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What's Your Type?

An Exhibition of David Kindersley Alphabets

June 2014

David Kindersley (1915-1995) Characters with Character.

Kindersley, an English typeface designer, stone-cutter and print-maker began his career in 1934 as an apprentice letterer for Eric Rowton Gill, typographer and proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement. An inspirational visual artist of the 20th century, Kindersley is renowned for typeface design, most notably his invention of the font ‘Octavian’ in 1961. He was commissioned to design the entrance gates of the British National Library. The words ‘British Library’ are hand carved in his iconic all-capital letters ‘Octavian’ font and cast magical shadows announcing the entrance in a repeat pattern. Kindersley had an innate understanding of the pictographic potential of letters and his alphabet prints exemplify the energetic manner in which he investigated the design possibilities of text.