Postgraduate Taught Open Day 20 March 2014
We will be holding a Postgraduate Open Day at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication on Thursday 20 March 2014. Please see the poster below giving more information about the schedule for the day . The day is primarily aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a Masters degree with us.
Postgraduate Taught Open Day 14 November 2013
We will be holding a Postgraduate Open Day at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication on Thursday 14 November 2013. Please see the poster below giving more information about the schedule for the day . The day is primarily aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a Masters degree with us.
Postgraduate Taught Open Day 14 March 2013
We will be holding a Postgraduate Open Day at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication on Thursday 14 March 2013. Please see the poster below giving more information about the schedule for the day . The day is primarily aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a Masters degree with us.
Research Student Open Day 17 January 2013
We will be holding a Research Student Open Day at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication on Thursday 17 January 2013, to take a look at some of the research being carried out by our staff and doctoral researchers. The day is primarily aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a PhD with us.
The Centre for Ephemera Studies hosts a Black Ephemera Study Day, 4 July 2012
The Study Day focuses on the ways in which black people from the African and Caribbean diaspora have been represented in ephemera over the last two hundred years. To find out more and to register, visit: or download the flyer: Black ephemera study day flyer.
Permutations in colour
Eric Kindel describes an innovative project that is part of our BA programme on Eye magazine's blog.
Martin Andrews's twenty years of service to the Department were celebrated at the private view of student work on 20 June. A large number of graduates who had been taught by Martin over the years attended, and Martin was presented with a splendid commemorative book, to which staff, students, and graduates contributed. Martin retired in September 2010 but returns to teach the history of graphic communication on a sessional basis.
'Books with a View' conference
Professor James Mosley will be one of the keynote speakers at 'Books with a View', the international conference on 18th century architecture and culture, which will take place in Lisbon from 23 - 25 November 2011. Further information is available from the conference website: http://www.bookswithaview.com/
Student displays 2011
From Tuesday 21 June - Saturday 25 June between 9am - 5pm (Saturday 10am - 3pm), staff and the public are invited to view displays of work of 23 students from the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication.
Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department, Eric Kindel said: "Our undergraduate displays show students working across a challenging spectrum of design scenarios, involving digital and print media, and which include work from our professional assignments scheme - real jobs done for real clients. Our postgraduate displays bring together results from an intensive phase of practical working that encompasses the design of books and catalogues, mobile apps and wayfinding systems, and the presentation of complex data and user-friendly ways."
Christopher Burke and Eric Kindel recently featured in an ORF Radio (Radio Österreich 1) profile of Otto Neurath, titled 'Neurath's Enkel: Soziale Philosophie, Isotype & Visuelles Lernen' (Neurath's descendants: social philosophy, Isotype & visual learning). Compiled by Hans Groiss and consisting of four 15-minute segments broadcast on consecutive mornings from 9 to 12 May, the profile dealt with aspects of Otto Neurath's life, work and legacy. Burke and Kindel contributed interview remarks on Isotype, visual education, the Otto & Marie Neurath Isotype Collection and the 'Isotype revisited' project.
Typo: Design education
Gerry Leonidas talks about design education on the Typo website: http://www.typo.cz/en/design-education-part-ii-gerry-leonidas/
Paul Stiff 1949 - 2011
Professor Paul Stiff, typographer, design historian, writer and teacher, has died after a long illness. Since 1980 Paul taught typography and graphic communication in the department of the same name at the University of Reading. Here he was a leading protagonist for 'design for reading' and inspired generations of undergraduates.
In his teaching Paul's aim was to construct a knowledge base to inform the exercise of professional judgement, and to develop the 'reflective practitioner' model of design engagement. He planned, developed and directed for its first four years the innovative and renowned MA programme in Information Design. This has recruited internationally (USA, Canada, Australia, Norway, Brazil, Chile, EU) and has provided a life-changing and transformative experience for its graduates.
