If a city can be recognised by its architecture, why not also by its typography? In this illustrated talk Banham plays detective, sharing amazing untold stories behind some of Melbourne’s best loved public signage – from the Herald Sun Building’s majestic uppercase letters, to Richmond’s ‘Neon Quartet’ (the Skipping Girl, Nylex clock, Pelaco and Slade Knitwear signs). His interest in signage spans the celebrated, the vanished, the hidden and the forgotten. Above all it is a celebration of the deep cultural significance of typography.
STEPHEN BANHAM is a typographer, writer, lecturer and founder of Letterbox, a typographic studio based in Melbourne. After three years or writing and research, ‘Characters: Revealing cultural stories through typography’ was co-published by the State Library of Victoria and Thames and Hudson in 2011. In the same year Banham was made a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria. He has a Masters in Design Research and is currently doing a practice-based invitational PhD.