Apr 30/13
By Jes Lawrence

Type Tuesday: Art Meets Type

One of my favorite airports in the U.S. is SFO, San Francisco International Airport. The new(ish)ly remodeled Terminal 2 showcases some great art installations, both permanent and rotating. When we fly up there every few weeks for client meetings, I always look forward to seeing what's new on view.

During the last trip in late March, I was intrigued by this beautiful device—what looked to be a letterpress—displayed in the window of Compass bookstore. A poster hung on the storefront window next to the device, which read:

TYPE

GIVES BODY AND VOICE
TO SILENT THOUGHT.
THE SPEAKING PAGE CARRIES IT
THROUGH THE CENTURIES.

This beautifully crafted sculpture, created by Oakland-based artist Shawn HibmaCronan, took my breath away upon closer examination. The craftsmanship was something to behold, constructed in beautifully galvanized steel, polished oak and bamboo. The type set in the ink plate, and displayed on a single sheet of paper read, "FREEDOM."

photo

As I walked away to catch my flight home, I was left with a sense of nostalgic relief that type still means something. The press still represents freedom of thought—that there is a permanence to the process of transforming ideas into something that is real and tactile. I often rely on an email, a text message, or perhaps a tweet to express my thoughts and ideas. It all seems immediate and fleeting. Yet even in those instances, you're left with the words, impressed into your mind. As I pondered this, my iPhone vibrated to alert me of a text message from my husband that read, "Safe flight home. Love you."


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