Formist Editions has launched Kris Sowersby: The Art of Letters, a visible feast of letterforms celebrating one of the world’s main kind designers. The 800 web page publication examines Sowersby’s letter drawing follow whereas contemplating the characters as unbiased works of artwork, exploring their interconnections of operate and elegance. It champions the absurd magnificence concerned in creating a number of expressions of predetermined alphabets by way of nuance and idea. 

While a typeface is a effectively thought of set of many components, if one removes the context of language programs and alphabets, every character could also be considered as a singular summary drawing, as artwork in their very own proper. As introduced on this e book, it permits us to re-see, or to see for the primary time, their particular person type and performance.

We are surrounded by letters. How can we understand them? Are we even aware of it? Formist founder Mark Gowing describes the publication idea as “asking extra questions than it solutions. What kind designers do is usually mentioned as a form of science. But the method of kind design can be extremely artistic and entails an intuitive artistry led by hundreds of minute choices. I needed to look past the operate of kind and realise the gorgeous artwork type inside the system. Type is an expressive artwork that may embody advanced ideas and social meanings.”

As Sowersby expresses, “There is not any definitive type of the alphabet. The alphabet is an idea made concrete by way of numerous written and designed letterforms; the alphabet shouldn’t be outlined by a single typeface however expressed by way of all of them. There’s units of guidelines, largely unwritten guidelines, of how a typeface is put collectively, about relationships between letterforms and between types”.

Printed one per web page in black on cream paper, the publication options over 750 massive character illustrations chosen from Klim typefaces together with Calibre, Domaine, Founders Grotesk, Heldane, National, Signifier, Söhne and Untitled. The quantity options an interesting essay titled ‘What we learn after we see’ by graphic designer, author and educator Paul McNeil and a foreword by Formist writer and designer Mark Gowing. 

Kris Sowersby: The Art of Letters is completed with black-edged pages and the mud jacket options gold foil-stamped customized typography. Sowersby and Gowing collaborated on a customized typeface used to typeset the e book, titled Brotunda. Inspired by the wealthy historical past of rotunda typefaces, its use is unique to the publication.

The e book options an interesting essay titled ‘What we learn after we see’ by UK graphic designer, author and educator Paul McNeil and a foreword by Gowing.

Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry is one of the world’s most celebrated kind designers. Along along with his fashionable library of industrial fonts, Sowersby has additionally designed customized typefaces for commissioners together with The Financial Times, PayPal and National Geographic. He has acquired quite a few awards and accolades, together with a Certificate of Excellence from the New York Type Directors Club and the John Britten Black Pin, the very best award given by the Designers Institute of New Zealand. In 2019, Sowersby was named an Art Laureate by The Arts Foundation for his persevering with contribution to New Zealand Art and Design.


  • Paperback
  • Foiled cowl with black web page edges
  • 150 × 210 mm 
  • 800 pages
  • Editors: Mark Gowing and Dave Foster
  • Design: Formist
  • Essay: Paul McNeil
  • Typeset in Brotunda

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