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About Me

I often make letters that may or may not look like letters.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, I am an artist and exploratory designer. Throughout my career as a designer I have researched, explored and played with the Latin letterforms. By undertaking this research and exploration it has allowed me to reach a point where I have now fundamentally altered the way that I create, perceive and understand the shapes of the alphabet.

Looking through this site you will be able to follow the many visual avenues that I have taken over time with some leading to further exploration, some inducing confusion and some purely undertaken just for fun. However, every piece of work has influenced the ways that I create and makes me look forward to what comes next.

I hope you enjoy.

If you have an art project that is perfect for unique or custom type design, interested in collaborating on a workshop or public art project or having me contribute to an exhibition, journal, magazine or book, I’d love to hear from you.



Speculatype: A Transformative Approach to the Perception, Understanding and Creation of Latin Letterforms, Self-Published – 2017 (Buy Now)

For international distribution contact: Books at Manic
Press/Featured: TypographHer, Slanted, AGDA, Typism, Typeroom


The Essence of Latin Letterforms, Honours Dissertation – 2010
Speculatype: A Transformative Approach to the Perception, Understanding and Creation of Latin Letterforms, Doctoral Thesis – 2014

Artwork Stockists

The Framing Studio Heathmont (Instagram)


Giving Type Meaning: Context and Craft in Typography, Bloomsbury Publishing, Feature/Artwork – 2024
Guest Contributor 36 Days of Type 2023 Edition, 36 Days of Type, Artwork – 2023 (Online)
Processing Foundation Community Catalog, Processing Foundation, Artwork – 2022
Walk The_, ‘Barry and Eli’, Interview – 2020 (Online)
Typism Community, ‘Flashback Series: Speculatype’, Feature – 2020 (Online)
On Process Podcast, ‘Barry Spencer on Experimental Typeface Design’, Interview – 2020 (Online) (Apple Podcasts)
Melbourne Lettering Club
, Featured Designer for May – 2019
Book Four, Artwork – 2018
Conscript Zine, Vol.2, Artwork – 2017
Typeroom, ‘Can you help Barry Spencer’s cryptic Clara typeface find its clarity?’,
Feature – 2017 (Online)
Academy of Design Australia, ‘An Unusual Type: Tutor Barry Spencer Experiments with Letter Design’
, Interview – 2017 (Online)
Usbek & Rica
, ‘Alphabets codés : l’étrange beauté des typographies spéculatives’, Feature/Gallery – 2017 (Online) (French)
Subtle Disruptors Podcast, ‘Barry Spencer: Subtly distrupting the Latin alphabet – SD54’
, Interview – 2017 (Online) (Apple Podcasts) (SoundCloud)
, ‘Barry Spencer, typographe futuriste’
, Feature – 2017 (Online) (French)
, ‘An Australian Type Designer Created a Kaleidoscopic Alphabet for the Year 3000’
, Feature – 2017 (Online)
Melbourne Lettering Club
, ‘Barry Spencer – Speculatype’
, Interview – 2017 (Online)
, ‘Cryptic Clara and her search for search for clarity’
, Article – 2016 (Online)
Type Worship
, ‘Can you crack the typographic code?’, Feature – 2016 (Online)
, Book Three, Artwork – 2016
‘Bravery, abstract thinking, and creative leaps’,
Interview – 2016 (Online)
Lettering Hub
, ‘Gridded Type Design’,
Article – 2016 (Online)
Type Worship
, ‘Unique Type Gridded Sketchbooks’
, Feature – 2016 (Online)
, Book Two, Artwork – 2015
, Volume 2, Artwork/Interview – 2014
, Book One, Artwork – 2013
Computer Arts Magazine, Issue 167, ‘114 new pro tips for type’, Guest Contributor – 2009 (Online)
Typotastic Magazine, Issue Two, ‘Labyrinths & Facades’, Guest Interview – 2006

