Andreja Brulc's Blog

Type Tard Card

Posted in Projects by andrejabrulc on 29/06/2009

My response to the project run by Type and Wallpaper* to support the St Bride’s Library in London. The brief required an A6 card either for a typeface or a letter of the alphabet. The card had to follow the style of prostitutes’ advertising cards in London, but based around typographic, illustrative and photographic ideas. My card uses the font Akzidenz Grotesk.

© Andreja Brulc

Ephemeral symbol of London as they may be, tart cards are one of the strongest images I have from my first visit to a big city as a teenager in the mid 80s. Even before you would step into a red telephone box in central London to call your parents to reassure them you were safe and doing just fine, you would be confronted with messages and images that, retrospectively, may frighten your parents had they known from what kind of environment they received a long-distance call from their daughter! But days are also numbered for tart cards as, I understand, internet and mobile phones are taking their place.

Type says that “so pervasive are these things, and so curious is their typography, images and copy writing they are now regarded as items of accidental art and have something of a cult following. Once on the periphery of design, the cards have influenced the work of many mainstream artists including Royal Academician Tom Philips and Sex Pistols designers, Ray and Nils Stevenson.”

Wallpaper* features the project in its first issue on sex and culture this July. In addition to all cards being shown on the magazine’s website, all entries are also exhibited in KK Outlet in London, from 22 to 29 June. Among participants are superstars Erik Kessels, Anthony Burrill, Neville Brody, NB:Studio, Value and Service, Fernando Guiterrez, Ian Wright and Noma Bar. It is intended a book of the project will be published, profits’ to be donated to St Bride Library. At the end of the Project the collection will be donated to the St Bride Library.

Wallpaper* says that the intention of this project is “to highlight the serious issue that lies at the heart of the world of tart cards – the plight of trafficked women in the sex industry. It is a subject touched eloquently on by Mike Dempsey of Studio Dempsey, who is a volunteer at the Helen Bamber Foundation which helps rebuild lives broken by human rights violations. While our exhibition is an ode to the graphic qualities of the tart card phenomena, Dempsey’s design is a pertinent reminder of the sinister world that lies beneath every card.”

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One Response

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  1. chiara said, on 22/05/2010 at 1:22 pm

    Bravissima Andreja!!!


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