‘Paula Scher - Type Is Image’ Opens at Die Neue Sammlung

Preview — Jun 22, 2023

The Pentagram partner creates a major site-specific installation of her work at The Design Museum in Munich.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created Type Is Image, a major installation inspired by five decades of her work, opening today at Die Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum in Munich. The show is the first solo exhibition by the designer in Germany, and will remain on view through September 22, 2024.

Type Is Image continues Die Neue Sammlung’s tradition of inviting important contemporary designers to create a site-specific installation. Prof. Dr. Angelika Nollert, Director, and Dr. Caroline Fuchs, Curator, asked Scher to design and produce an installation of her work with typography. Scher is guided by her belief that “words have meaning, and type has spirit”––that people recognize type and understand the emotion, wit, power, beauty and other human sensibilities behind it without reading. She has explored this idea throughout her career, and the exhibition gave her the opportunity to design an immersive environment that brings together type from over 300 projects.

Scher is the first graphic designer invited to exhibit in the museum's massive two-story high, 3700 sq ft central gallery, and she has transformed the space into an explosion of typography. The works on view range from her record album covers from the 1970s, to her decades of posters and branding for The Public Theater, to signage and identity systems for NYC Parks, the New School, the Atlantic Theater, and more. Many of Scher’s original preliminary drawings and drafts are exhibited for the first time. Posters fill the walls and hang from the ceiling, and more are shown on a specially built dumbwaiter display that cycles through images. Custom-designed tables and display cases are held up by letterforms. 

The installation also features Scher’s hand-painted maps of the world, including a new map of Munich that covers the floor of the gallery. Making its public debut is a Porsche automobile that Scher hand-painted with typography, a private commission she carried out during the pandemic lockdown.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new large-format poster book containing 101 double-sided posters that can be removed and hung.

More from the show coming soon!

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