Runs until 09/22/2024

Paula Scher – Type is Image

Paula Scher has been a pioneering force in graphic design for over five decades.
View of the exhibition, Paula Scher – Type is Image, 2023.
Photo: Anna Seibel

About the Exhibition

Paula Scher has been a pioneering force in graphic design for over five decades. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 1980s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In 1991 she became a partner in the New York office of Pentagram, the distinguished international design consultancy, where she leads a team that develops brand identities, signage, packaging and publications for clients all over the world.

Scher’s typographic work is guided by her belief that “words have meaning, and type has spirit” – that people recognize type and understand the emotion, wit, power, beauty and other human sensibilities behind it without reading. Following the early advice of a teacher to “illustrate with type,” she has explored this idea throughout her career. Her iconic identity for The Public Theater, with its active, all-encompassing typography, helped redefine the graphic language of performing arts institutions, and her use of custom typefaces has made them an essential part of modern branding. Her work in signage and environmental graphics has reimagined streets and buildings as dynamic installations of type, while her personal map paintings and drawings have recast the world in handwritten lettering.

With “Type is Image” Die Neue Sammlung continues its tradition of inviting important contemporary designers to create a site-specific installation. Paula Scher responded by producing a walk-in exhibition of her work that allows visitors to immerse themselves in her world. From the floor via the walls through to hanging letters and posters visitors will be surrounded by Paula Scher’s works. Even the display cases are supported by letters. From every vantage point new perspective and interesting interplays of various works arise.
This unique installation ensures that visitors experience Paula Scher’s work in a very special way. The exhibition features commissioned works from Scher’s early career through until the present day. From the corporate identity and graphic design campaign for the Public Theater in New York via the campaign for Rockaway Beach following the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 through to her room and facade designs the great diversity of Scher’s oeuvre becomes visible.

Plan a visit

Where?

Barer Straße 40, 80333 Munich

Opening hours:

Daily 10:00 – 18:00

Monday closed

Thursday 10:00 – 20:00

Exhibition views

View of the Serif and Sans showcases, Paula Scher – Type is Image, 2023.
Photo: Anna Seibel
General view of the exhibition, Paula Scher – Type is Image, 2023.
Photo: Anna Seibel
Exhibition view, Paula Scher – Type is Image, 2023.
Photo: Anna Seibel

Text in the Exhibition

Play Audio

With “Paula Scher. Type is Image” Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum is honoring the oeuvre of an American designer who is considered to be one of the most influential graphic designers of her generation.

The work of Paula Scher (born 1948) always revolves around typography. She develops symbols and letters that are simultaneously images. Even before they have been read, they convey their messages through form, size, alignment and color. Paula Scher’s repertoire of typographic shapes seems truly inexhaustible and thrives on her lifelong passion for collecting – especially historical and marginal fonts.

“Type is Image” is the first solo show by the graphic designer in Germany and presents her work in all its diversity. On display are outstanding commissioned pieces, such as the corporate identity she devised for the New York Public Theater or the campaign for Rockaway Beach following the ravage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. These are showcased alongside non-commissioned works in which Scher often reveals herself to be an attentive and humorous observer and commentator of her time. One example of this is her brochure on “useless information”, in which she addresses the overabundance of freely available advice in a manner that is both critical and ironic.

For some 20 years now, one major interest of Paula Scher has been in creating hand-painted maps of the world. Once again, her key focus is on the typography; geographic information is communicated through the arrangement and shape of place names. In the process Paula Scher questions the apparent objectivity of maps and deliberately highlights subjective impressions and views of the regions in question.

With “Type is Image” Die Neue Sammlung is continuing its tradition of inviting important contemporary designers to create a site-specific installation. Paula Scher responded to the invitation by producing a walk-through show that allows visitors to immerse themselves in her world.

Catalogue

A large-format poster book has been published to accompany the exhibition, for which Paula Scher has selected 101 posters and motifs from her entire oeuvre. The posters can be removed individually.

Cover of the exhibition catalogue. The letters P and S are printed large in pink on the catalogue cover. Paula Scher, Type is image is written in pink in the top right-hand corner.
Cover of the exhibition catalogue, Paula Scher – Type is Image, 2023.
Graphic design: Paula Scher © Die Neue Sammlung

FAQs

Curated by:

Caroline Fuchs

Sponsored by:

PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V.,
Allianz,
K. S. Fischer Stiftung

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