It’s not just about the money, it’s not just about the art. Five years of Commercial Type.

Commercial Type is on tour throughout North America and now will be stopping by Nashville on Friday, October 16 to kick-off Think Tank weekend. Please note, this event is the day before Think Tank. It is included with the purchase of your Think Tank ticket. However, if you would like to only attend the Commercial Type Tour lecture, you may purchase admission here. 


The Lecture

For the past five years Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz have been running one of the most exciting and influential type foundries, Commercial Type, with offices in New York and London. They have managed to create both popular and critically acclaimed typefaces for a diverse range of organisations, from the Guardian Newspaper, Vanity Fair magazine, to shirt numbers for Puma at the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Their designs vary from the utilitarian Graphik and Stag, through to the playful and expressive Dala Floda and Marian. Please join us as they talk about the processes behind their designs, balancing the needs for expression, self expression and functionalism. 


Paul Barnes

(born 1970) is a graphic designer specializing in the fields of lettering, typography, type design and publication design. With Christian Schwartz he is a partner in Commercial Type. He began his career at the studio of Roger Black Incorporated in New York, working on a wide range of publications.

Since 1995 he has lived and worked in London. He has been a long time colloborator with Peter Saville working on identities for ‘Original Modern’ for the City of Manchester, Kate Moss, Björk and ‘Modern England’ for the England Football Team. Independently he has created identities for luxury Italian shoe manufacturer Gianvito Rossi and German publisher Schirmer Graf.

He has designed many typefaces for many organisations including Puma AG, the National Trust, Harpers Bazaar, as well as retail designs Dala Floda, Marian, Darby & Marr Sans.

Barnes has also been an advisor and consultant on numerous publications. While typographic consultant to The Guardian, he designed Guardian Egyptian with Christian Schwartz.

Following the redesign of The Guardian, as part of the team headed by Mark Porter, Barnes was awarded the Black Pencil from the D&AD. They were also nominated for the Design Museum ‘Designer of the Year’. In September 2006, with Schwartz he was named one of the 40 most influential designers under 40 in Wallpaper*. A year later The Guardian named him as one of the 50 best designers in Britain.


Christian Schwartz

(born 1977) is principal of Schwartzco Inc., a New York-based type design and consultation firm. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Schwartz worked at MetaDesign Berlin and The Font Bureau, Inc. prior to co-founding Orange Italic in 2001 and starting Schwartzco in 2006.

Schwartz has released commercial fonts with many respected independent foundries and designed proprietary typefaces for corporations and publications worldwide. Schwartz and British designer Paul Barnes began an ongoing collaboration in 2005 with the design of Guardian Egyptian, which lead to honors from the Design Museum and D&AD. Schwartz and Barnes have been named two of the 40 most influential designers under 40 by Wallpaper*, and Schwartz was included in Time’s 2007 “Design 100”. Schwartz’s work has been honored by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Type Director’s Club, the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the International Society of Typographic Designers. In 2007, Schwartz and German design luminary Erik Spiekermann were awarded a goldmedal by the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung) for the typeface system they designed for the Deutsche Bahn.

When & Where
Fri, Oct 16, 2015 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
2298 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, Tennessee 37228