In the dead cold of a long, Chicago winter night, a couple dozen artists and designers took part in an exhibition that celebrates the basic building block of communication: typography. The Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport was where it was held. It’s the community of the future, far away from any L Stop or mass transportation hook up—and hell, it’s on the south side. But this is Chicago and people here will go through a blizzard if something fantastic is going on. And there was. Hundreds of people from the hoi pollloi of Chicago’s art and design community made the trip. They were not let down.

The show, Typeforce 2: The Annual Showcase of Emerging Typographic Allstars, is becoming one of those must do things if you are working here in Chicago and want to share your chops with your peers. It’s designed that way.

We started this project to create a platform for highlighting the genius talent hidden in the offices, apartment buildings, studios, storefronts and streets of Chicago. The participants are either straight design cholos, visual artists or the unique hybrid designer-artists that make waves here in Chitown. We rarely see them in person, but their work creates a visual landscape that brings them close. It inspires us. They inspire us.

If you are lucky enough to have worked with one of them, purchased their work, or hired them for a project you probably already know that their creativity is a kind that eludes most of us. They can work in any medium, create technical masterpieces, and interpret, redefine and map out our thoughts, ideas and dreams. You know that they are the keepers, the people that grow Chicago’s collective cultural consciousness. We need them.

Dawn Hancock + Ed Marszewski
Co-curators, design purveyors, Chicago-enthusiasts and lovers of type