God is the Word and the Word is God

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The tradition of Protestant word-based worship in relation to a Protestant typo/graphic aesthetic.This paper investigates the phenomenon of wayside gospel signs in the north of Ireland. The almost exclusively text-based nature of these visual artefacts has a strong vernacular tradition and deep roots in the iconoclastic ethos of the protestant reformation, in particular Calvinist doctrine. Noticeable for their lack of ‘design’ and similarity to rough and ready sign-writing and trade printing, the typography and lettering styles employed display characteristics of plainness and a lack of artifice that is revealing in terms of the ethos behind them. The research makes connections between theology and the visual sphere in reference to the sociological framework of habitus in understanding the role of religion in aspects of cultural practice in this region. Parallels are drawn with evidence of a more widespread acknowledgement of the role of religious ethos in defining a relationship to lettering and typo/graphic work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalFace Forward Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Dec 2017


  • Typography
  • habitus
  • aesthetic
  • religion
  • protestant
  • iconoclastic
  • design
  • culture


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