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Up Front gallery, Level 5Previous Exhibition
Joseph Churchward (1932–2013), a Samoan-born New Zealand typographer, passed away in May 2013. In this exhibition, we pay tribute to his remarkable contribution to the arts.
Churchward dedicated his life to letters. ‘Hand-lettering is superior,’ his business cards proclaimed, a reflection of his belief that the subtlety of a curve could only be captured by hand.
Over six decades, Churchward created more than 600 typefaces – each one representing several hundred hours of work. International recognition came after the leading German company Berthold Fototype acquired a number of his fonts in the late 1960s. His playful, idiosyncratic typefaces – produced, in later years, from his Wellington home – are used around the world.
Endlessly creative, Churchward found inspiration in his family and Samoan heritage. He remained enraptured by the possibilities of the alphabet: ‘Without letters ... we wouldn’t be able to communicate.’