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Events planned ahead of Will Carter exhibition

With the “Will Carter: Man of Letters” exhibition postponed until March 2022, The Lettering Arts Trust is preparing a series of virtual events to spark excitement and interest in the run up – with the first taking place tomorrow (08/04/21).

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Carter’s interest in arranging the type created by others in pleasing patterns eventually evolved into a mastery of the pen which informed the design of several typefaces

A printer, letter designer and carver, William Nicholas Carter was first known for founding the Rampant Lion Press in 1924, at the age of 12. Carter went on to turn the Press into a full-time operation in 1948 and was joined by his son Sebastian in the 1960s.

According to The Lettering Arts Trust, Carter was best known for William Morris’ The Story of Cupid and Psyche which he and his son printed in 1974. Prior to its closure in 2008, The Rampant Lion Press produced wood and slate carvings, 20 frames of jobbing printings, and over 80 books. [Will] Carter also designed several typefaces: Klang which he designed independently, Octavian which he designed with David Kindersley, and Dartmouth which was released by Letraset.

We felt Will’s contribution to the world of lettering spanning the second half of the 20th century shouldn’t be diminished by trying to mount an exhibition compromised by the current covid restrictions

Lettering artist Eric Marland and John Gray, with contributions from Sebastian Carter, have worked to produce an exhibition which acts as a “comprehensive retrospective” of Will Carter and his life’s work.

The exhibition had been planned for March this year to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the lettering veteran’s death. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, curators have been unable to access key artefacts from public collections and individuals.

Marland says: “We felt Will’s contribution to the world of lettering spanning the second half of the 20th century shouldn’t be diminished by trying to mount an exhibition compromised by the current covid restrictions on access to some of the public institutions which hold important collections of his work.”

This retrospective of Will's work, includes a copy of Carter’s Caps

In the run up to the 2022 exhibition, The Lettering Arts Trust will host a series of talks which aim to “whet the appetites of Will Carter enthusiasts”, over the online platform Zoom.

The first Zoom event will hear from exhibition curator Marland, and Will Hill who is Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Course Leader of MA Graphic Design and Typography at the Cambridge School of Art. In an “In Conversation” format, the pair will discuss Carter and his work.

The event is taking place via Zoom this Thursday at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased through the Lettering Arts Trust website via Visit/Events Calendar.

In addition to the virtual series, a catalogue for the exhibition is being produced which will feature essays and information on Carter’s career. Scheduled for print in June, the catalogue can be pre-ordered from May.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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