Marker is an on-going project of mine, originally sparked by a group exhibition of the same name at Ramp Gallery (Hamilton) in 2012, curated by Kim Paton. The origanal premise for the show was reasonable straight forward — 12 designers were asked to produce a black and white, plan printed poster some how related to the word, or concept, 'marker'. I chose to use the poster as a proposal for a new typographic charachter—a southern cross to replace the letter T for the process of delineating a New Zealand accent. The text on the poster can be read below.
A few hours after the time of this poster’s publication, on the 29th of May 2012 as part of Marker, Ramp Gallery, Waikato, New Zealand, the Southern Cross will sit upright and almost directly above us in the night sky. The stars that form the constellation may be millions of light years apart from each other, separated by a big black void, but due to our position in the universe—perched on a small blue planet—we connect them to one another, and we see the shape of a cross.
For centuries, the constellation has served as a mark for travellers; indicating their position in time and space, a wayfinding device. Since the southern sky lacks an easily visible pole star, the top and bottom points of the cross (known as Acrux and Gacrux respectively) are commonly referenced in helping to mark south. The Southern Cross further points to location as a symbol of identity; emblazoned on many of the flags of Southern Hemisphere nations and most commonly accompanied by a fifth star, but never when representing New Zealand.
This poster is a proposal—a draft plan—exploring the possibility of using the points of the Southern Cross as an alternate ‘T’. In this instance, it signs the origin of the poster and the identity of its designer as from New Zealand; as opposed to from anywhere else. The device may doubly act as an accent, specifying the text is to be read out in a New Zealand accent. Though the words may have originated from the other hemisphere, here, they are being said by a New Zealander.
Marker, Ramp Gallery, 2012.