03 May - 03 August 2014

Churchward Samoa

Joseph Churchward (1932–2013) is a hero of New Zealand typography. In the late 1960s, he established the business that would eventually become Churchward International Typefaces [CIT] in Wellington. By the mid 1970s, he was licensing fonts to a number of international companies and CIT was one of Wellington’s largest typesetting companies. By 1979, he had completed 150 alphabets (he would eventually amass over 600). But, in 1988, in the wake of the stock-market crash, his company fell into receivership, and he decided to return to his native Samoa. There, he established a new studio, developed new typefaces, solicited new commissions, and pondered  the island’s curious fascination with Robert Louis Stevenson. Curated by expatriate New Zealand typographer David Bennewith, this show (which takes its name from a Churchward typeface) explores this particular moment in Churchward’s protean career.

Previous related projects at City Gallery:
Give Us Sign
A Mobile Library

Churchward Samoa is part of the Matariki Wellington Festival.