Note No. 5773
13 January 2003
Note to Correspondents
GLOBAL TYPE DESIGN EXHIBITION TO OPEN AT UN HEADQUARTERS ON 17 JANUARY
The 100 best typeface designs of the past five years -- from any script, used for any language -- will be on display in the public reception area of the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 17 January to 9 February 2003.
The three-week run will be launched by an invitational opening on 17 January at 6 p.m. in the General Assembly Public Lobby. It will be hosted by Giandomenico Picco, the Personal Representative of the Secretary General for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and Mark Batty, president of Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). Gillian Martin Sorensen will be master of ceremonies for the event.
The exhibition is the result of an unprecedented world-wide competition, organized by the ATypI, for the very best designs of new typefaces used in global written communication in the previous five years (1996–2001).
Called “bukva:raz!” (“letter one!” in Russian), the competition, was ATypI’s contribution to the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations (2001). The judging took place in Moscow in December 2001, where a jury of distinguished typographic experts in multilingual typography picked the 100 winners from among more than 600 entries from 30 countries, representing 14 different alphabets or writing systems.
The travelling exhibition debuted in September at ATypI’s annual conference in Rome, and it was shown in October and November in Vienna. The United Nations venue represents its first showing in North America.
In organizing the competition, says Batty, “We wanted to find a way to promote cultural pluralism, encourage diversity, and provide a co-operative environment for the development of truly international typographic communications”.
In welcoming ATypI’s contribution, Mr. Picco expressed hope that it would “break boundaries and encourage better and easier communication among individual human beings”.
The exhibition shows each typeface presented clearly, both as a complete character set and in actual use, along with information about each typeface, its script/writing system, and its designer.
The winning typefaces have been published, along with a series of essays about designing type for the world’s languages, in the book Language Culture Type: International type design in the age of Unicode (New York: Graphis, 2002), edited by John D. Berry and designed by Maxim Zhukov.
The exhibition has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Condé Nast Publications. Additional support has been provided by Gmund Papers North America, Fey Publishing Co., futureflair, and the Type Directors Club.
Internet links with more about bukva:raz! and “Language Culture Type” are as follows: http://220.127.116.11/10_Visitors/70_publications/70_bukvaraz; http://www.graphis.com/bks/OTHR/LCultTyp/ds.LCultTyp.EN.html; http://www.visibilitypr.com/html/focus/clients/pop/graphis_05.html;
For further information, please contact Maxim Zhukov: +1 (212) 963-8048 (tel.); +1 (212) 963-9452 (fax)
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