The written word engages the eye as well as the mind. Stories, news and opinions are delivered to us in many different ways: handwritten on paper, carved in wood or stone, printed, incised or viewed on a screen. The right combination of message and medium can broaden perception and intensify the reading experience, engaging our emotions while helping to convey ideas from their source directly to the consciousness of the spectator.
At Letter Exchange, this is what we do. Our members come from all corners of the lettering arts – calligraphy, lettercutting, typography and design – but we have one thing in common: we make words visible. We work with language to bring it to life, to focus attention on ideas, to embody the music of the words or the tone of the writer’s thoughts. By making the act of reading an aesthetic as well as an intellectual experience, we hope to encourage the viewer to pause for thought and to let these words enter memory.
Letter Exchange is a wide-ranging and eclectic mix of professionals in the lettering arts who share the highest standards of craftsmanship and skill. As freelancers and craftspeople, many of us work independently, so the organisation plays a vital role acting as a melting pot where we can meet, discuss, debate and be inspired by the work of our peers.
At our heart is a love of letters and lettering in all its forms and we celebrate this through our activities. We host monthly lectures at The Art Workers’ Guild in London covering a diverse range of subjects; our twice-yearly journal Forum is full of lettering-related articles, essays, and reviews; and our annual studio visits take us behind the scenes to see how our peers work. Our touring exhibitions showcase the work of our members all of whom receive our Yearbook with notes, sketches, photos, and ideas submitted by fellow members.