A Research Centre for Calligraphy

Registered Charity No. 1099648


FONT: Sumner Stone, Calligraphy and

In an age dominated by visual imagery, the look and shape of letters matters more than ever. As the keyboard becomes a more familiar tool than pen or pencil, and the ancient bond between handwritten letterforms and the type used by printers seems about to vanish, what will determine the standards of legibility, clarity, impact or fluency of the alphabets that fill our daily lives?


FONT explored the relationship between calligraphy, type and the new digital technology through the work of one of the world’s greatest typographers, the American Sumner Stone. A calligrapher by training, and now one of the leading figures in the application of the computer to type design, Stone entered into a unique collaboration with the Edward Johnston Foundation. The exhibition he helped to create focused on the development of a single new typeface, BASALT. Seen at every stage of its creation, BASALT is set alongside other work by Stone, together with examples of both historical and contemporary lettering he admires.

As well as providing a rare insight into the creative process, the exhibition showed how the shape of our entire visual environment is changing at the beginning of the new century; not just on the small scale of the desktop screen, but also in the special demands of public signage for locations as diverse as a university campus and the Paris Metro.

The accompanying book, Font includes essays by Sumner Stone, Dr David Levy, John Dreyfus and Tom Perkins

An activity pack Designing Posters by Patricia Gidney is also available. Suitable for beginners, more advanced pupils and teachers.