Sol Sans: Sentence 5 (all-caps), Vinyl text on wall, 2010.

Sol Sans: Sentence 5 (all-caps), Vinyl text on wall, 2010.

Sol Sans: Sentence 5 (all-caps), detail, Vinyl text on wall, 2010.

A1 poster, archival ink-jet on paper, 2010

Sol Sans is a typeface based on Sol LeWitt’s handwritten Sentences on Conceptual Art, first
published in 0-9, New York, 1969, and Art-Language, England, May 1969. Any letters not
used in LeWitt’s original text have been replaced with Helvetica Medium.

More information on Sol Sans here >

4by4 - RATIONAL / IRRATIONAL, PayneShurvell, London, 15 - 18 September

In association with Neville Brody’s ADF (Anti Design Festival), PayneShurvell is proud to present 4by4 throughout the month of September: four curators / four shows / four publications / four weeks.

FAD: Ian, what do you understand by anti-design?

I think art is always anti-design. It deals with necessity not choice.

FAD: Explain more about this new font.

Sol Sans is based on a series of handwritten sentences that the American artist Sol LeWitt published in 1969. He was attempting to work out what conceptual art was and what it could be.

The first sentence is: 1. Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists.

Here’s another one relevant to the anti-design festival:

32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.

The typeface was made with the help of Mark Pearson, an artist who runs a project called Progress Through Typography.

Any letters not included in the original handwritten text have been replaced with Helvetica Medium, which means that it is a font that does a single job perfectly. It allows anyone to re-write LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art, but as soon as it’s used for anything else it introduces a level of difficulty, or complexity; it slows down the experience of reading and draws us back to LeWitt’s work.

For Rational / Irrational at PayneShurvell I’m typesetting some of LeWitt’s sentences in caps (rather than the lower-case that he used) and putting them on the wall. The largest will be about 6 metres long, and says:

5. Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.

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