He was a meticulous teacher and would not countenance sloppy thinking of any kind; he challenged, irritated, inspired, encouraged, antagonised and stimulated would-be typographers and information designers. Those who responded to his questioning and insistence to try again realised that such demands were driven by his belief in the importance and value of the discipline that he nurtured and loved. Such students have gone on to become exceptional designers, some of them teachers, and some writers: Paul regarded it as his privilege to have been able to guide them.
Paul was an exemplary editor and designer of leading journals in typography and graphic communication, regarding this as an essential element of the subject building necessary for an emerging academic discipline. He was co-editor of Information Design Journal from 1985 to 1989, and was sole editor until 1999. He was founder editor of Typography Papers in 1996, now internationally recognised as the benchmark for research and scholarship in the field.
Paul's writing has defined the subject in numerous ways, and it is difficult to select particular examples. However, three lengthy essays deserve particular mention to demonstrate first, the breadth of engagement with the subject, and second, the extent of the intellectual enquiry that underpins his work. His paper. 'Instructing the printer: what specification tells about typographic designing', written in 1996, looked at the relationship between designers, compositors and quality. Nearly ten years later 'Brunelleschi's epitaph and the design of public letters in fifteenth-century Florence' was about the design of inscriptions in works of art and architecture. In 'Austerity, optimism; modern typography in Britain after the war' he wrote about post-war Britain through the lens of 'design for printing' and the foundations that were built at this time for modern design and ways of doing it.
Since 2004 Paul has been Principal Investigator in two major projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council: The optimism of modernity' and 'Designing information in everyday life 1815-1914'. Both of these embrace the 'design for reading' theme that has pervaded his work, and they bring together history, theory and practice in ways that have attracted considerable attention: of one of the 'Optimism of modernity' published volumes one Royal Design of British Industry wrote: 'a sensational set of essays - a really important document in design history'. Paul enjoyed working on these projects because, as with his teaching, he influenced and challenged his post-docs. He brought together ideas from these projects in his last public speaking engagement, at the ATypI conference in Dublin where he talked about typographies in everyday life, viewed through lenses both historical and political. It considered the social contexts in which everyday reading happens, and the diverse social practices of literacy. Typography ran as a thread through these themes.
Paul has played a central part in building the world-class Department of Typography & Graphic Communication. That Reading is now the pre-eminent place for the subject is due in no small part to his work and engagement. Many of Paul's students and colleagues were inspired by his love of food, wine and cooking, and will have relished and savoured his ribollita, polenta with a simple tomato sauce, or a glass of madeira and 'plain cake'. One of his greatest pleasures in the last few months of his life were the lunches, teas and suppers that he shared with colleagues and friends.
Sue Walker | March 2011
Reading MAID students in London for a LUCID workshop
On January 20, 2011, students from the University of Reading and Central St Martins got together for the LUCID workshop Translating complexity, organised by Annegrete Mølhave and Katherine Gillieson. The joint venture saw MA Information Design from the Department of Typography travel to London to meet with MA Communication Design students at CSM, to work with Professor Paul Ekblom of the Design Against Crime Research Centre (University of the Arts, London).
The focus was on Professor Ekblom's '5Is' framework for crime prevention, a necessarily complex framework aimed at providing tools and solutions for crime prevention bodies. After a presentation by Professor Ekblom, the students worked in small groups to study the system and develop ideas and visualisations. An intense period of brainstorming, discussion and sketching produced a wide variety of responses to the brief. Presentations by student groups at the end of the day included everything from plans to redesign critical visual elements to conceptual ways of 're-presenting' this complex information for the online space. http://www.youtube.com/embed/GteyZzhS-xk
The workshop aimed to contribute some ideas to Professor Ekblom's ultimate goal of producing free, open-source software based on the crime prevention framework (www.designagainstcrime.com). Organisers were pleased with the results of this cooperative exercise, and also received many positive comments from students about working intensively in such a unique setting, with students from other institutions.
