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By Matthew Demarco



Creative director Matthew Demarco has produced the exhibition signage to commemorate the Beetle’s anniversary. Created with a reverse glass-gilding technique and several layers of gold leaf, ‘TEN’ is a square, framed 85x85 cm sign referencing the traditional Maltese typography and signage seen in the city of Valletta.

“In Malta’s baroque capital city, Valletta, the traditional shop façades have been preserved for centuries. Amid the hustle and bustle of the city’s life, one is treated to the sight of beautiful typography adorning old signage that was excellently crafted by carpenters and gilders to create glistening lettering which reflects the Mediterranean sun. The craftsmanship of each shop sign has parallels with the layers of craftsmanship and specialization that go into the creation of each one of GUBI’s Beetle Chairs.


I studied the typography featured on the shop sign of City Jewellery in St. Lucia’s Street and designed a piece of work which celebrates the ten years of GUBI’s Beetle Chair, while drawing inspiration from the typography which Maltatype has been documenting for ten years. Just as the original signage makers would have done, I brought a local gilder, Josie Bugelli, on board to represent the typography in gold leaf, using different gilding techniques to add visual intricacy to the type.”


– Matthew Demarco




Maltese graphic designer Matthew Demarco started Maltatype with fellow graphic design student Ed Dingli in 2013. The typography documentation project is a response to the increasing disappearance of beautiful, handcrafted shop signage adorned with custom- drawn typography, which has been brought about by the gentrification of Malta, and Valletta in particular. Demarco now keeps the Maltatype website and Instagram page active while running the branding and design studio Bloom Creative, which he co-founded in 2016. Maltatype’s research into local type and lettering serves as inspiration for the creation of brands which fit in with Malta’s visual language. Demarco lives in Birkirkara, Malta, with his wife Emma and son Sam.

“Matthew Demarco turns his Maltese origins into a creative language in which fleeting memories, reclaimed objects, and a personal obsession with typography have become fundamental ingredients. It is not a case of nostalgia; it is a private mission fueled by a passion for fonts and lettering that only partially trigger memories because they immediately begin to write new stories.”


- Marco Sammicheli, curator, TEN: Beyond the Beetle



GUBI SALONE 2023’s landmark exhibition showcases 10 creative responses to a modern design icon.