studio catherine griffiths


still image projected (music video, ‘Norman Bates’, Landscape) with autoportrait against studio door, collage / CG, 2013 // constructing the ‘O’, Typojanchi 2015, photograph / Daun Lim



Installations / Interventions
in progress: 2016 — Kihi/Kiss, carpet, Wellington Airport, NZ
in progress: 2012 — Light Weight, O’Connell Street, Auckland, NZ

2017 — Work/Space, Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition, Shanghai, CHINA
2017 — Collidescape, Te Kei, Ara Institute, NZ
2016 — only U know, Lela Jacobs, Auckland AW17, Paris SS17, NZ
2016 — A bespoke display system, New Zealand Institute of Architects, NZ
2016 — Zion Hill Reserve, a pocket-sized park, Auckland, NZ
2016 — The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Stevens Lawson Architects, NZ
2015 — Constructed/Projected, Typojanchi, Seoul, KOREA
2014 — typ gr ph c ........ a series of occasional workshops, Karekare, NZ
2012 — Fifth Movement, Takapuna Beach House, Auckland, NZ
2012 — The Trestle Leg Series, Auckland Harbour Bridge, NZ
2011 — A Hillside Intervention, Athfield Architects, Wellington, NZ
2011 — Sound Tracks, The Dowse, NZ
2010 — 2012 Two studios + modest house, with Bruce Connew, Karekare, NZ
2010 — The Jets, short film, Paris, FR
2009 — AEIOU, typo/sound installation, Wellington, NZ
2005 — Distance markers, Wellington, NZ
2003 — Ponatahi, a house wrapped in a poem, Wairarapa, NZ
2002 — 2004 Wellington Writers Walk, 15 large-scale concrete text sculptures, NZ

2017 — So far, a map of projects, transitionalfieldwork, Auckland, NZ
2017 — Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition, Liu Haisu Museum, Shanghai, CHINA
2016 — A whakapapa, two lines of women, All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster, NZ
2016 — Installation with mirror and line, transitionalfieldwork, NZ
2016 — Figures of Speech Display Stand, Make Something, NZ
2015 — Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale, KOREA
2015 — The False Demographic, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, NZ
2015 — The Alphabet Project, Fitchburg, Massachussetts, USA
2015 — Fête du Graphisme 2015, City Poster Project, Paris, FR
2014 — The Hone Tuwhare Project, NZ
2012 — A View From Where I Was Sleeping, Dowse Art Museum, NZ
2012 — memento :: motif, Proyecto de Arte Contemporáneo Alzheimer, Chile
2011 — OLD SCHOOL/NEW SCHOOL, curated by Luit Bieringa, 125 years CoCA Massey, NZ
2011 — Club de Conversation Keyholes, Maquettes for the Floor, Dilana, NZ
2009 — New Zealand Identity: le cadavre exquis, curated by Leonardo Sonnoli, for TypeSHED11, NZ
2007 — Protest Vessel, 1/2 Price, (collaboration), Norsewear Art Awards, NZ
2006 — Just Hold Me, curated by Jonty Valentine, Objectspace, NZ
2003 — Conversation Pieces, Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, NZ
2000 — Up:date//The Active Eye: Contemporary New Zealand Photography, PhotoForum

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
National Hangeul Museum, Seoul, KOREA
Shanghai University of Visual Art Museum, Shanghai, CHINA
Metropolitan Museum of Art Special Collection Library (books), USA
Special Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago (books), USA