'Isotype: international picture language' now open
10 December 2010
The 'Isotype revisited' project was pleased to mark the opening of 'Isotype: international picture language' on Friday 10 December at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The private view was attended by H. E. Dr Emil Brix, Austrian Ambassador to the UK, and Dr Elisabeth Brix, and by many friends and supporters of 'Isotype revisited'. Speeches of welcome were given by Beth McKillop, Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the V & A, and by Professor Tony Downes, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading. The evening was also kindly supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum (London).
The display is on until Sunday 13 March 2011.
International poster design competition
The department is encouraging entries to the Brand India campaign India: future of change poster design contest. Run by Delhi-based design group the Idea Works (with whom we are developing innovative teaching collaborations), details of the competition can be found at www.indiafutureofchange.com/Visual_Home.htm
Registrations close on 31 December, 2010, and full details of the contest will be sent to contestants on registration.
Gutenberg prize winner, Mahendra Patel, visits the Department
After receiving the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Mainz in Frankfurt (Germany), on 26 June 2010, Professor Mahendra Patel travelled around Europe for a little longer and paid a visit to the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading on Thursday 8 July 2010.
Dr Fiona Ross showed Professor Patel around the Linotype Non-Latin Collection, which is part of the Department's Type Drawing and Lettering Collection. Mahendra Patel was very interested in the artwork and accompanying material of the various non-Latin fonts, particularly since he remembered his two-week visit to Fiona Ross and the other designers of the letter-drawing studio of Linotype Limited (Cheltenham) in the 1980s.
In the afternoon, Professor Patel treated the students and the Reading alumni who travelled from London to two talks. In the first talk, Patel presented the resulting typedesign and lettering work from the students who attended his numerous letter design workshops that he had conducted over the past decennia in different schools.
The second talk focussed on Professor Patel's own work, in which he shared his design experience with the audience, while showing many examples and details of his typefaces, map designs and signage projects.
The students and staff were truly delighted with Professor Patel's visit and spent an enjoyable afternoon with a very friendly, humorous and respected typeface designer from India.
Follow this link for photographs of Professor Patel's visit: http://www.typojo.com/pages/mahendrapatel.html
Postgraduate ideas exchange
On 27 September 2010 the LUCID network will be holding its first ideas exchange for postgraduate students with an interest in information design and related disciplines such as psychology; linguistics; fine art; law; literacy studies; digital development.
There will also be a 'Dragon's Den' competition for postgraduate students, sponsored by the Simplification Centre. To find out more about these events, click here: LUCID postgrad ideas exchange (PDF - 134 KB) or go to http://lucidity.ning.com
New international network in information design
The Simplification Centre is involved in an international network project that brings together academics, postgraduate students, practitioners and users in the field of information design to identify areas for future collaborative research that are relevant both to document users and producers. It will include academics from graphic and information design, applied linguistics, human factors and psychology; information design practitioners; and users from the financial and health sectors to create a forum for knowledge exchange relevant to information design in the UK and beyond.
The network, LUCID, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Colleagues from the universities of Surrey, Lancaster and Cardiff, the Royal College of Art (Helen Hamlyn Centre), Central St Martins University of the Arts, Tilburg University, the Federal University of Pernambuco, the Federal University of Parana, the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Brasilia will work with colleagues at Reading from Typography & Graphic Communication and the Simplification Centre in three main areas:
- defining and measuring graphic literacy
- everyday documents and their users
- effective information design: how do we know it works?
As well as collaborating on research, the network will provide a forum for postgraduate research students from each institution and in so doing act as a hub for postgraduates interested in information design.
International cross-currents in typeface design: France, Britain and the US in the phototypesetting era, 1949-1975.
STARTING OCTOBER 2010
An AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship (fully funded fees and maintenance) between the University of Reading and Musée de l'Imprimerie, Lyon, is available to a suitably qualified UK or EU student.
The development of phototypesetting, which substituted high-speed photography, electronics and imaging technology for hot-metal engineering, precipitated a momentous change in the international type manufacturing industry, and opened the way for computer-assisted typesetting. The research will investigate the development of typeface designs for the new technology in France, Britain, and the US, and explain how the role of the typeface designer changed in this period.
