Rob Ryan

Height Rulers: A History

Posted by on Tuesday 19th August, 2014

We are currently in the process of re-editioning our ever-popular height rulers here at Ryantown HQ. I will be documenting their progress on this blog over the next few weeks. I thought this would be a great opportunity to also share some of the different variations of the height ruler that Rob has produced over the years.

It is so interesting to to see the many different styles and colours which have been made in the past, back in 2003 Rob hand-painted a collection of one-off rulers for an exhibition at Tatty Devine’s shop on Brick lane.


Over the years, Rob has also made small exclusive editions of height rulers for his shop Ryantown on Columbia Road. You can see a selection of these below, Including a special black and white ruler when the entire shop was transformed monochrome in October 2009.


The 7ft rulers read, ‘The village grew into a town and the town grew into a whole city. The tree grew up to the sky and the river grew as it flowed down towards the sea and the flowers they grew until they covered the whole field and from inside the depths of our hearts you grew as well. Every single day a tiny unnoticeable bit more and more of you, and all of the long days and all of the short days will add up to yet more of you until there is no more growing to be grown and the last mark on this ruler will have been made. But yet still inside you there will never be a shortage to the amount of love your heart can grow and day by day and year by year you can grow in your heart still more care and more sympathy and more trust and more kindness until it finally blossoms and its flowers cover the entire world.’


Rob has also designed and produced an edition of height rulers exclusive to SCP. The ruler is part of the SCP 2013 collection and features Rob’s characteristic paper cut design. The rulers are made from birch plywood and each one is individually screen printed by hand in two colours.


I will be keep you updated on the progress of our new edition as they slowly come to life over the next few weeks.

Louise Renforth
Studio Assistant

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