2017 — Finalist, The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye, Cornish Family Prize For Art & Design Publishing, NGV, AUS
2017 — Pinnacle Award, The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye, AGDA Awards, AUS
2016 — Judges’ Choice, The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye, AGDA Awards, AUS
2016 — Gold Pin, Local Architecture Awards Display Stand, Best Awards, NZ
2016 — Bronze, Zion Hill Reserve, Best Design Awards, NZ
2016 — Bronze, The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye, Best Design Awards, NZ
2015 — Winner, Bates Smart Award Media in Architecture, Parlour Guides, AUS
2015 — Shortlisted, ParlourLIVE!, Venice Architecture Biennale, Australia
2015 — Certificate of Excellence, Self-portrait in C, TDC, New York, USA
2014 — Winner, submission for a pocket-sized park design, Auckland, NZ
2013 — Shortlisted, Point of Distance, Venice Architecture Biennale, NZIA
2013 — Bronze, The Trestle Leg Series, BEST Awards, NZ
2012 — Winner, submission for a light sculpture, O’Connell St, Auckland, NZ
2012 — Honorable Mention, AEIOU, Zgraf 11, Zagreb, Croatia
2010 — Gold Pin, For the record, TypeSHED11 book, BEST Awards, NZ
2010 — Silver, I Must Behave, artist book, BEST Awards, NZ
2010 — Bronze, AEIOU, a typo/sound installation, BEST Awards, NZ
2010 — Gold Medal, For the record, TypeSHED11, Pride in Print Awards, NZ
2009 — Best Cover, A Short History of Photography, BPANZ Book Design Awards, NZ
2009 — TypeSHED11 voted Best Design Event of the Year, Urbis Magazine, NZ
2008 — Finalist, Books, Stopover, D&AD Global Awards, UK
2006 — Recognition for Contribution to the Environment, Architecture Centre, NZ
2003 — Finalist, Typography, Wellington Writers Walk, D&AD Global Awards, UK
2003 — Winner, Environmental Graphics, Ponatahi House, BEST Awards, NZ
2002 — Winner, Environmental Graphics, Wellington Writers Walk, BEST Awards, NZ
2002 — Winner, STRINGER Award, Wellington Writers Walk, BEST Awards, NZ
1999 — Best in Show, On the way to an ambush, Strathmore Graphics Gallery Award, USA
1994 — Gold Medal, The $4billion Sheep, Pride in Print Awards, NZ

2014 — Art New Zealand #150, Body, Mind, Somehow ..., Gregory O’Brien, NZ
2013 — Lettering Large: The Art and Design of Monumental Typography, Steven Heller/Mirko Ilić, Monacelli Press, USA
2013 — Desktop, cover design and feature interview, Heath Killen, Australia
2013 — LetterScapes, Anna Saccani, Thames and Hudson, UK
2013 — New Graphic Design, The 100 Best Contemporary Designers, Fiell, UK
2011 — Typographic 69, The Australian Issue, ISTD
2009 — Small Studios, published by HESIGN, Germany
2007 — Typo — the beautiful world of fonts, Fabiola Reyes, MONSA, Barcelona
2006 — Lettere Nascoste (Hidden Letters), James Clough and students, Milan, Italy
2006 — Print magazine, feature, Life in Italics Helen Walters, USA
2003 — Artichoke magazine, feature, Writing by Types, Justine Clark, Australia

2017 — Peace, Word—Form
2015 — A meditation (Sir Ian Athfield, 1940—2015), Architecture Centre
2015 — typ gr ph c, Strips Club
2013 — FF ThreeSix (typeface review), Typographica
2012 — Truly No Idea, Desktop magazine
2012 — Look for the Purple Lining, Eye Blog
2011 — Shots in the Air, Eye Blog
2011 — John & Eye (feature), Prodesign
2011 — Quite a Blast (conference review), Prodesign
2009 — Locating Our Feet, TypeSHED11, Threaded magazine
2007 — Notes on Feijoa (typeface review), Prodesign

