Exhibition Press Release

Typographic Work Of Jennifer Sterling Featured At SFMOMA

Exhibition dates: March 30 - June 24, 2001

Release date: January 17, 2001

From March 30 to June 24, 2001, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the exhibition Jennifer Sterling: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Architecture and Design. Organized by SFMOMA Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects Aaron Betsky, the exhibition features 16 works by the well-known San Francisco designer, including the Blue Shield of California 1997 Annual Report, San Francisco Performances DV8 Physical Theatre Poster, Quickturn 1995 Annual Report, Regis University Women's Volleyball Brochure and the Pina Zangaro Spring Catalogue.

By working at extremes in scale—from oversized posters to minute type—Sterling turns text into texture and abstracts content into purely graphic elements. Sterling also plays on what is supposed to be the neutrality of the printed surface by using found fragments of letters, photocopying and manipulating them until they develop a ragged patina. She punches, slices and recombines information on many levels, creating intricate puzzles out of which messages emerge. Sterling experiments extensively with typography in her work, often reinterpreting traditional elements by presenting type in the context of physical metaphors such as laser etching, die cutting and embossing.

Sterling is founding partner of San Francisco-based Sterling Design, which specializes in communication solutions from naming, branding and packaging to annual reports, Web sites and product design. Her work has appeared in Graphis, ID Design Review, Communications Arts, Type Director's Club, the American Center for Design's 100 Show, AIGA annuals and the Society of Illustrators. Sterling is currently a member of the design faculty of the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC), where she teaches experimental typography in graphic design. Her work is included in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

Media Contacts

  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 415/357-4174,
  • Libby Garrison, 415/357-4177,


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction,  through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.