Tuesday, 4:00pm
11 April 2023

Graphic design live #11

Félix Beltrán in Madrid; contemporary book design from China in Berlin; female design in Mexico; and Emigre and Fuse typefaces in New York

Here is a selection of current and upcoming events that piqued the interest of our editorial team. Read the Eye Events page to stay up to date with exhibitions, conferences, talks and workshops.

Final weeks
Felix Beltran: Visual Intelligence
to 16 April 2022
Location: Madrid, Spain

This anthological survey of Ibero-American graphic designer Félix Juan Alberto Beltrán Concepción is in its final days. First of its kind, the monographic exhibition includes hundreds of his logos, posters and book covers, documenting his design processes and their historical contexts. In his work Beltrán embraced social movements for freedom, often using striking high-contrast visuals to create compelling and graphic images, that were then used in protests and demonstrations.

Born in Havana in 1938, Beltrán studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he developed his conceptual approach to graphic design, emphasising simplicity as a principle of effective visual communication. His work is methodical, systematic and full of colour, reflecting his Hispanic roots and Modernist influences. Considered as the ‘father of the Cuban poster’, one of his iconic works featured in the exhibition is the poster of African-American activist Angela Davis titled Libertad Para Angela Davis, which led to massive demonstrations demanding her release from prison in 1971.

The exhibition was curated in parallel to publication of the book Félix Beltrán: Visual Intelligence (Optik, 2022), a result of fourteen years of research by Sonia Díaz and Gabriel Martínez.

Exhibition view of ‘Félix Beltrán: Visual intelligence – design in a social sense’ featuring his striking graphic posters.

Felix Beltrán, Libertad para Angela Davis, poster, 1971.

Felix Beltrán, Comite Por La Libertad de Angela Davis, poster, 1971.

Final weeks
Diseño en femenino. México 1940-2022
to 16 April 2023
Location: Mexico City, Mexico

'Diseño en femenino. México 1940-2022' is an exhibition that seeks to shed light on the works of almost four generations of women designers in Mexico. The exhibition celebrates, reviews and documents the progress and achievements of women in an industry that has historically been dominated by men. Curated by Ana Elena Mallet and Pilar Obeso, the exhibition includes the work of 110 designers from fifteen Mexican states (including indigenous designers), marking an important shift towards re-evaluating the concept of ‘feminine’ in design.

‘Diseño en femenino’ showcases a broad panorama of object through three thematic cores; design and the idea of ‘the feminine’, the professionalisation of design; and the diversity of design. Explored are different trends and aspects of design, from weaving, embroidery and jewellery to industrial concepts, graphic design, animation and the development of biomaterials. The diversity of the curation aims to question the value of women’s participation in Mexican design since 1940 and to expand the understanding of what is considered ‘design’ in social context.

‘Diseño en femenino’ showcases designs and narratives from Mexican women designers between 1940 and 2022.

The exhibition explores a wide array of design disciplines, including weaving, embroidery, jewellery, animation, industrial and graphic design.

Currently on
Another Reading: Contemporary Book Design from China
to 12 May 2023
Location: Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s book lovers and design enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to discover the work of contemporary Chinese book designers at an exhibition that showcases variety of Chinese printing and binding techniques. Featuring nearly 150 books, the exhibit explores a wide range of topics from traditional crafts and character design to modern Chinese literature and contemporary art.

‘Another Reading’ includes the works of over twenty contemporary Chinese graphic designers from different generations and geographical locations. Visitors can explore their books up close to gain a deeper understanding of different design strategies, as well as quality, craftsmanship and innovation in production methods.

A book designed by Weiwei Zhou titled Great Beauty of Chinese Characters, exploring the historical origin and evolution of one hundred Chinese characters.

Installation view of ‘Another Reading’. The exhibition presents almost 150 contemporary books from more than twenty Chinese graphic designers.

Coming soon
The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Typefaces from Emigre & FUSE
27 April — 5 November 2023
Location: New York, US

Posterhouse in New York is set to hold an exhibition showcasing the experimental digital typography and graphic design of Emigre and FUSE. The exhibition will explore the posters that announced new and progressive digital typefaces by both companies, whose aim was to promote typographic innovation and experimentation.

Founded in San Francisco in 1984 by Rudy VanderLans (see ‘Reputations’ in Eye 7) and Zuzana Licko (see ‘Reputations’ in Eye 43), Emigre Graphics took the advantage of the newly released Apple Macintosh computer to develop and distribute digital type. FUSE was established seven years later by Neville Brody (see ‘Reputations’ in Eye 6) and Jon Wozencroft as a printed and digital publication. The publication, which arrived in a cardboard box with a floppy disk of fonts, became a unique showcase for experimental digital-typeface designers and typographers.

‘The revolution will be digitised’ will feature numerous works, including Emigre’s OutWest (see ‘What your choice of font says about you’ in Eye 21) by Ed Fella (see ‘Fellapages’ in Eye 23) and illustrative Big Cheese (see ‘Monitor’ in Eye 10) by Bob Aufuldish and Eric Donelan. From FUSE, there will be posters promoting Can You Read Me from Phil Baines (see ‘Reputations’ in Eye 69), and DearJohn from Barbara Butterweck, among many. See also Jan Middendorp’s FUSE overview, ‘Postmodern jam session’ from Eye 83.

OutWest, Ed Fella, poster, 1993. Digitised by Zuzana Licko, the OutWest typeface was originally drawn by hand using a fifteen-degree ellipse architectural template.

Can you…?, Phil Baines, poster, 1991. The typeface reduced Clarendon’s letterforms to test the limits of its legibility.

To feature your event on Eye events page, please email us with details.

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