War & Remembrance




Vietnam Veterans Memorial
I have recently been involved with a couple of projects that have given me time to research design concerned with war and remembrance. One of these is International Bomber Command Centre – a project that once complete will provide a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for those in Lincolnshire and further afield who lost their lives during World War II. It is fitting that today I find myself looking at the typography used on the 9/11 Memorial in New York entitled “Reflecting Absence” among others. The importance of finding or designing an appropriate typeface that fits both the gravity of the events and suitability to the surroundings of a public piece of work, coupled with its intended function – to give information and be readable, has led interestingly to two avenues of design thinking.
With the 9/11 memorial and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, the font Optima – designed by the legendary typographer Hermann Zapf – has been used as it is a clear, classic and well proportioned typeface that can easily be read. The typographer Phil Baines has taken another direction with the font he designed for the 7/7 memorial in London, taking inspiration from the 19th Century, un-tutored sign makers’ sans-serif seen on buildings around the city to produce a font that has a direct link to the surroundings and therefore personalises a fitting monument to an event that had a very direct and profound effect on many individual people.
Close-up of Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Close-up of Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Typography has a deep and personal effect on the way we understand and relate to language and communication and I look forward to being involved with many more projects that give me such insights into how this bridge is created so effectively.
Today our thoughts are with those who have been directly and indirectly effected by these events.
Hyde Park. 7 July 2005 Monument
Hyde Park. 7 July 2005 Monument