‘U’ for The Alphabet, 2015
As printed on the front page of the Sentinel & Enterprise / photo: Anna Schuleit Haber
A note on the letter ‘U’
My ideas start forming the moment I get a whiff, hear or read, and from there I go into a "space"—my mind with my tools. I chose the letter ‘U’ from the remaining letters on offer, in part because it is one of the vowels, another variation into my on-going series of vowel-based works, but also, the connection that it makes to the Sentinel & Enterprise audience was simply too hard to resist. I began by working with a base drawing used for AEIOU (a typo/sound construction of steel rods stacked high on a first level terrace, made in 2009) and right away saw a visual relationship with the barcode (repeating lines, vertically), which made direct reference to the relationship of exchange between the seller and the reader. After a few renditions down this path, I finally gave way to MuirMcNeil’s recently designed TwoPoint that kept knocking at my door. By taking two extreme weights, I became interested in how the ‘U’ might frame the object, how as a shape it lent itself to the newspaper’s vertical (and folded) format, and how by allowing it to spill out I could re-focus the readers’ attention to inside the form, and what might be published ... a sort of collecting and gathering in, without that feeling of constraint/restraint. The simple overlays of colour — cyan, magenta and yellow — are intended as a direct nod to the art of printing — and, in saying that, I would be equally delighted if the printers took a break and let slip a few of the less-than-perfectly registered sheets (‘waste’) out into the ether.
C / U
The 26 typographers who took part in The Alphabet:
A - Felix Salut, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
B - Andreas Schenk, Basel, Switzerland
C - Dan Keleher, South Hadley, MA
D - Matthew Carter, Cambridge, MA
E - Shoko Mugikura + Tim Ahrens, Garching, Germany
F - Nina Stoessinger, Den Haag, The Netherlands
G - Cyrus Highsmith, Providence, RI
H - Laura Meseguer, Barcelona, Spain
I - Therese Schuleit, Beirut, Lebanon
J - Joe Riedel, Northampton, MA
K - Francesca Bolognini, Cambridge, MA
L - Anna Schuleit Haber, New Orleans
M - Franz Werner, Providence, RI
N - Frank Grießhammer, CA
O - Russell Maret, New York, NY
P - Barry Moser, North Hatfield, MA
Q - Pam Glaven, Northampton, MA
R - Nick Benson, Newport, RI
S - Indra Kupferschmid, Saarbrücken, Germany
T - Geri McCormick, Rochester, NY
U - Catherine Griffiths, Auckland, New Zealand
V - Stephen Goldstein, Ipswich, MA
W - Nicole Dotin, Golden Valley, MN
X - Nico Bergmann, Cologne, Germany
Y - Esen Karol, Istanbul, Turkey
Z - Akira Kobayashi, Germany
The project was also exhibited in the Fitchburg Art Museum as
the series unfolded (funded by an NEA Our Town grant).
100 numbered, limited-edition artist sets of the entire project
are available via annaschuleit.wordpress.com.
Details on the printing and design processes appeared daily at
fitchburgalphabet.wordpress.com, while #fitchburgalphabet provided
updates on the project via Twitter/Instagram. Schuleit Haber’s work
is at anna-schuleit.com.
The 26 issues / image: Anna Schuleit Haber
03 other in(ter)ventions
an international typography symposium, Wellington, NZ
W in black
drawings in progress, 2017
A whakapapa, two lines of women, an installation drawing
All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2016, NZ
Installation with mirror and line
transitionalfieldwork, an exhibition, 2016, NZ
only U know ...
collaboration, Lela Jacobs AW17 Auckland, and SS17 Paris collection, NZ + FR
installation, Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale, Seoul, KR
front page takeover of the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper for 26 days, Fitchburg, USA
The Brexit Series
a word-play poster series in response to Brexit
Raising the Flag
contemplative, suggestive — design unravelled, NZ
The Tuwhare Poster Project
fund-raiser for the Hone Tuwhare Trust Writers Residency, NZ
memento :: motif
Proyecto de Arte Contemporáneo Alzheimer, Valparaíso, Chile
The Phone Book
a maquette, for the Club de Conversation project
Club de Conversation at S/F with Dino Chai, Auckland, NZ
Club de Conversation: Keyhole Series and Dials
rug series, Dilana Workshop, NZ
installation, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, NZ
short film, Paris, France
a collaboration with ceramic artist Raewyn Atkinson, NZ
typ gr ph c
The letter ‘U’ for The Alphabet, Fitchburg, Massachussets, USA
commission: a letter for the front page of the daily newspaper, Sentinel & Enterprise, curated by Anna Schuleit Haber
July 13 - August 11, 2015
The Alphabet is a project for the city of Fitchburg, MA, revolving around the daily newspaper, a collaborative alphabet, an embedded visiting artist, a special group of reporters, and 26 typographers from around the world.
The Fitchburg Art Museum has commissioned artist Anna Schuleit Haber to create a new work for the city of Fitchburg, MA, for which she proposed (and received the permission) to take over the front page of the city’s daily newspaper, the Sentinel & Enterprise, for 26 days.
This work of art is a limited-edition, daily experiment that explores visual language systems, the transport of text, and the shaping and meaning of news, both local and non-local. The project spans twenty-six days and highlights art, poetry, and news-stories that appear, not inside the paper but on its front page. The art is the newspaper, and the newspaper is the art.
The artist and her collaborators use the natural parameters of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet to create this series of front pages, from A through Z. Each front page features a large typographic design of a letter, specially created by a guest typographer, around which daily news and found urban stories are arranged. The typography and the stories are created in continuous collaboration with citizens, writers, poets, high school and college students from our region. For the duration of The Alphabet, Anna Schuleit Haber and her team of interns are the reporters and designers for what is hoped will be the paper's most unusual run of front pages in its 177-year old history.
Twenty-six typographers were invited to contribute one original letter each to this project, as a gift to the city. Each typographer was encouraged to make the letter as idiosyncratic and unusual, as legible or abstract, as colorful or monochromatic as is inherent to his or her style and wider creative approach. Each letter influences and suffuses each day’s design and reporting.
The aim is to assemble the most diverse and far-reaching collaborative alphabet that has ever been created for a daily newspaper. Letters as big and bold as the entire newspaper page, reminiscent of illuminated letters, will inspire a second and third glance from readers. After twenty-six days, any loyal reader of the paper will have a complete limited-edition set of front pages.
The Alphabet is supported by an ‘Our Town’ Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was commissioned by FAM in collaboration with the City of Fitchburg, Fitchburg State University, and the Sentinel & Enterprise.
source: Fitchburg Art Museum
Anna Schuleit Haber