Prem Krishnamurthy :: Double Agency

Photo by: Amber Gregory

The hour began with Krishnamurthy answering yes or no questions posed by the audience.

“Will you ever fill an exhibition space with balloons?”

Krishnamurthy is an exhibition designer interested in the overlap of curating and design. His studio is called Project Projects and knows that the question of agency is at the core of his work and to what extent those roles overlap and become more over the course of a project. “the work of a graphic designer never actually ends at the things that are in a scope of work…but rather your involved in content in all kinds of different ways, the same goes for exhibition designers.” The intermingling of the two is where the interesting things come about.

He founded Project Projects with Adam Michaels 10 years ago in New York and was based on a premise that they could create a design studio that was focused on making work within art and culture. They work editorially and curatorial on content with their clients. They help these museums, institutions and organizations think about their identity and how they communicate themselves apart from products, books and publications.

Krishnamurthy has a particular interest in spaces and how they “offer the opportunity for a direct encounter with an object, idea and experience and at the same time also offers a direct encounter with somebody else.” An exhibition is a place for people to come together to look and experience something, which he finds to have a potency in that form. He has been increasingly focused on this form and helping institutions with the content and create strategy of an exhibition space. He says, “As an exhibition designer you are indelibly touching the content that you are somehow mediating.”

He posed the question, how can a design system be curatorial? His points about using identity as a curatorial system and being able to be opened up and do secondary things was inspiring in a world where things do not change rapidly. His project with a cultural institution called SALT in Istanbul commissioned designers to create a different version of the name SALT from the original typeface that was created for the organization called Kralice Grotesque. The typeface changed periodically and now serves as a kind of archive date stamp on SALT’s website.

Krishnamurthy has an exhibition space in China Town on the Lower East Side of New York City called P!. It is an interesting space that doesn’t have a fixed graphic identity, each show creates its own context. Every show has a designated typography and the press releases then become their own piece of that specific exhibition, another date stamp. The facade is molded by the exhibitions that are shown in the space. The space then becomes a layered art piece with the remnants of what was occupying it before. P!’s mission statement is a mad lib where the blanks can be filled by people who come by so that it is variable and changed over time.

He left us with this thought. “At first glance we might look at this and think, what does this have to do with graphic design? For me, I think that it’s an extremely design oriented process. Because for one thing, when traditional curators think about work, they think about objects, and thats a great thing. Curating comes from caring for things. On the other hand, graphic designers think about systems and communication and I think the melding of these things together is something interesting. To think systematically about how to make an exhibition in an unconventional way, but also to make that process transparent and self reflexive and something that can also be enjoyed by somebody and communicated is, for me, the most important thing.”

-India Sabater @IndigoPlatinum

Get into the mood

TYPO San Francisco will be kicking off today. There will be live streaming of selected talks starting with the opening speech by Maria Popova, The Science of Productivity and the Art of Presence.

TYPO SFR Live Stream

Live streaming throughout the two-day conference will be:

Thursday, April 10, 1 p.m.: Gemma O’Brien, Crafting Authenticity
Thursday, April 10, 6 p.m.: Norman Hathaway interviews Victor Moscoso, Poster Legend
Friday, April 11, 10 a.m.: Lisa Congdon, Embrace the Abyss & Other Lessons
Friday, April 11, 1 p.m.: Elliott Earls, Money, Sex, and Power – The Mechanics of a Hybrid Practice
Friday, April 11, 6 p.m.: Aaron James Draplin, “Tall Tales from a Large Man” with Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design, Co.



Why you should get excited about TYPO Berlin?

Programme director Jürgen Siebert spoke to Creative Bloq about the DNA of TYPO Berlin, how it all started in the mid 1990s, the evolution of typografic stars like Neville Brody, David Carson or Stefan Sagmeister and how the upcoming TYPO conference will take a look at the roots of success in design today.