This doctoral research will draw on the archives of Lumitype S.A. (France), Crosfield Electronics Ltd (United Kingdom) and Photon Inc (US) which are held in the Musée de l'Imprimerie, Lyon; those of the British Linotype company, held at the University of Reading; the ATypI archival material held by the University of Reading and St Bride Library, UK; and the archives of the British Monotype Corporation Type Drawing Office held by Monotype Imaging, UK.
Supervision will be by Professor Paul Luna and Dr Fiona Ross in Reading, and Dr Alan Marshall in Lyon. The successful candidate will be expected to spend extended periods of time in Lyon, where accommodation will be provided.
Apart from the normal criteria for the selection of research students, specific criteria for selection for this studentship are
- fluency in English and French
- suitability for archival research away from the UK
- first degree/MA ideally in an aspect of design practice, design history, or a related field such as history of art or history of technology
Informal enquiries should be addressed to Professor Paul Luna: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application forms can be obtained from email@example.com, and should be accompanied by a CV and a relevant example of writing.
Closing date for applications: 11 June 2010
Interviews are likely to be held in Reading on 17 June 2010
Designing information before designers
22 February - 15 April 2010
Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading
The exhibition shows and explains a 19th-century version of information design (which is a late 20th-century idea and practice) and something of people's encounters with printed documents for the transactions of everyday life: calendars, almanacs, tax and insurance forms, trade catalogues, maps, timetables, distance charts. These everyday documents were planned and produced by writers, both amateur and professional, by businessmen and traders, by publishers, and by printers. Not much is known about the process of designing for print in an age before designers. What today would be called design decisions about layout, configuration, the relative prominence given to different parts of a text, the printed objects' look and feel would, for most of the century, have been made by the printer's client, or the publisher, or the master printer, and then implemented in detail by compositors, the skilled artisans who set and assembled type.
The exhibition arises from the AHRC-funded project which we are working on at Reading, called: Designing information for everyday life, 1815-1914.
Paul Dobraszczyk, Mike Esbester, Paul Stiff
Non-Latin typefaces booklet available
A Booklet accompanying the two-day conference at St Bride Library and the University of Reading in September 2007 is now obtainable from the St Bride Library online shop (and profits from the sale of booklets will go to St Bride Library).
Fiona Ross and Rob Banham (eds). London: St Bride Library and Reading: University of Reading, 2007. 64 pages, illustrated, soft cover.
This was reviewed in Printing History (New Series no. 6, July 2009):
"This booklet ... does include two valuable essays by James Mosley (formerly librarian of St Bride's) and Fiona Ross (type-designer and part-time lecturer at Reading) who explain how their respective institutions managed to accumulate such outstanding holdings of non-Latin types - as well as some illustrations that seem both exotic and hauntingly beautiful."
A recently published book from our 'Optimism of modernity' project breaks new ground in contemporary design history
Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics, and society (Typography papers 8)
This remarkable volume is a collection of eleven essays and shorter articles which for the first time provide rich contexts - social, cultural, and political - for the emergence of modern graphic design in Britain. Reaching from the Second World War to the early 1970s, they fizz with provocative interconnections: between print culture, photojournalism and publishing, the London of émigrés, political meetings and demonstrations, cultural cafés and art schools. From these disparate milieux emerged new ideas about designing: configuring and picturing the world of facts and processes, shaping them for understanding, learning, and action. Presented here are documents of the nation's life in war, its reconstruction through the passages from scarcity to plenty, affluence, and the seeds of later fragmentation - these texts always fertile with multiple intersections between biography and history.
