Friday, 27 January 2012


If you are unfamiliar with these things, tart cards are the means by which London prostitutes advertise their services. Step in to any Central London call box and you can contemplate up to eighty cards inviting you to be tied, teased, spanked or massaged either in luxury apartments, fully-equipped chambers or the privacy of your own hotel room.

So pervasive are these things, and so curious is their typography, images and copy writing, they are now regarded as bona fide items of accidental art and have something of a cult following. Once on the periphery of design, the cards have influenced the work of many mainstream artists including Royal Academician Tom Philips and Sex Pistols designers, Ray and Nils Stevenson. The aim is to create witty graphic designs, whilst highlighting the serious issue that lies at the heart of the world of tart cards – the plight of trafficked women in the sex industry.

We would like you to design a tart card either for a typeface or a letter of the alphabet, to ‘find the tart hiding in every type’.

SPECIFICATION• A6 (105 x 148 mm) landscape or portrait.
• Typographic, illustrative, photographic: or a combination of techniques of your choosing.
• Hand or machine made
• Single - or full-colour
• Side 1 – image and text
• Side 2 – sign and date
• Supply hard copy and, electronic versions if possible.

All entries will be exhibited in the TypeTarts Exhibition at MediaCity 16th-25th February 2012
After which the collection will be included in the St Bride Library permanent collection.
The deadline for submitting your card (email or physical) is Monday 6th February

You can email submissions direct to John Rooney at

Hard copies to be sent to John Rooney, Centenary Building, University of Salford, Peru St, Salford, M3 6EQ.

Feel free to tweet us your submissions too at @createatsalford using the hashtag #typetartsalford and take a look at some examples of the cards that have already been submitted on our Facebook page:

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