Presented in 2019 in the context of the Frieze Masters art fair, the Schools of London exhibition of painting and sculpture, organized by Waddington Custot gallery, dives into the impact of local art schools from the 1960s onward. The goal of the exhibition was to explore the influence of London art schools on the development of British art, focusing on the Royal College of Art, St Martin’s, the Slade, Chelsea College of Art, and Goldsmiths College, where the definitions of art were challenged by new experimental postures and a transgression of traditional classifications.
The booklet published on this occasion was designed by A Practice for Everyday Life. In order to emphasize the ephemeral aspect of this exhibition, the studio chose to stab-stitch it and to use newsprint for the interior pages, printed in black and white only. The fact that most of the imagery presented in the booklet consists of archival resources reinforces the documental dimension of the publication. The thicker stock of pink paper used for the cover looks like a cardboard sleeve in which someone would have stored their papers.
The typeface used throughout the publication is Kessler from Production Type, for the specific reason that this contemporary inscriptional serif directly echoes the stone-carved inscriptions found on most of the art schools buildings. The cover shows a typographic composition with different directions of reading, but in which the many O’s in the exhibition’s title are rotated so that they all exhibit the same stress angle. This intervention changes the cover into a kind of map, where the homogeneity of the five O’s symbolize the five different schools present in the exhibition. Kessler is paired with Figgins Sans by ShinnType. This grotesque with roots in 19th century London is used for captions, footnotes, and page numbers.