City Gallery City Gallery

Past exhibition

Churchward Samoa

3 May–3 August 2014

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, CIT was one of Wellington’s largest typesetting companies and Churchward was licensing fonts to international 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, CIT 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.