Episode 81: Barrie Tullett

Caseroom Press http://the-case.co.uk/

The Typographic Dante: to hell and back with Barrie Tullett’s stunning visual project

The Caseroom Press

Barrie Tullett is a freelance graphic designer and senior lecturer and programme leader at Lincoln School of Art & Design. He grew up in Walthamstow, East London and studied at St Martin’s School of Art and Chelsea School of Art.

He is the author of Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology (Laurence King, 2014) and along with Philippa Wood he is part of a collective called The Caseroom Press,  an independent publisher whose work explores the function and format of the book “from single limited editions to multiple copies; from poetry to prose; from the artists’ book to traditional print; from stencils to typewriters; from wood and metal type to litho and digital print processes” the duo collaborate with a number of illustrators, designers, painters, poets, sculptors, students and musicians.

We discuss the Typographic Dante, its origins and its exhibitions.


The International Society of Typographic Designers

Klang Farben Text

We detoured to Barrie’s concrete poetry knock knock jokes. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear about this. We talk about celebrity list questions.

Barrie talked about how his life had been changed by Dante’s Inferno and how he first got into it, reading different translations and versions.

He talked about his love of printing and Letterpress and then the typewriter.

We speak of the fragility of Letraset and we discuss the technologies becoming obsolete. He talked about the differences between working with Letterpress, the typewriter and Letraset.

Emigre Magazine , A Magazine for Exiles – became a “mouthpiece for the font.”

We talk about digital technologies like In/Design, Photoshop. I explain why the accidental nature of processes for digital tech gives me joy.

We move on to the anthology, Typewriter Art, which was going to be a new edition of Alan Riddell’s Typewriter Art anthology and the typewriter art movement. Barrie describes the difficult of getting copyright for the work. Listen to the episode for the serendipitous story of getting copyright for the work of Zoran Popovic. He talked about the Sackner Archive and the Art of Typewriting.

It turns out that the Typographic Dante is not finished. Barrie wants it to be a book, and has also started making additional illustrations, hoping to make a total of 300. He never expected to be working on it for 30 years or having it be in so many exhibitions, including Dante: The Invention of Celebrity, which is currently at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

We discuss our almost connection at the Kanada Koncrete symposium at the University of Ottawa in 2018.

Thanks to Barrie for being on the show, to Charles Earl for processing, to Jennifer Pederson for the intro and outro music, to all of you for listening and sharing the episode. Stay tuned for episodes with Kristine Snodgrass, Emilia Morgan and Stephanie Meloche of Coven Editions, Jennifer Mulligan to discuss the poetic elements of film, and then in 2022, we’ll be talking to Ellen Chang-Richardson and Nina Jane Drystek of the Riverbed Reading Series & more!