Public Speaking/Workshops

LCI Melbourne, ‘Pride Sign Creation Workshop’Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2022
LCI Re-Connected for Melbourne Design Week 2021, 
‘Creative Constructed Type’, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2021 (360 Degree Experience Video)
Fonts and Faces #7: ‘Text and Confused’ – 
International Type Symposium‘Typographic “What Ifs?”: Constant Exploration, Changing Perceptions and Unexpected Letterforms’, Bagnolet, France – 2020 (Video)
LCI Melbourne
‘Type. Grid. Play. Artist Talk/Workshop’, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2019
Work-Shop Melbourne
‘Experimental Type Design Workshop’, Fitzroy VIC, Australia – 2017
Saint Gertrude Letterpress
, ‘Featured Artist for Letterpress Workshop’, Brunswick VIC, Australia – 2016
Academy of Design
, ‘Grids and Letterforms Workshop’, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2016
Tractor Design School
, ‘Guest Speaker for LunchMeet’, Melbourne VIC, Australia – 2016
Work-Shop Melbourne
, ‘Speculative Type Design Workshop’, Fitzroy VIC, Australia – 2016
Typism Conference
, ‘Transformation, Speculation and Letterforms’, Gold Coast QLD, Australia – 2015 (Intro Video)
Charles Sturt University, ‘Getting out of a rut (Practical strategies for motivating yourself, overcoming writer’s block and getting out of a rut. Presented by those who have been there!)’, DocFest (Online/Wagga Wagga, NSW), Australia – 2014
Swinburne University, ‘Guest Lecture on Folio Presentation’, Prahran VIC, Australia – 2007
Upwey High School, ‘Guest Speaker on Design Practice’, Upwey VIC, Australia – 2007

Exhibitions/Installations/Live Type

Trace: undefined Exhibition/Long Distance Drawing Project, Group Show, Maison de l’Architecture, Amiens, France – 2024
Small Works Art Prize 2024 Exhibition, Group Show, Brunswick Street Gallery, Brunswick VIC, Australia – 2024
Linden Postcard Show Exhibition, Group Show, Linden New Art Gallery, St Kilda VIC, Australia – 2023/24
Quasi: Experimental Writing Systems Exhibition, Group Show, Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT) Gallery, Group Show, Pasadena CA, United States of America – 2023/24
Out of Office Exhibition, Group Show, Across 32 public outdoor screens, Aker Brygge, Oslo, Norway – 2023
Design in Motion Festival 2022,
Group Show, Across 5000 public screens, The Netherlands – 2022 (Video)
After Water Hopps Exhibition, Group Show, Platform Arts Gallery, Geelong VIC, Australia – 2022
Chalkboard Wall Typographic Installation/Livestream, LCI Melbourne, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2022 (Video)
Letter-Form Vol.2 Exhibition, Group Show, Revolver Upstairs, Prahran VIC, Australia – 2022
Tiny Code Installation,
Group Installation, Creative Coding Madrid/MediaLab Prado, Madrid, Spain – 2020 (Video)
Letter-Form Exhibition,
Group Show,
Revolver Upstairs, Prahran VIC, Australia – 2020
Chalkboard Wall Typographic Installation, LCI Melbourne, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2020 (Video)
Tools of the Trade 2 Exhibition
, Group Show, Blackcat Fitzroy, Fitzroy VIC, Australia – 2019
Type. Grid. Play. Exhibition
, Solo Show, LCI Melbourne, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2019 (Video)
Nowhaus Exhibition
, Group Show, LCI Melbourne, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2019
Live Gridded Type Demonstration
, Blip Market, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2017
Pegboard Wall Typographic Installation
, Academy of Design, Collingwood VIC, Australia – 2016
I’d Letterpress the Shit Out of That
, Group Show, Work-Shop Melbourne, Fitzroy VIC, Australia – 2015
The 100 Day Project Exhibition
, Group Show, Sun Moth Canteen and Bar, Melbourne VIC, Australia – 2015
Do What You Love Exhibition
, Group Show, Academy of Design, Port Melbourne VIC, Australia – 2015
Tone of Voice Exhibition
, Group Show, CATC Design School, Melbourne VIC, Australia – 2014
What I Know Now Exhibition
, Group Show, Academy of Design, Port Melbourne VIC, Australia – 2014
I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 Exhibition
, Group Show, The Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn VIC, Australia – 2009

© Barry Spencer Design 2005–2024
I often make letters that may or may not look like letters.
info [at] barryspencerdesign.com.au
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