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This Being Said

On view June 5 – July 16

Reception July 16 6 - 8 PM

How could a new quotation mark convey annoyance, excitement, or worry? How might a heavy sigh, skeptical eyebrow, or elated shudder exist as a new letterform?

In the age of emojis, type and image work in tandem to bolster our typographic voices, conveying our wide range of emotions. What if, instead of relying on smiley-faces and eggplants to make our point, new punctuation could formally articulate the meaning of a message as conveyed through gesture and expression? Much like written music relies on specific symbols to designate key, volume, pacing, and pauses, new letterforms—inspired by facial expressions, hand gestures, and metaphors—could better inform our visual inflection. Engaging with design as a medium for inquiry, I propose a new set of characters to supplement our existing typefaces, attempting to make the rich complexities of verbal conversation visible.


About the Artist

Mia Cinelli is an Assistant Professor of Art Studio and Digital Design at the University of Kentucky. Her design practice encompasses an eclectic span of poetic and pragmatic products, installations, and graphics that have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Recently, her typographic works have been acknowledged with Best in Festival for New Work at DesignTO (2020), a Graphis Silver award for typeface design (2018), a Society of Typographic Arts “STA 100” award (2019), and a Communication Arts Typography award (2020). With an inquiry-driven practice, she is passionate about—and continually excited by—the possibilities of visual communication and human-centered design.

Artist website:

Instagram: @miacinelli

Exhibition Walkthrough

Artist Talk

Artist Talk
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