Postgraduate research


As a PhD student in the department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Reading, you will be part of a thriving and vibrant community. You will work alongside students and staff who are committed and passionate researchers.


We have an international reputation for research in the theory, history and practice of 'design for reading', and are well-known in the UK and overseas for the scope and quality of our doctoral research. The latest Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014) recognised over 90% of our research as World Leading or Internationally Excellent.

Our research environment provides considerable support for doctoral study, including:

• experienced and committed supervisors

• excellent library facilities on our main campus and within Typography

• outstanding collections and archives relevant to typography and graphic communication

• informal and formal links with libraries, museums, galleries and industry throughout the world.


We supervise projects in the history and technology of printing (including lithography and stencilling), colour printing and printed ephemera; and in letterforms and type such as designing type for cross-media publication; history and design of non-Latin typefaces (e.g. Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Indian, south-east Asian); and the Influence of composing practices on typeforms. In the field of information design and graphic communication we welcome interest in Isotype/Vienna Method,1925-1971; graphic support for wayfinding and graphic representations of spatial experience; design of text for special settings (e.g. health communications, legal or technical communications and decision making); design for multichannel communications or interfaces; and the design of text-intensive documents in digital media. Within the broader context of graphic design and book design, topics include the interplay of typography and politics; public sector communications; design education and training; and typography and book/publication design as art practice.



Many of our PhD students work with our distinctive collections and archives, including the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection, and the Non-Latin Typeface Collection. We encourage projects concerned with the materiality of designed artefacts to define new histories, and that build understanding through analysis and interpretation.

We have informal and formal links with libraries, museums, galleries and industry throughout the world, including the Musée de L'imprimerie in Lyon, the British Library and Tate.


We welcome enquiries for full- and part-time study. You must hold a first class or a very good upper second class undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, and hold or be completing a Master's degree, or have relevant professional experience.


Our research environment is enhanced by our leadership of the AHRC Design Star Doctoral Training Centre, which offers studentship funding for innovative doctoral projects across a consortium of leading universities and external partners. Design Star brings together world-class research in design for industry, interaction design, design process, communication design, design history, curation and creative practice. Design Star research training opportunities are open to all PhD students in Typography. Find out more []


Doctoral students have experienced and committed supervisors, and are welcome to attend lectures by visiting speakers and specialist summer schools and workshops. Our PhD students are encouraged to present their work to non-academic audiences, at conferences or meetings, through exhibitions and social media.

The Graduate School

All postgraduate research students automatically become members of the University-wide Graduate School. The Graduate School provides training, professional development, study space, advice and administrative support in a dedicated building for the postgraduate research community at Reading.



Our PhD students go on to work in academia, or work as designers in a number of fields.

'I will remember my visits to the Department as an enriching personal and academic experience. I enjoyed a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, had interesting discussions with members of the staff, and was always welcomed to attend lectures either by the staff or other visitors at the department, experts in their field.'

Niki Sioki

Mature, part-time student , now Assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, where she teaches print and screen typography, design for publishing, and design research.

Meet the Team

Postgraduate Student Profiles

'I was lucky enough to begin my PhD at the same time as five other researchers, making for good company, the possibility of exchange about success and frustrations, and best of all, some good friends. Also the yearly rotation of MA students, and the chance to do some teaching, as well as socialise, contributed to a great experience that bore no resemblance to the proverbial ivory tower.'

Titus Nemeth

PhD student 2014, now working as specialist in Arabic and multilingual type design & typography, custom fonts and logos, providing expert consultancy to international clients.


Researcher development programme

Graduate School homepage

How To Apply [JR1]

Our postgraduate taught offer

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