Swash & Serif 5

Swash & Serif 5

Five whole years! Hitting the half decade mark is a big deal, and we’re excited to see what you guys bring to the table. We’re looking for the coolest, most interesting, most inventive lettering and typography work you can think of. Don’t be afraid to go big, or go wild. After five years, we’re here for all of it!

Show details:
Submission deadline: Sunday November 11, 2018 at 11:59pm
Opening Night: Thursday November 22, 2018
Gallery: Northern Contemporary Gallery, 1266 Queen St. W., Toronto

Submission Tips

  • Work with different mediums. Designing on a computer and printing something out is great, but it’s even more interesting to look at work that somebody printed by hand, or built, or sewed, or sculpted, or carved, or wove. Think about how a different medium can bring your work to life in a more interesting way.
  • Don’t be afraid to play with size. Letter-sized print outs are cheap and easy, but not always impactful. Consider going huge or really really tiny as another way to communicate your message.
  • Bring us the real thing. Photos of your work are okay, but it’s not the same as seeing that work in person. If you really can’t bring in the piece and have to photograph it (like you made your letters out of meat and it’s getting gross fast), make sure the context you shoot in makes sense for the work. Also ensure you have a well lit photo with good white balance. Ask a photographer friend for help if you need to, photo quality can make or break a piece.
  • This is an art show about typography and lettering, so make sure that’s the focus of your piece! Swash & Serif is all about working with letterforms to create new and interesting work, and not we’re not as interested in showcasing pieces where type is only a supporting player.
  • If you’re going to frame your work, make sure you get it framed properly. Frames with rippling paper, poorly cut matting, or frames that aren’t sized properly for the artwork just detract from the piece. Framing is completely optional, but if you’re going to do it, get it done professionally.
  • It’s okay to submit an idea that isn’t complete yet, but we do need to have a good idea of your concept so we can decide if it’s a good fit for the show. Send us sketches with notes and details of what it’ll be like when it’s done. Let us know if there are any special install considerations (ie: it’ll be very heavy and need more support, you’ll need a power outlet, etc). It’s better to give us too much information than too little.


Submissions for Swash & Serif 5 are now closed. Check back soon for next year’s show!