Hammer Museum Bridget Riley Drawings:
From the Artist’s Studio
Custom identity in a geometric sans serif
in-house identity for bridget riley drawings: from the artist’s studio at the hammer museum. the exhibition covers the span of her career, and includes rough studies, line drawings, tonal studies, preliminary works with written notations, as well as highly finished drawings. my conceptual starting points for the typography are taken from essays in the exhibition catalog, referring to her work as ‘permutations on a basic geometric shape put through “its paces”’ (thomas crow), and to her process as ‘intuitive, not mathematical’ (rachel federman). the artist also studied heavily the pillars of modern western painting—cézanne, seurat, mondrian, klee, etc—and as a student made drawings in their line, tonal, and color styles.1 the title is set in jakob erbar’s 1927 erbar grotesk, the beginnings of the geometric sans and the letterforms studied by paul renner in his preliminary designs for futura.2 erbar’s characters retain a more human, hand drawn quality, to which i’ve added custom modifications to accentuate the geometric nature of the typeface, and have also drawn oldstyle numerals and ligatures.
the exhibition is co-organized by the hammer museum, the art institute of chicago, and the morgan library & museum, and is curated by cynthia burlingham, deputy director of curatorial affairs, hammer museum, jay clarke, rothman family curator of prints and drawings at the art institute of chicago, and rachel federman, associate curator of modern and contemporary drawings, the morgan library & museum, new york.
designed materials include print and digital advertisements, largescale building banner, digital screens on the building exterior and lobby interior, spread in seasonal print guide, gallery exterior wall and windows, exhibition didactic texts, and offset-printed poster available in the museum store.