studio catherine griffiths



Flash Forward

Invited late 2012 to participate in the Future issue (#289) of Australia’s Desktop magazine, seven studios were asked to write and make a visual response to editor Heath Killen’s brief for Flash Forward (how we might envision the future in terms of publishing and culture, with reference to our own work, both conceptually and meditatively).

My response, a piece of free flowing thought, stream of consciousness:



2030, 18 years. Not that distant. I’ll be 64, not much older than my husband now. Looking at him, knowing his spirit, physically and intellectually, over a span of the last 18 years, I imagine my thinking would not be terribly different to what it is now.

My hair will be completely silver, although, looking at my mother who is 70, her hair is a mixture of pewter and silver. Hard to imagine Desktop magazine having the same name, although the word “desktop” might imply a tone more fitting — “on the table” — in contrast to its original, intended meaning, which demystified the secrets of Our Profession, how we got from A to B.

Could this desire for “on the table”, the real object, only gather strength, as our self-inflicted Jekyll & Hyde of the virtual phenomenon consumes and controls, curates, yet liberates? Wasn’t the grass always greener on the other side? We are what we eat, remember. Could we become toxin-free? By 2030, what appears intangible now, may well become tangible then. Or the opposite. We’re sure to be still mouthing the vowels, if only to be heard.

“In Griffiths’ hands, typography frees itself and wanders across disciplines, the poetics of the letterform and its relationship to space, architecture and the landscape, with exact thinking and insightful results ... AEIOU brings about, to the attentive observer, a self-awareness, not to mention insights about the inner workings of our mind, when it comes to language and speech.” — Mercedes Vicente, for Prodesign, 2010

Much of what I make and do as a typographer, designer, is in response to the emotional, physical, social, political landscape around me. The language of my thinking is a tangled mesh of thoughts, pinned to a frame of time in space (not a time-frame), my intuition synchronised to a certain pattern of logic. To gather thought, make sense, communicate, find space to be in ... silver, pewter-coloured hair ... those things I can be certain of.

What we make and do, now, is the future. Isn’t it?


Catherine Griffiths / November 2012


Studio Catherine Griffiths

Totem Visual

The Letter D.

Smith and Peony Press




drawing / Catherine Griffiths © 2012


04 writing & critique


An installation on an installation on an installation ...
Artist statement, »catherine griffiths : SOLO IN [ ] SPACE« A documentation, Pocca, CHINA
September 2021

Porto Design Summer School 2017
Looking back on the fifth edition
April 2018

Notes from ‘Designing the perfect photobook’
A short talk as part of a panel discussion, PhotobookNZ
March 2016

A meditation
Sir Ian Athfield, 1940 — 2015
by Catherine Griffiths
Architectural Centre, NZ
April 2015

The Design Kids interview
The Design Kids, Jul 2015

A Playlist : CG >> CG
by Catherine Griffiths
DPAG Late Breakfast Show, NZ, Aug 2014

Body, Mind, Somehow: The Text Art of Catherine Griffiths
by Gregory O’Brien
Art New Zealand #150, NZ, 2014

Nothing in Mind
by Chloe Geoghegan
typ gr ph c, Aug 2014

typ gr ph c in Strips Club
by Catherine Griffiths
Strips Club journal, Mar 2014

In the Neighbourhood
by Catherine Griffiths
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

Interview by Heath Killen
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

FF ThreeSix
by Catherine Griffiths
Typographica, Mar 2013

A note on the D-card
by Catherine Griffiths
Apr 2013

Shes Got Legs
by Lee Suckling
Urbis, NZ, Jan 2013

Truly, No Idea
by Catherine Griffiths
for Flash Forward, Desktop, Australia, Nov 2012

Look for the purple lining
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Mar 2012

The Big Idea, NZ, Jun 2011

Shots in the air
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Jan 2011

John & Eye
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign 110, NZ, Jan 2011

Quite a Blast
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Jan 2011

Inner-City Modality
by Mercedes Vicente
ProDesign, NZ, Aug 2010

Beautiful World of Typography
by Catherine Griffiths
excerpt from a talk, Govett-Brewster Gallery, NZ, Jun 2009

For the record
by Catherine Griffiths
Introduction to TypeSHED11, NZ, Feb 2009

Locating Our Feet
by Catherine Griffiths
Threaded, NZ, Oct 2008

Notes on Feijoa
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Apr 2007

Life in Italics
by Helen Walters
Print, New York, Sep-Oct 2006

Writing by Types
by Justine Clark
Artichoke, Australia, Apr 2003


by Catherine Griffiths

Desktop magazine, issue #289 Dec/Jan 2013

related links

Desktop Magazine
Totem Visual
The Letter D.
Smith and Peony Press

further reading

Inner City Modality


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