Tubs, mural of Chicago's flag in Pilsen, 2019. Copyright @tubsz_illa
This exhibition explores typography, the shape and design of letters, within Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods to investigate design legacies and their contemporary echoes. The exhibition highlights alternative modernisms by considering how revolutionary movements and concepts like love and safety shape the way communities spread and design information for one another.
Featured designers and lettering artists activate the Design Museum of Chicago with objects, stories, demonstrations, and workshops that engage with the physicality of the art of typography. The exhibition includes printed materials and cultural ephemera, tools of typographic design like moveable type and sign painters’ brushes, and contemporary typographic work from designers, graffiti writers, and participants in community-based research and development programs. Moving beyond the four walls of the museum, Letters Beyond Form’s exhibitions and programs prioritize the voices of the communities represented in the work by presenting it in community spaces local to them.
Letters Beyond Form provides a deeper understanding of the role of letterforms and their makers in creating meaning, and explores how design serves different communities through an affirmation of identity and care-based relationships.