Read the full Creative Bloq interview here … Or register straight away here …

TYPO Berlin HdKdW SabineWentzel

Calm before the storm: Europe’s greatest design conference awaits 1500 visitors from 15–17 May 2014 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Image by Sabine Wentzel) 

Six Presentations to be Live Streamed!

Ready for two days of design inspiration from around the globe? TYPO San Francisco Rhythm, presented by FontShop, takes over the YBCA Theater and Screening Room at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) tomorrow and Friday. Can’t make it to SF? We’ve got you covered with a small taste of the magic that will happen over the next two days.

New York-based curator of the popular Brainpickings site, Maria Popova, will deliver the keynote at 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday. Her talk “The Science of Productivity and the Art of Presence” will be available via live streaming at

Also live streaming throughout the two-day conference will be:

Thursday, April 10, 1 p.m.: Gemma O’Brien, Crafting Authenticity
Thursday, April 10, 6 p.m.: Norman Hathaway interviews Victor Moscoso, Poster Legend
Friday, April 11, 10 a.m.: Lisa Congdon, Embrace the Abyss & Other Lessons
Friday, April 11, 1 p.m.: Elliott Earls, Money, Sex, and Power – The Mechanics of a Hybrid Practice
Friday, April 11, 6 p.m.: Aaron James Draplin, “Tall Tales from a Large Man” with Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design, Co.

Of course the best way to experience TYPO is to be there in person. But hurry! Only a limited amount of tickets are left before 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Lunch Break! at TYPO SF Rhythm

After ducking in and out of speaker sessions, checking out the Happenings, and getting to know other attendees, we’re sure you’re all going to work up an appetite! We’ve tracked down some of the best bites for you to enjoy on your lunch hour during TYPO SF Rhythm, and they’re all within a short walking distance from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.


SAMOVAR TEA LOUNGE | 730 Howard St, Upper Terrace

Moorish Tea Service (via Yelp)

Across the lawn at YBCA is the Howard Street terrace, where you’ll find Samovar Tea Lounge. Samovar is not only known for the exceptional teas, but also for their international menu of lunch dishes and desserts. Tucked away above the Martin Luther King Jr. waterfall, the tea lounge creates a very peaceful atmosphere to enjoy an indoor or outdoor meal.



Dining area (via Hoppit)

Financial district professionals take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life to enjoy a nice, hearty meal at The Grove Yerba Buena. Once you step in, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a trip to a ski town. The chicken pot pie is a best seller, but they also have vegetarian options. The Grove is the perfect place for attendees to meet up, tuck into some good food, and just chit chat!



Metreon on 4th and Mission (via SF Examiner)

The recently revamped Metreon Mall has experienced a rise in foot traffic from both visitors and locals. Nestled besides City Target and the AMC movie theater, the tasty food court selection will satisfy whatever your cravings may be. A quick walk up Mission Street will bring you to the four-story 350,000 square foot shopping center. Full list of dining options here.


Coriander Gourmet Thai (via Foodspotting)

Searching for the flavors of Asia? Don’t miss out on Freshroll Vietnamese Rolls & Bowls, Inay Filipino Kitchen, Sanraku Japanese Cuisine, and Sorabol Korean BBQ + Asian Noodles.


LA BOULANGE | 781 Mission St

Some of the selection at La Boulange (via Beyond the Creek)

With locations all around SF, La Boulange brings a little piece of France into our neighborhoods. Dine here for delicious open faced sandwiches, fresh salads, delicious pastries, and bowls – not just cups – of coffee.



Voted the best burger in San Francisco (via Super Duper)

Super Duper Burgers is exactly how it sounds – super duper. Fast food style burgers made with 100% Niman Ranch all natural beef, or opt for an organic veggie burger. All shakes and cones are made with organic Straus cream. Enjoy beer on tap or a glass of wine.


CAKO CREAMERY | 135 4th St

Macaron ice cream sandwiches from Cako Creamery (via Yelp)

It’s always a good time for dessert! After your lunch stop by Cako Creamery for a selection of yummy desserts ranging from ice cream, push pops, and French macarons.


