Friday Late

The original contemporary late night event

An ever-changing, curated programme of live performances, cutting-edge fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food, and late-night exhibition openings.

Held on the last Friday in every month (except December) from 18.30 - 22.00.

Friday Late is free and drop in. All events are available on a first come, first served basis.

All visitors to Friday Late should use the main entrance on Cromwell Road. Please note that if the event reaches capacity, we will operate on a one-in-one-out basis. If you are a V&A Member, corporate member or hold a ticket to an exhibition please use the Exhibition Road entrance.


What the Font?

Friday 28 November 18.30 – 22.00

From the subtlety of a serif, to the incongruousness of Comic Sans, What the Font looks at the nuances of type design. Bilingual typefaces and Emoji jostle with the Latin alphabet, as we explore the secrets that shape our fonts.

All events are free and places are designated on a first come, first served basis, unless stated otherwise. Filming and photography will be taking place at this event.

Please note, if the Museum reaches capacity we will allow access on a one-in, one-out basis.

Friday Late: What the Font?


Raphael, Room 48a
Dress up as a human letter as part of Amandine Alessandra's typographic performance. Form words with other visitors and watch as a story unfolds through the evening. Each word will be photographed so that you can decide what word to contribute next, and you can follow the story live on her twitter account @amndne.


The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
A mixtape of piss[?], spam, GIF, pop and bot wordplay from designers, artists and letter-lovers, compiled by graphic designer Sam de Groot and artist Paul Haworth, the co-authors of the typographic comedy Andy de Fiets: Letter to Robin Kinross. The work includes words from Lou Buche, Bella Pace, Nora Turato, Miquel Hervás Gómez, Lauren Godfrey and many more.

What is the Point of Designing Another Font?

The Poynter Room, Restaurant

Jonathan Barnbrook has designed typefaces since the 90s, collaborated with David Bowie and Damien Hirst and runs a type foundry called Virus.  Come and find out why he continues to draw typefaces, and how typography expresses the constant evolution of language.

Colophon Foundry

Digital Studio, Learning Centre
In 2011, Colophon Foundry designed a custom font for Castledown Primary School in Hastings, and is now aiming to unify and improve typography in schools across the country. This event opens with a talk about the development of the project at 19.30. Then you can take part in the research and interact via an app developed specifically for the evening.

So Korean’s Pretty Cool

Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64b (access via staircase N)
18.45, 19.45 & 20.45

So Korean’s Pretty Cool booklet teaches you Korean in just ten pages. Join designer Melissa Parker Kim as she demonstrates how the language’s written form was historically engineered to make it easy to learn.  Use the templates provided to put what you’ve learnt into practice and try out writing your own name in Korean. You’ll be fluent by the end of the evening!

Stressed Desserts

John Madesjski Garden
Netta Peltola and Damien Meyer playfully employ a palindrome to turn the John Madejski Garden into a space for paradoxical reflection on opposing emotions.

The History of Typography

Bottom of NAL staircase (staircase L)
Made up of 291 paper letters and 2,454 photographs, this stop-motion animated short film about the history of fonts took 140 hours to make. It was created by Ben Barrett-Forrest, and playfully covers some of the key fonts in typography history.

The ‘Friday Late’ Font

Lunchroom, Learning Centre
Try your hand at font design with celebrated type foundry Dalton Maag. This workshop invites you to get crafty with letterforms through collaging random objects or ink block printing. The resulting letter designs will then be photographed and processed by a team of skilled font developers to create a functioning typeface, ready to download for your own personal use.

 Modular Type

Spotlight Space, Grand Entrance
Type designers today work with digital representations of letterforms.  Taking it back to the old school, Dalton Maag create a physical version of this technology in the form of a modular letterform installation. Morph and adapt the installation into letters and watch as it glows under UV lights revealing letter shapes and details.

Music and Type

Grand Entrance
Dalton Maag’s resident DJ ‘Thee Hausfly’ will be playing an eclectic mix of ambient and electronic tunes. This music will run alongside a projection installation featuring large letterforms of varying styles that react to the music: a typeface/music mashup where letters pulse to the beat.

To go in for a Craft

Lunchroom, Learning Centre
Current V&A artists in residence Matthew Raw and Thom Swann are inspired by the social and political deals of the Arts & Crafts Movement. They’ve used the lettering of Eric Gill and Edward Johnson as inspiration to hand craft an alphabet of ceramic letter moulds. Come and press your own ceramic letter and add it to the terracotta bell sculpture that will grow as the evening goes on.

This Looks Like a Job for Me

The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Comic Sans, one of the most the most popular and despised typefaces in existence, is used inappropriately on everything from gravestones to government job applications. Join Vincent Connare, designer of the typeface, as he talks about his experience developing the notorious font.

True to Type

National Art Library

Delving into the V&A’s archives, Assistant Curator of Prints Zorian Clayton presents typographical highlights from the past 150 years, from drawings by printmaker Liz Collini to the nostalgic lettering of Edward Johnston’s 1916 London Underground map.

Please note coats and bags are not permitted in the Library. Please leave these items in the cloakroom on the ground floor.

Fonts of All Knowledge

National Art Library

Do you know your logos from your letters? Can you recognize font families from their foundries? Test your typographical trivia in the Fonts of all Knowledge quiz. Take part as a team or an individual and arrive promptly to play. No phones allowed, those caught using them will be banned!

Please note coats and bags are not permitted in the Library. Please leave these items in the cloakroom on the ground floor.

Typo Tattoo Studio

Reception, Learning Centre
18.45, 19.30, 20.15 & 21.00

Come and hand-letter your own temporary typographic tattoo design. Oli Frape is a lettering artist who hand-draws in a variety of typographic styles for his advertising and publishing clients. Join him to experiment with lettering techniques, create a unique tattoo design and then have it applied in the temporary tattoo studio. This is a sign-up workshop.

Dyslexie Font

Seminar Room 3
19.00 & 20.30

Christian Boer is a graphic designer with dyslexia. Understanding college assignments and working with information from clients proved a constant struggle, so he created Dyslexie, a typeface to help him and thousands of others read. Hear about the challenges Boer faced in creating a new world of readability.

November’s Friday Late design was created by Eleni Kalorkoti of Puck Collective

Programme Cover Design

Souvenir programme wrap designed by Belgium based typographer Dries Wiewauters.

Food & Drink

Drinks are available in the Grand Entrance throughout the evening and in the John Madejski Garden (weather permitting).

Food and drinks will be served in the Café until 21.00.

About Friday Late

Friday Late began in 1999, establishing the much-copied format for London cultural centres' evening events. The programme celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with both leading and emerging artists and designers. By providing a platform through which to test ideas and challenge convention, Friday Late aims to inspire and provoke, whilst encouraging audiences to interact with the Museum’s collections in new ways.


Behind the Scenes at Friday Late 'Sound It Out'

Friday Late ‘Sound It Out’: Boiler Room Reflections

Keep in Touch


Twitter - use #FridayLate to join the conversation

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