So what is the Baskerville Project I found myself asking (not alone) since I stumbled across the beginnings of an animation from Smile (see through this link). A quick search and the Hello Digital blog and cartoonist Alex Hughes filled out the details for us:
a short animated film celebrating the life and work of local eccentric, printer, jappaner, gravestone engraver and atheist John Baskerville. Baskerville is probably best remembered today as the creator of the Baskerville font, although there is a rather extraordinary tale surrounding what happened to his body post-burial [scroll down].
So, what was my part in all of this..? well, the producers have invited a group of artists, illustrators, calligraphers, embroiderers, stone-carvers and the like (and one cartoonist) to recreate the letters from Baskerville’s name to form part of the final multimedia installation at the Hello Digital festival next month. For my part, I dug out my dip nibs and ink (which I’ve not been using much of late) and inked a caricature of Baskerville in the letter K, in Fry’s Baskerville letterform style at BIAD at Birmingham City University. There is talk about a little more involvement in the project in the near future, and I’m sure there’ll be more posts and information nearer the date.
The Baskerville installation (and my part of it) will be on show at Millennium Point, Howe St, Birmingham B4, UK [map] from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th October 2008 as part of the Hello Digital festival which will be running at various venues across Birmingham.
It’s fascinating to see the innovators of 21st century Birmingham celebrating the early innovators who inspired the Lunar Society and Birmingham’s first industrial drive.
(front page image of “e” s courtesy of moirabot)