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UAL Research Online

Fat Faces All Round: Lettering and the Festival Style

Rennie, Paul (2001) Fat Faces All Round: Lettering and the Festival Style. Twentieth Century Architecture: the Journal of the Twentieth Century Society, 5. pp. 107-116. ISSN 1353-1964

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Rennie, Paul

This output relates to part of a project to understand the souvenir culture associated with the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Festival was an important and visible part of Britain’s post-war settlement. The ideological construction of the Festival was complex, looking both forward and back simultaneously.
Furthermore, the Festival was immediately undermined politically so that, by the late 1970s, its aims and objectives had been successfully called into question. Notwithstanding this ideological reversal, the Festival remains a popular success. The ephemeral visual culture of the Festival, exemplified by the typographic embellishments of its buildings and the graphic style of its souvenir publications provide compelling evidence of an alternative future for Britain. The antecedents of Festival typography are identified as those of the early 19C market town and seafront promenade.
My article provides a detailed account of the origins and evolution of the specific typographic style of Festival. This is explained by reference to the historical development of ideas associated with modernism in a specifically British context and in relation to the utopian ambitions of post-war reconstruction.
My recently authored book ,'Design: Festival of Britain 1951'(2007) extends my research interest in this area, by examining the popular experience of the Festival through the souvenirs produced to commemorate the Festival. Festival souvenirs are usually understood as ephemeral and populist. They are not the kinds of iconic objects usually described by design historians. Nor are they as widely known as their royal counterparts. This is the first attempt to itemise their significance in relation to modern social history in Britain.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Date: 1 January 2001
Digital Object Identifier: Unavailable
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:54
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2011 11:02
Item ID: 1552
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1552

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