Writers group 26 – named to represent the 26 letters of the alphabet – has long been active in design. It has been a regular contributor to the London Design Festival, with collaborations between its writer members and designers, and has produced a couple of books.
But its venture last year with its global equivalent International Pen to explore interpretation and storytelling across languages moves it on apace. The project, 26 Exchange, was hatched for the Free the Word festival hosted by International Pen last April, and involved collaboration between members of both organisations.
Members of 26, including John Simmons (pictured), Tom Lynham and Elise Valmorbida, responded to often harrowing pieces by international writers, and the results were published in a book, designed by Pentagram partner Harry Pearce, and shown in an installation created by All of Us at September’s London Design Festival.
Last year, 26 diversified to take account of writing for social media and other emerging platforms, taking it beyond its original arenas of design, advertising and literature.