published September 2009
250 pictures, 89 in colour; index; 216pp
Hyphen Press, London
for images, see:
Paul Stiff Austerity, optimism: modern typography in Britain after the war
Stuart Hall The social eye of Picture Post
Robin Kinross Design in central-European London: interactions between émigrés and natives in the 1940s
David Lambert Wolfgang Foges and the new illustrated book in Britain: Adprint, Rathbone Books, and Aldus Books
Matthew Eve Isotype in trouble, 1946-1948
Robin Fior Recollections of designing and politics in London, 1957-1970
Call to action: political posters of the 1960s by Robin Fior, Ken Garland, and Ian McLaren
Ian McLaren Designing for CND
Paul Stiff & Petra Cerne Oven Ernest Hoch and reasoning in typography
Robin Fior Working with Edward Wright
Sally Jeffery Desmond Jeffery the printer
The Department welcomed scholars from around Europe for a two-day symposium on Otto Neurath and Isotype. The symposium took place on 24 and 25 September 2009 as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Isotype revisited'. The aims of the symposium were to present new research by individuals and within institutions, and to consider opportunities for cooperation and networks of sharing and exchange. read more ...
'Isotype revisited' website
The website for the AHRC-funded projet 'Isotype revisited' is now public. Its launch was coordinated with a new Wikipedia entry for Isotype: international picture language written by Christopher Burke.
The impact of forms of authority
The official form, site of mediated dialogue between interrogator and respondent, intricate in its linguistic and graphic representations of rulers and ruled, state and subjects, authority and readers, remains a void in design history. There exists no account of the development of this neglected genre of information artefact.
This month at 'Writing design', the Design History Society's annual conference, Paul Stiff convened a panel on 'Designing and reading forms of discourse' at which he and his colleagues Paul Dobraszczyk and Mike Esbester gave a sequence of three talks on this novel area of research in design history, arising from their work on the AHRC-funded project, 'Designing information for everyday life, 1815-1914' (www.designinginformation.org )
They suggested what can be discovered by analysing those printed forms - here in the literal senses of 'a set order of words', 'a formal procedure', and 'a document designed to elicit information' - which served the expanding British state in the 19th century; and how such documents can be read by design historians, drawing upon commentary in the periodical press and from written responses within the objects themselves, for people's interactions with these sometimes intrusive and often unwelcome proxies for dialogue. Paul Stiff's paper 'Designing official discourse: modern forms of questioning' introduced some of the project's research questions, Paul Dobraszczyk (' "Give in your account": designing and using Victorian census forms' (and Mike Esbester (' "So much incomprehensible impertinence": the design and use of nineteenth-century tax forms') developed them empirically.
Why is this work of interest to design historians, information designers, and people working in applied language studies? Because forms instantiate the earliest type of what came in the late 20th century to be called interaction design. They give concrete shape and particularity to the abstractions of 'discourse'. They offer the prospect of insight into modes of (anonymous) designing before designers. And they promise the possibility of richer conceptions than are currently usual of historic users of design, readers who were required to respond with acts of compliance but who misunderstood, committed errors, stubbornly made refusals, and routinely transgressed the boundaries of the question field inscribed by the official mind.
MA Typeface Design in the news
Fonts.com, Monotype Imaging's website for the font industry, featured our MA Typeface Design programme on its Learn about type section.
Programme Director, Gerry Leonidas, summed up the course thus: "The MA programme at Reading is based on the idea of immersing a small group of highly motivated students in a very intensive environment that brings them in intimate contact with the totality of typeface design: the history and material sources, the thinking and discourse in the field, and the demands of designing complete text typefaces for a range of scripts. It is difficult and challenging, but students are rewarded with a depth of knowledge and range of skills that are impossible to develop through self-study, let alone within just one year."
If you could see inside: children's books produced by the Isotype Institute in the 1940s
An exhibit in the department running from 12 January to 20 March 2009 as part of theAHRC-funded Isotype re-visited project.
Otto and Marie Neurath began working on Isotype books for children in the 1940s. Between 1947 and the late 1960s the Isotype Institute produced books in series including the Visual History of Mankind, Wonders of the Modern World, Visual Science, The Wonder World of Nature, and They Lived Like This. Many were translated into languages other than English, including German, Japanese, French, Danish, and Italian.
Sue Walker will be speaking about this aspect of the Isotype Institute's work at the Information Design Association conference in Greenwhich, 2-3 April 2009.