Lectures / Workshops
2017 — Speaker: Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition, CHINA
2017 — Tutor: Porto Design Summer School, PORTUGAL
2017 — Speaker: International Symposium on Typography, RMIT + NGV, AUS
2016 — Speaker: in conversation with Len Cheeseman, City Gallery Wellington, NZ
2016 — Panelist: PhotoBook NZ Festival, NZ
2015 — Speaker: Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale, KOREA
2015 — typ gr ph c ... #5, Speech Practice, CG with online guests (NL), NZ
2015 — Juror: Gareth Morgan flag competition design jury, NZ
2015 — typ gr ph c ... #4, work out work, CG with Tino Grass (DE), NZ
2014 — 2015 — Advisory Board: Typojanchi, pre-Biennale, KOREA
2014 — Speaker: Art + Book Symposium, opening lecture, Dunedin, NZ
2014 — Speaker: A Slight Return, (Graphic) Design School School Symposium, Cass, NZ
2014 — typ gr ph c ... #3, Friday the 13th, CG with Warren Olds (NZ), NZ
2014 — typ gr ph c ... #2, Stencil/Stencilled, CG with Paul Barnes (UK), NZ
2014 — typ gr ph c ... #1, A Type of Improvisation, NZ
2013 — Speaker: Think Outside, Design Minds, Asia Pacific Design Library, AUS
2011 — Speaker and workshop: A Type of Improvisation, Design Assembly, NZ
2010 — Speaker: Together, Alone, Designers Speak National Tour, NZ
2009 — Curator, co-organiser (with Typevents Italy): TypeSHED11, NZ
2009 — Speaker: Beautiful World of Typography, Govett-Brewster, NZ
2008 — Speaker: Alaska Design Forum, Anchorage and Fairbanks, USA
2007 — Juror: Typography, D&AD Global Awards, UK
2006 — Speaker: Arts Institute of Bournemouth, UK
2006 — Speaker: Fast Type, Slow Type, Birmingham, UK
2006 — Speaker: SPARK, International Festival of Media, Arts and Design, NZ
2005 — Organiser and speaker: inaugural Designers Speak, NZ
2005 — Speaker: I live at the edge of the universe, ATypI Helsinki, Finland
2005 — Book reading and interview: Typeradio, ATypI Helsinki
2004 — Juror: 20under40 annual ideas competition, Architecture Centre, NZ
2003 — Juror: BEST Design Awards, NZ
2003 — Speaker: (x)periment, Adelaide, Australia
2002 — Speaker: Landscape Design Conference, Wellington, NZ

2017 — Tutor, Porto Design Summer School, PORTUGAL
2014 — typ gr ph c ... a series of occasional workshops, Karekare, NZ
1994 — present: Guest teaching, assisting and mentoring students, including workshops, lectures and portfolio assessments, NZ and international

2015 — present: Advisory Board Member, Whitecliffe College of Art and Design
2008 — present: Member, The Printing Museum, NZ
2006 — 2014: Member, Type Directors Club, NYC
2006 — Professional Member, International Liaison Group, Arts Institute of Bournemouth, UK
2003 — 2010: Professional Member, DINZ

Clients (since 1995, as independent designer)
Ara Campus / Architecture+ / Architecture + Women A+W•NZ / Athfield Architects / Auckland Council Public Art Team / BRANZ / Bruce Connew / Boffa Miskell / Creative New Zealand / CCS / Dance Aotearoa New Zealand / David Cohen / Four Winds Press / Fulbright New Zealand / Gecko Press / Gecko & Co. / Hanne Johnsen + Gyldendal, Norway / Information Tools / Justine Clark / Kerstin Thompson Architects / Lela Jacobs / LOGAN Studio / Medical Council of New Zealand / Minty Architecture / MORST (Ministry of Research, Science and Technology) / Naomi Stead / New Zealand Institute of Architects / Parlour: women, equity, architecture / Rachel Hurst / Random House NZ / REANNZ (Research, Education Advanced Network New Zealand) / Stevens Lawson Architects / Southern Petroleum PLC / Sydney Yoga Space / Victoria University Press / Victoria University of Wellington / Wellington Airport / Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors / Wellington Waterfront Limited / Wellington City Council / Wools of New Zealand



00 the typographer & designer

Catherine Griffiths

b. 1966

Catherine Griffiths is an Aotearoa New Zealand designer, typographer and artist.

