Work of artist Alan Kitching celebrated at Design Manchester Festival

Alan Kitching
Alan Kitching (Vimeo)

The life and work of typographic artist Alan Kitching was celebrated during the Design Manchester Festival.

His touring exhibition, A Life In Lettering, was displayed at the Manchester School of Art during the festival.

While his name might not be well known, his work has reached a worldwide audience with its bold colours, unique designs and clever word play.

The artist not only exhibited his work but also gave a workshop on printing and lettering.

Design Week told how the exhibition gave an exceptional look into Kitching’s design processes and inspirations.

The site also notes that the artist has kept to his traditional lettering processing despite the developments in technology.

Kitching was quoted as saying: “Like any technology it’s tedious but there are some things in printing that you can’t get anywhere else. The thoughts, actions and the process of doing it might lead you somewhere else.”

One area of Kitching’s work that has led him somewhere different is with The Guardian.

In an interview with Female First the artist spoke of how he designed the mural in The Guardian’s foyer.

His inspiration for the mural was to go back to the original Manchester Guardian’s 1821 manifesto and chose seven words to capture the paper’s ambitions: ‘spirited’, ‘zealously’, liberty’, ‘unbiased’, ‘boldly’, ‘accuracy’, and ‘debates’.

The idea behind the mural was to constantly remind the journalists and visitors of the paper’s vision when they came into the office. He has also designed some of the paper’s most famous pages.

The Guardian reports how Kitching grew up in Darlington and went to the Watford School of Art to learn his trade.

His wife Celia, also a designer and artist, passed away five years ago but Kitching told the newspaper how she still inspires him through the prints and paintings of her scattered around his studio.

Design Manchester was set up in 2013 and takes place annually every October.

The festival is a non-profit organisation that seeks to bring designers together to display their work and promote ideas.

An important part of the festival is The Great Debate. This year Design Manchester reports that the debate is focused around Brexit and what it means for the city’s identity.

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union could have an impact on the creative industries of the city.

Despite the vote to leave taking place five months ago the issue is still a hot topic with FXCM stating that this is due to the uncertainty of the final outcome.

The debate looked at the economic prospects of Brexit for Manchester’s creative industries.