Designing information for everyday life: website launched
The website for the project 'Designing information for everyday life, 1815–1914' is now online. Paul Dobraszczyk, Mike Esbester and Paul Stiff will update the website monthly, with images of and commentaries on everyday documents of the period, often outside the usual notice of designers and historians. An important feature of the site is interactivity: your views are very welcome.
See it at www.designinginformation.org
RAE 2008 has rated 45 per cent of Typography's research as world-leading (4*), and a further 35 per cent as internationally excellent (3*). This superb result means that Typography at Reading is ranked second overall in Art and Design in the UK.
Research in Typography at Reading is concerned with 'design for reading', and covers history, theory, and practice in information and editorial design, typeface design, and printing and design history.
Printing and Book Production in Bengal
The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication is loaning items to an exhibition to be held in February 2009 at Jadavpur University, West Bengal, in collaboration with the British Council and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The exhibition will be accompanied by a workshop on Bengali typography and book production, at which Fiona Ross (Reading) and Graham Shaw (British Library) will also be speaking. Jadavpur Universityis also facilitating a new updated edition of Fiona Ross's history of Bengali typography, to be published by Sahitya Samsad, Kolkata.
Progress for 'Designing information for everyday life'
Following successful seminars earlier this year at which Paul Dobraszczyk, Mike Esbester and Paul Stiff presented some of their research, Mike presented a paper at the recent 'Reading the Evidence, Evidence of Reading' conference at the University of London. His paper, '"B is the Bradshaw that leads you to swear." (Mis)Reading and (ab)using nineteenth century transport timetables', explored how timetables were read and used in the nineteenth century, and – despite the conference's ambitious title – was one of only a handful from 100+ papers that actually investigated how items other than books or newspapers might have been read.
The project's first publication has recently made it to press: Paul Dobraszczyk's article 'Useful Reading? Designing Information for London's Victorian Cab Passengers' appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of the Journal of Design History. The article explores the range of information produced for London's cab users, including maps and fare guides. Meanwhile, Paul, Mike and Paul have co-authored a piece for The Ephemerist, the journal of the Ephemera Society, which has attracted more interest in their work.
The project website will be launched in October 2008. It will take the form of a blog, featuring images of the types of documents which the project team is exploring, discussing the design and use of the items. Full details to come when the website goes live.
Staff presentations at ATypI & Networks of Design
Paul Luna, Gerry Leonidas and Gerard Unger are speaking at this year's ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) conference in St Petersburg, Russia (17 to 21 September). The conference theme is 'The Old, The New'.
Chris Burke and Katherine Gillieson will be speaking on a panel on Isotype at Networks of Design, a Design History Society conference in Cornwall (3 to 5 September).
Adobe website features Fiona Ross
See Fiona Ross' Designer page.
Reading acts in everyday life: a Material Text seminar
A seminar on the AHRC-funded project 'Designing information for everyday life, 1815-1914' will be held on Wednesday 18 June, from 1.30 to 3.30 in Room 107, Palmer Building. This seminar investigates what counts as evidence for past acts of reading, usually unwitnessed. It offers an overview and two explorations of specific kinds of reading that engage with the business of everyday life. Speakers include Paul Stiff, Mike Esbester and Paul Dobraszczyk. Please note the change of date from the previous posting.
Pictures and Words
The Information Design Association is hosting its next talk on 28 June: 'Pictures and Words: towards a visually-led information narrative', by Bryn Walls of Dorling Kindersley. All welcome!
Isotype workshop in Vienna: 11 April 2008
Christopher Burke and Eric Kindel were in Vienna on 11 April at the Universitaet Wien for an Isotype workshop convened by the Institute Vienna Circle. The gathering was led by Otto Neurath scholars Elisabeth Nemeth and Friedrich Stadler, with a further ten scholars and practitioners attending from institutions in Vienna and in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States and the UK. The aim of the workshop was to gather together reports on current research initiatives relating to Otto Neurath and Isotype, and to consider forms of co-operation among individuals and institutions with Isotype-related archives and research interests. It was agreed that a workshop should be re-convened annually.
