Swash & Serif is an annual group typography and lettering art show hosted in Toronto. Since 2014, we've featured work from over 100 artists from Toronto to California, in all kinds of mediums and styles.
Swash & Serif was born from a love of typography. Type is incredibly expressive, and there are so many ways to communicate with type that go beyond just words. There are many talented letterers and designers who push and experiment with letterforms in various mediums; we wanted a space to show them off.
For each show I design a new poster that's used in all promotional materials. Because this is a typogrpahy show, I focus on the number of the show and do something interesting with the glyph or the medium I'm working within. I do my best to do something "weird" and not simply design something digital and flat. I want the poster to serve as inspiration and tone-setting for the show: this is art, not communication design, and I want the artists who submit to push themselves to do something they don't usually think of.
Swash & Serif 4 (2017)
I made a 3D 4 by hand with painted paper, and shot it to cast a shadow and create a "grand" impression. The letterform didn't have to be complex, I just wanted to create something that was simple and strong.
Swash & Serif 5 (2018)
I liked the idea of going off-screen and playing with a background that wasn't the traditional flat paper, creating something a little less controlled. Recreating a gradient in the real world by printing more than one glyph was another way to bring this digital-to-real feeling in.
I created a rich feeling with the colours and the lush fabric. In reality, this was shot on my living room coffee table with a dress as the background, lit by my window; you don't need an expensive studio to make an expensive-looking image.
Swash & Serif 6 (2019)
This year, I wanted to play with mirrors and reflections. I cut the 6 glyph out of reflective copper paper and assembled a triangle of mirrors that I'd purchased at the Dollar Store. I love the infinite environment that mirrors create when they reflect each other, and I thought placing something within that environment was really interesting.
This was difficult to shoot as the mirrors were actually quite small and I had to get my DSLR lens in there without capturing the camera in the refleciton. In the end, I experiemented a lot with perspective, depth, and light to create some really fascinating images.
I run a website that hosts all the work featured in each show. I designed the website to be just as expressive as the work, and as fun as attending opening night with a huge crowd. The site serves as an archive of past work and offers information and tips to artists interested in participating.