She lives and works in a rainforest near Auckland, intermittently on a barge in Paris, and occasionally in a shipyard on the outskirts.

She studied Visual Communication Design at Wellington Polytechnic during the mid-1980s, set up D.O.T.T., a studio with two female, fellow graduates, then worked several years in London. She returned to Wellington as a senior designer, and later set up her own studio in 1995.

Improvisation is critical to her practice which moves between graphic design, self-publishing, writing on design, and comissioned art installations in public and private spaces.

Projects of note include the Wellington Writers Walk, a series of large-scale concrete text sculptures (2002, 2004); the curation and co-organisation of TypeSHED11, Wellington (2009); and her ongoing Vowel series.

Catherine works with other artists, architects and designers, writers, poets, curators, scientists and engineers, charity groups and women’s organisations. She is active in the international design community, teaches on invitation, offers assistance and mentors students, delivers lectures, and hosts the occasional workshop including the compact
typ gr ph c series.

Selected works are in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, National Hangeul Museum in Seoul, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art Special Collection Library (books), and the Special Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago (books). She has exhibited in New Zealand, Chile, France, USA, China and Korea.

telephone or write

+64 27 664 6132


OPEN for applications! Format Limited, sixth in the typ gr ph c series, a one-day workshop with CG + Hamish Muir (UK), 18.05.2018

Invited by Jack Mussett to write on the word ‘Peace’ for Word—Form, the piece I wrote has sat with me for some time, waiting to be told. See also A whakapapa, two lines of women.

Kihi/Kiss ... the sixth iteration in my Vowel series »Kihi/Kiss« a 15 - metre long carpet section for Wellington Airport’s main lounge, designed back in 2015/2016 when, “... if it’s not a pocket-sized park, it’s a 400 page book, if it’s not a 400 page book, it’s a bespoke display system, if it’s not a bespoke display system, it’s an airport carpet, if it’s not an airport carpet, it’s another vowel installation coming on [»Collidescape«] ... everything now!”.

On top, the night Awoiska van der Molen, friend and photographer, launched Bruce Connew’s book »Body of Work« at The Keep, Prince died ... and a few months later I found my Māori whānau in Oparure ... Make what you wish of all this, but »Kihi/Kiss« pays attention to these moments of intersection — not out of place in an airport lounge. Now in production, and another length of time I’m told, before the terminal’s main lounge will be ready for installation.

Ended 2017 in graphic design mode — Interstices 18 SURFACE / PATTERN: Journal of architecture and related arts. Edited by Andrew Douglas, Ross Jenner, Susan Hedges; published by enigma : he aupiki, December 2017

Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition 2017, December 3—13: Catherine was one of three women and 22 men invited to exhibit ... five were flown from various countries to attend the opening ceremony and give a talk the following day. Many thanks to Zhihua Duan and the curators Rong Cheng and Yibing Xu, a terrific few days. See Work/Space.

Cass: A Serious Holiday, sequel to 2014’s A Slight Return was a welcome home-coming after months away in Europe: 15 designers together in the mountains of the South Island to talk on the theme of possibility. Curated and organised by Katie Kerr with Luke Wood and Aaron Beehre.

In July, Catherine joined Andrew Howard and Hamish Muir as core tutor at the fifth edition of the two-week long Porto Design Summer School. UK book cover designer David Pearson arrived in the second week as guest tutor. A brilliant two weeks, together with 22 international attendees, most of them practising designers, organised (and generously hosted) by Andrew and family. Read Looking back on the fifth edition.

Finalist / The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye: an everyday baroque practice in architecture: a finalist publication of the 2017 Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing, presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, as part of the Melbourne Art Book Fair.

