Making & Unmaking

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Duro Olowu is a collector: his practice as a fashion designer is informed by the ever-expanding range of textiles, artworks, found objects and ephemera he has amassed over the course of his career. In 2016, Olowu curated the exhibition Making and Unmaking at Camden Arts Centre; we were commissioned by Camden Arts Centre and co-publishers Ridinghouse to design a publication to accompany the show.

Olowu’s curation brought together diverse and unconventional objects and works, but certain aspects of the exhibition remained traditional;1 our design for the book highlights this tension between the traditional and the contemporary. Text pages are laid out in a classic way, with generous margins to the top and bottom, but with oversized page numbers. The use of a serif font is traditional in this context, but we chose a highly contemporary cut with unusual stresses, and the type on the cover is bold and heavy, like a protest poster, referencing the political themes running through the exhibition.2 The large, folded jacket references the textiles throughout the show.3


  1. The salon-style hang, and the combination of old and new works on a wide range of themes, was similar to the annual exhibitions held at the Royal Academy and to traditional craft exhibitions. 

  2. The cover typography also references the title type used on the covers of old copies of South African magazine ‘Drum’.

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  3. The book’s jacket is printed on the inside with a modified version of a late 19th century Kuba textile from Democratic Republic of Congo, which hangs on the wall of Olowu’s London store.

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