Staff Profile:

Programme Director, MA Information Design
Areas of Interest:

Multilingual typography, document design, wayfinding 

Keith Tam is a researcher, teacher and practitioner in typography and information design. Prior to joining the University of Reading, Keith was head of Communication Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he also founded the Information Design Lab, a research and consultancy unit. Before that, Keith taught and practised in Vancouver, Canada. Keith’s research and pedagogy focus on the interrelationship between typography and information design, with particular interest in how people interact with and form impressions of complex documents, especially multilingual ones. Recently, Keith has been investigating how readers with varying levels of Chinese–English bilingual proficiencies use typographic cues to search for information in bilingual documents, and how patterns of bilingual typographic cues form impressions on bilingual readers. Wayfinding is another strand of Keith’s work, including wayfinding in architecture, urban space, as well as tourist information. A recent project involves the cataloguing and studying of shop signage in Hong Kong, examining the relationship between graphic language, architecture and urban space. In addition, Keith has a background and interest in calligraphy, lettering, typeface design, as well as graphic design.

Research groups / Centres:
Centre for Information Design Research

Dyson, M C; Tam, K; Leake, C; Kwok, S H (forthcoming). 'How does expertise contribute to the recognition of Latin and Chinese characters?'. In Dyson, M C and Suen, C Y (eds). Digital fonts and reading. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.

Tam, K (2014). 'The architecture of communication: the visual language of Hong Kong's neon signs', in Mobile M+ an interactive online exhibition celebrating Hong Kong's neon signs at Hong Kong: M+, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Tam, K, ed. (2013). Design × culture navigator: Central & Sheung Wan. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Design Centre.

Tam, K C H (2012). 'A descriptive framework for Chinese-English bilingual typography' in Typographische Monatsblätter, 4 | 5 | 2012, 38-46

Tam, K, ed. (2011). Design × culture navigator: Tsim Sha Tsui & vicinity. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Design Centre.

Tam, K, ed. (2010). Design × culture navigator: Wanchai. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Design Centre.

Selected presentations:

The visual language of Hong Kong Kong's neon signs
M+ public talk, Hong Kong Arts Centre (invited keynote)

Songti and the modernisation of Chinese typography, ATypI Hong Kong

Vernacular typographic culture in Hong Kong
2nd Bangkok International Typography Symposium, Bangkok, Thailand (invited)

Bilingual typography: Hong Kong case studies
Same/Difference: Multilingual Typography Symposium, Hong Kong (invited keynote)

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