International Symposium on Typography, March 16, 2017. Keynote presenters are Radim Peško, London; Sara De Bondt, Amsterdam; Mia Frostner and Robert Sollis of Europa, London; Vincent Chan, Melbourne; and Catherine Griffiths, Auckland, moderated by Brad Haylock. Presented by the RMIT Design Futures Lab and the National Gallery of Victoria / part of Melbourne Art Book Fair 2017.

All Lines Converge, group exhibition, 17.12.2016 — 20.03.2017, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, NZ

Winner of the AGDA 2016 Pinnacle Award and Judges Choice in the Publications category for The Gentle Hand + The Greedy Eye, AUSTRALIA

Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale: invited to speak and exhibit a new work. See AEIOU — Constructed/Projected. Advisory Board Member since August 2014 for the pre-Biennale newsletter project with Adrian Shaughnessy (Chief), Rob Giampietro, Peter Bilak, Catherine Griffiths, Tetsuya Goto. The portrait above is by the charming Ahn Sang-soo — another addition to one.eye, KOREA

The Alphabet Project, 2015, one of 26 international typographers invited to participate in a 26 day take-over of the front cover of the local newspaper, Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg, Massachussets, USA. Curated by Anna Schuleit Haber. My ‘U’ was published August 5th, USA

typ gr ph c 2015 :: #5 :: Speech Practice workshop with Catherine Griffiths & online guests, Sandra Kassenaar and David Bennewith (NL), and Matthew Galloway, co-curator with CG of Figures of Speech, 31 July 2015, Auckland, NZ

Interviewed by The Design Kids, AUS: “We get the pleasure of chatting to New Zealand typography legend herself, Catherine Griffiths. Catherine splits her time between Auckland and Paris – so so cool! She shares with us three naughty things she did to get ahead in the industry and how she got started in her career.”

ParlourLIVE!: honoured to be part of the Parlour team headed by Justine Clark and Dr Naomi Stead — Clark/Stead/Griffiths/Gusheh/Young. Shortlisted for the role of Creative Director/Team for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016.

typ gr ph c 2015 .... #4 .... »work out work« workshop with Catherine Griffiths & Tino Graß (GERMANY), 13–14 February 2015, Auckland, NZ

Poster representing the city of Auckland, for the 2015 Fête du Graphisme, Paris.

BRAIN, Japan: cover design for October issue of BRAIN advertising + design magazine, including a double page spread profile. Won a Certificate of Excellence at the TDC Awards, 2015.

Window, posters and postcards for University of Auckland’s Window Gallery, curated by Victoria Wynne-Jones, Nicola Verdon and Timothy Wagg.

typ gr ph c ........ is a project by Studio Catherine Griffiths: a series of occasional workshops for typographers, designers and artists looking to experiment outside usual spaces, in thought and practice. The first, A Type of Improvisation, was held on 7th February 2014. The second, in April, was a duet with Paul Barnes, and the third, a duet with Warren Olds in June.

Point of Distance: the title of our submission for which our team SJ/JC/CG (with Justine Clark and Sharon Jansen) was shortlisted for the role of Creative Director/Team for New Zealand’s formal presence at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014. The NZIA s elected architect David Mitchell and team for the role, the result of which is on show at Venice.

Diverse Practice, a paper-folded installation for Architecure + Women was a very nice collaboration with Australian architect, Kerstin Thompson. I am currently designing a new visual identity for KTA.

Fifth Movement, the third in the vowels series: a private commission with Athfield Architects is part of a wider story on my text-based works in Art New Zealand’s 150th issue. The house (and art work) was also featured in the October 2013 issue of HOME, and spotted in Air New Zealand’s inflight magazine.

further reading / looking / listening

A Playlist for the DPAG Late Breakfast Show, hosted by Chloe Geoghegan, August 2014

Desktop Magazine, In the Neighbourhood, interviewed by Heath Killen, 2013

Studio Magazine, a studio interview, 2012

Print Magazine, Life in Italics by Helen Walters, 2006

Typeradio book reading and interview, 2005

site design/build: Catherine Griffiths


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