Simplification Centre launched
This new multidisciplinary research centre will aim to improve the clarity of information we receive about vital issues such as tax, benefits, pensions, insurance, and health. It will focus on ways to simplify complicated information based on sound theory and evidence and drawing on expertise in information design, typography, psychology, linguistics, and economics, to help public bodies and major companies through training and research.
The Centre will create links between different sources of theory, practice and inspiration, leading new research and existing knowledge. As well as research, it will offer a range of knowledge transfer activities such as raising standards through benchmarking, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and training for those who write the documents we read. Big organisations and government bodies are being invited to become members of the centre and their contributions will fund the research.
Rob Waller, Professor of Information Design and head of the new centre, said: "A large proportion of the population struggles with functional literacy, and that is very often because things are unnecessarily complicated. Our new centre will undertake research that aims to find out what makes complex information easy to understand."
French 'moderne': graphic arts in France 1920 to 1939
Currently showing in the Department foyer is the exhibition French 'moderne', curated by Ann Pillar. This exhibition is concerned with the urban world of Paris between the wars, from 1920 to 1939. It is the first to focus on the work of some of the key personalities and firms at the centre of the drive to modernize the French graphics arts industries, examining the context in which the French led the way in the move from 'commercial art' to 'graphic design'. Work on display will appeal to a broad range of interests within the visual and graphic communication fields, and to those engaged with aspects of early European Modernism.
On from 11 February to 30 May, 2008: open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, with free access. Groups are welcome by arrangement, email firstname.lastname@example.org
'The Global Polis' exhibition in The Hague
A major loan of artefacts and publications from the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection has been made to 'The Global Polis' exhibition at the Stroom Den Haag gallery in The Hague (10 Feburary to 6 April 2008). The exhibition addresses the several ways Vienna Circle philosopher and Isotype founder Otto Neurath promoted participatory forms of democratic exchange and the notion of a 'global polis' through innovations in architecture, urbanism, graphic design and planning. The exhibition coincides with the publication of the book 'Otto Neurath: the language of the global polis' for which the Isotype Collection supplied numerous images. The exhibition opening, on 9 February, was attended by Eric Kindel, Principal Investigator of the three-year AHRC-funded 'Isotype revisited' project.
Reading colour comes to Lyon
A party from the Department visited the Musée de l'imprimerie in Lyon to celebrate a historical exhibition and plan future collaborations. 'Colours', a visually stunning exhibition of the development and hey-day of the chromolithographic printing process, was curated for the Musée by emeritus professor Michael Twyman, and includes loan items from the University Library as well as the Department's own collections.
A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership
The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication and Monotype Imaging Ltd, a leading supplier of fonts and digital imaging technologies to a global customer base, have been awarded KTP funding to develop a strategy for bringing to market fonts based on the company's archive of historic drawings for legacy typemaking technologies.
Typography & Graphic Communication and Monotype Imaging Ltd, a leading supplier of fonts and digital imaging technologies to a global customer base, have been awarded KTP funding to develop a strategy for bringing to market fonts based on the company's archive of historic drawings for legacy typemaking technologies.
The project aims to capitalise on academic expertise to recapture know-how embedded in Monotype's library drawings for legacy technologies, and formulate a testing and development process to generate new, extended character set typefaces. Although the drawings in the collection corresponded to technologies used for type manufacture even as late as the 1980s, the switch to digital, device-independant fonts transformed the industry and its processes fundamentally. As a result, the skill and research represented in the drawings cannot be directly transferred to contemporary typemaking processes.
In addition, the Department's world-class expertise in non-Latin typeface development will enable the project to deliver multi-script fonts for worldwide markets. Non-Latin scripts are heavily represented in the library of drawings, but lack of documentation and a the radically different business model for digital fonts in relation to legacy technologies have rendered this part of the library relatively 'opaque' to contemporary eyes.
The project will last two years, and produce a range of academic and commercial outputs.
Typography Papers 7
The latest issue includes articles by Sue Walker, Linda Reynolds and others. Edited by Paul Stiff. Order your copy today.
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