The Art of the Word: Library hosts quotable typography art exhibit

by Lauren Fisher

The work of Michael Martin, a Madison-based graphic designer and typography instructor, is on display at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire through Feb. 14. The show, “Word Play,” features 48 pieces of typographic art from his social media project, “The Daily Quote,” which he has managed for nearly two years. Each piece features a memorable quote displayed with Martin’s creative interpretation.

Martin has been interested in typography since he was a child when he used to find typefaces he liked and draw his name using them. In adulthood, he has been frustrated that typography is frequently undervalued even where it should be emphasized – such as on inspirational posters and in exhibit titles, where words can be placed haphazardly in uninspired fonts.

“These are fantastic quotes, they deserve more than that,” he said. The nontraditional nature of his art is what catches peoples’ eye. “This is a different art that has just as much merit, if they just open their mind to it,” Martin said. He made an effort to select quotes from a range of well-known individuals concerning a variety of topics so that there would be something to appeal to everyone. He hopes some will be considered funny, some thought-provoking, and some moving, and encourages his audience members to select their personal favorites.

“Word Play,” an exhibit of work by Michael Martin • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire • during library hours through Feb. 14 • FREE • (715) 839-5004