All fonts look the same is an exhibition of 260 fonts, celebrating uniquely restricted shapes with an almost endless amount of variation. Letterforms follow years of collective ideas on what an A or a Z is. In order to function, an A must look like an A. They are limited by form, yet there are virtually unlimited forms.
The curated collection not only displays diversity within each letterform, but includes examples of both classic and contemporary fonts – showing that type design not only has a long history but also has validity as an ongoing practice. This ongoing practice coupled with the almost endless variations leaves open the possibility of a follow-up exhibition as type design continues to evolve with advances in technology.
Here, the role of the typographer can be compared to that of the modern curator. Both typographer and curator exist to honour the content with which they work, creating something fresh through their own vision. Just as the curator is nothing without the artist, the typographer is nothing without the type designer.
In viewing the type designers as exhibiting artists, all foundries and designers were contacted to obtain the correct permissions and licensing. As the type designers were situated worldwide, this aspect of the curation process turned All fonts look the same into an international celebration of type, as well as locally, giving type enthusiasts or otherwise a physical space to come together and share ideas.
The branding and presentation of the exhibition were deliberately kept monochrome and minimal in order to allow the multitude of fonts to speak for themselves. 260 posters were produced with the same layout, each with a different font to match the exhibited collection.
These posters were used as promotional material as well as printed on the reverse of each exhibition brochure as take-home print ephemera. Along with this, the cover of each brochure was set in one of 26 different fonts, ensuring that no two brochures were the same. Continuing this theme, the exhibition website changes its webfont every time the browser is refreshed. We used iconic examples of typeface classifications along with Whyte Inktrap by Dinamo as they gave it too us prior to its release. The website also includes an extensive index of every type designer or foundry as artists exhibited.