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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, custom type design or creative coding animation, drop me an email.

Otherwise, I’d also love to hear from you if you are interested in collaborating on a guest lecture, workshop, public art project or having me contribute to an exhibition, journal, magazine or book.



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

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, ‘Guest Lecture on Speculative Letterform Design/Student Critique, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany – 2024
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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