San Francisco is a city known for its endless food options for every taste, so we hope you’re ready to get your grub on. If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late to register for TYPO SF Rhythm!

Die Erschaffung der Welt

Illustrierte Handschriften aus der Braginsky Collection - 04. April bis 03. August 2014  

Das Jüdische Museum Berlin ist dieses Jahr Partner der TYPO Berlin Roots. Passend zu dieser Kooperation zeigt das Museum reich illustrierte Schriftrollen, geschmückte Hochzeitsverträge, illuminierte Handschriften und frühe Drucke, die der Sammler René Braginsky in mehr als drei Jahrzehnten zusammengetragen hat. Diese oft mit sehr aufwendiger Buchmalerei verzierten hebräischen Schriften bestechen durch ihre besondere Verbindung von Text und Kunst und sind Ausdruck einer langen Tradition der jüdischen Schriftkultur.

Alle bedeutenden jüdischen Schriftkünstler und Illuminatoren aus Mittel- und Nordeuropa des 18. Jahrhunderts sind in der Ausstellung vertreten. Mit Schriften der westlichen und östlichen Diaspora zeigt sie auch den Einfluss nichtjüdischer Kulturen auf das Erscheinungsbild und vermittelt einen Eindruck von der Vielseitigkeit der jüdischen Buchgeschichte.

► Sehen Sie in der Ausstellung einem Tora-Schreiber bei seiner Arbeit zu.
Mo+ Di: 16-18 Uhr | Mi, Do + So: 14-16 Uhr

In der Ausstellung zeigen Kalligrafen ihre Kunstfertigkeit auch in arabischer, asiatischer und lateinischer Schrift. Die Termine sowie Informationen zur Ausstellung, dem Führungsangebot und Begleitprogramm finden können auf der Webseite des Jüdischen Museums Berlin gefunden werden:

Öffnungszeiten: täglich 10-20 Uhr | montags 10-22 Uhr

Eintritt: 8 €, erm. 3 €





Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin, www.



Ausstellungseröffnung „Die Erschaffung der Welt“, Copyright Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Ernst Fesseler


Der Toraschreiber in der Ausstellung, Copyright Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Martin Adam


Haggada für Pessach, um 1870, Abschrift und Illustration von Victor Bouton, Frankreich, Copyright: Braginsky Collection, Zürich


Attendees on TYPO: Jenny Thai from Yammer

Rounding out our Attendees on TYPO series, TYPOTalks asked Jenny Thai from Yammer – a leading enterprise social network for businesses, about what brings their creative team to TYPO SF.


TYPO Talks: What attracted you to TYPO SF?

Jenny Thai: I really like that TYPO SF takes an interdisciplinary approach to design. Our creative team includes writers and strategists in addition to designers and developers, so there’s something for everyone.

TT: Have you been to TYPO SF before? If so, what was your favorite part of the experience?

JT: Yes! I attended TYPO SF for the first time last year and thought Mandy Brown was amazing. It was awesome to hear a writer/editor’s perspective on web design. I also really enjoyed Matthew Butterick’s talk on the web advertising economy.

TT: What gets your creative rhythm going?

JT: Coffee, books, and blogs (especially design blogs). The Internet is my creative oyster!

TT: Which of our speakers are you most looking forward to?

JT: I’m a big fan of Lisa Congdon’s work, so I’m excited to hear her speak. I’m also really looking forward to Maria Popova. Brain Pickings is one of my go-to sites when I need to indulge my curiosity.

TT: Do you have any current projects you or your group is working on that you would like to share?

JT: We’re getting ready to kick off some new projects at Yammer, so it’s perfect timing for us to attend TYPO SF and get some inspiration. We can’t wait.


Register for TYPO SF 2014 today! Only a limited number of tickets are available and they’re going fast.

Does your group want to get in on the action? Email for more information about group rates.

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