European best destinations 2024 - Riga

Exhibition Text is Not Our Type

Exhibition is one of the central events in 2024 within the framework of the series of events 500 Years of Latvian Books, highlighting the interaction of book design, human and technology.

A book has always been more than just a text. The exhibition focuses on its materiality and form resilience throughout the centuries, looking at the basic principles of typography, layout and text readability, which have been established in the 15th and 16th centuries and which have still preserved its importance today.

The exhibition features publications by Nicolaus Mollyn, the first book printer in Riga, and his teacher, Christophe Plantin, an eminent European printer/publisher, from the collection of the National Library of Latvia (NLL). They present the tradition of book printing of the 16th century, reveal Mollyn’s connection with book printing/publishing in Western Europe, as well as emphasize the importance of knowledge transfer. The historic part of the exhibition is combined with an insight into today’s challenges – the printing industry continues developing in the 21st century along with new technologies, digitization and variable readers’ wishes.

From Gutenberg’s Printing Revolution to the changes introduced by Apple Macintosh, the scenography of the exhibition was inspired by the 1980s video games, bringing a visitor to a special gaming world which reveals the principles of book design in an interactive way through animation, installation and video.

The exhibition is open to the public on Level 5 during NLL opening hours.


National Library of Latvia 18.01.2024 - 25.08.2025
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