Inside the Oblong is a new book gathering poster designs spanning two decades, created by renowned Australian designer Mark Gowing.
This limited-edition volume (there’s only 50 signed and numbered copies, each of which has a unique hand-printed cover) is a 284-page portrait of his process, covering work for commercial clients across exhibitions, film, music and more, as well as personal projects. These clients include 2SER Radio, Australian War Memorial, Hopscotch Films, Preservation Music, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney Opera House, University of Technology Sydney and the Venice Art Biennale.
Gowing, who’s based in Sydney, has been practising art and design for more than three decades now. His work is held in the collections of institutions including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
Demonstrating the power of design to facilitate and catalyse social change, the book also offers a selection of what the publisher terms “ideological posters”, including the Warsaw Poster Biennale Gold Medal-winning Oil Kills Peace design.
Spanning 20 years of design work, the book demonstrates Gowing’s explorations of the “rhythms, proportions and dynamics of the oblong space that is the poster,” says his publisher. “No matter what the end medium, Gowing frequently uses the poster format as a means to experiment and challenge the conversation being held with the viewer. He’s said to believe that a good poster design is a key component in discovering new visual languages through tools like typography and “cultural coding”.
Inside the Oblong is published by Formist Editions, the publishing arm of the type foundry and design studio of which Gowing is creative director. As such, like the rest of the publisher’s output, the book is produced with ideals of “meticulousness” across editorial, design, fabrication, marketing and distribution and progressiveness put front and centre.