06.3 / Pearlfisher — London

What is Creativity?
An A—Z of Typographic responses

A Letterpress collaboration between
Pearlfisher & Mr Smith

In 2012, I was doing a month-long residency with Tom Dixon at his Ladbroke Grove HQ in London. During this time I met Jonathan Ford, Founding Partner, and Darren Foley, Managing Director, of Pearlfisher — a highly respected, international branding agency.

Fans of the letterpress; Jonathan and Darren were keen for their team to go on a creative journey to understand and explore the fundamentals of typography. I was offered the chance to undertake a modest residency in the gallery space at their studio in Brook Green, Hammersmith.

As momentum for the project accelerated, this ‘short’ residency evolved into a two-month-long event! Every member of the agency undertook a workshop. The accountants showed their skill with numbers — keeping it simple and making some elegant compositions; the account managers tried to reinvent the ‘typographic wheel’.

The final outcomes were varied and thought-provoking, reflecting the personalities and skills of the team. The residency was drawn to a close with a private view, and the final pieces were framed in the Pearlfisher gallery, where they remained for the following months.

Darren Foley

“This was a huge undertaking by Pearlfisher as we’d never done anything like this before, so we were a little apprehensive about how it would work out.

Mr Smith announced his arrival with virtually the entire contents of his workshop and, from that moment on, our team just couldn’t get enough of the experience, with two weeks turning into two months!

The amazing thing from a company point of view was how everyone wanted to get involved. We thought it would be something the creative team and a few others would connect with, but the residency seemed to inspire everyone and bring out the best in every department.

This was a seminal moment for the agency, where we embraced, explored and celebrated creativity through the lens of typography and Mr Smith was the essential creative ingredient in this mix.”