On the Edge of Normal was the theme and title for the 2019 RISD Graphic Design MFA biennial exhibition, held in RISD’s Sol Koffler Gallery from April 4 through 21, 2019. The identity of the exhibition, developed with Everett Epstein and Weixi Zeng, was based on the idea of abbreviation. Accordingly, we shortened the title of the show to “OtEoN”, with the supporting information similarly abbreviated in an identity system that revolved around typography alone.
As our budget for the show was extremely limited ($0), we set about developing intuitive yet cost-effective tangible materials. Instead of designing a traditional large-format poster for the exhibition, we developed a scalable modular poster system for all types of locations that could be printed using only letter and tabloid paper on a standard laser printer. We also made the decision to leave the exhibition space largely free from traditional explanatory wall text. Catalog booklets served as a way to navigate the exhibition instead, with each work clearly identified by a number and a halftone reference image. Mirroring the nature of the identity, the catalogs became an abbreviation of the show itself.