Typoetry is bringing poetry and graphic design to the streets. It received the expertise and the talent of many partners. Discover how the project came about.
Typoetry is a showcase of poetry and Swiss graphic design. Around thirty works by poets from Newham, the UK and Switzerland are brought to life through designs by the typography students of the ECAL/University of Art and Design of Lausanne and displayed on the front windows of businesses and public buildings across Newham.
When typography meets poetry
The showcase responds to the theme “Rethink-Rebuild”, with a special focus on Newham and its younger voices. At a time of uncertainties in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives need to be redefined. Featuring works by renowned and emerging poets, the poetry collection curated by Steven J Fowler opens new perspectives on today’s global shifts, anchoring them in a rich diversity of experiences, forms and narratives.
Following a workshop led by French typographer Eliott Grunewald, the students of the Master Type Design from the ECAL/University of Art and Design of Lausanne are offering vibrant graphic interpretations of the poems. Inspired by Newham, the artworks give a glimpse into one of Switzerland’s strongest cultural exports, typography.
"Typoetry is utterly unique and has broken new ground for public poetry projects. Not only has it brought together poets across a real range of backgrounds and styles, from age 15 to 70, and celebrated the literary and avant-garde in a way rarely given in such ambitious enterprises, but it has done this in collaboration with design, unlocking the visual potential of the word. And this bold, brilliant and innovative methodology has all been in service of a purposeful and deeply resonant message - a celebration of the city, in and of the very streets we live in, specifically the borough of Newham, as a metaphor for how we all experience the urban. I have never come across a project celebrating poetry in the streets of this scope and ambition, and that carries such considerable and complex works in its fundament." - Steven J Fowler, poetry curator and artist.
A Swiss-Newham project
Led by the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK, Typoetry aims to bridge art forms, languages and communities. As a multilingual and multicultural country, Switzerland regards intercultural exchanges as essential to sustainable societies. The Embassy found ideal partners in the London Borough of Newham: the collaboration with Newham Council, as well as the enthusiasm of local businesses, were key to the development of the project.
Combining its partners’ expertise, Typoetry is bringing poetry and graphic design to the streets in a bid to foster the well-being of Newham residents, to support an inclusive economy and to spark creativity. Enjoyed in trails, as selective interventions, via events and online, the artworks are awaiting you in East Ham, Forest Gate, Green Street, Manor Park and Stratford.
Led by the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK, in close collaboration with Newham Council, Typoetry showcases the work of 45 artists across 21 venues in the public space in Newham. Discover all the participants and venues.