The original Grand Exhibition of the Society of Sign Painters opened on April 22, 1762 on Bow Street, Covent Garden. The exhibition was a satirical display of pictorial signboards, some painted specifically for the show (purportedly by William Hogarth) and some taken clandestinely from the city streets in the aftermath of a sign ordinance that required all projecting signs to be removed.

One of the few surviving objects from the 1762 exhibition is its companion catalogue , which playfully and often facetiously describes the pictorial signs for the 18th-century viewer. For The Grand Exhibition of the Pre-Vinylite Society, the artists work directly from the 1762 catalogue to translate the historic descriptions into contemporary lettering and pictorial styles. Each artist in the show interprets a description from the original catalogue by lettering it verbatim, rendering it pictorially, or by utilizing both lettering and pictorial skills.

Exhibition curator, Meredith Kasabian, will be giving a short curator’s talk at 1 pm every day 16-18 August. These are free and open to the public.

Demonstrations

The main reception area will host a variety of craft demonstrations including signwriting, screen printing (where visitors can print a limited edition souvenir poster) and, on Saturday only, the opportunity to participate in the Pop-Up Type Tasting lab.

Peep Show

The Better Letters Glowing Alphabet Peep Show invites visitors to get close and peer inside at the 27 luminescent letters within this modern curiosity cabinet.

Screenings

The processes of lettering and signwriting are mesmerising to watch, and there are plenty of fascinating characters working within the field. The public screening room will feature a series of short films on a loop, providing visitors the opportunity to learn about the craft while resting their feet.

Tours

For those interested in taking a look behind the scenes, short guided tours around the ticketed part of Letterheads 2018: London Calling are available. These will allow visitors a brief look at the various workshops, demonstrations and other activities taking place and to meet some of the 200+ guests from 29 countries and five continents that are flying into London for this special event.

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