Start date: September 2021
MA Communication Design: Book Design combines the development of practical skills with the study of historical and theoretical issues, in a world-class research-intensive environment.
This course integrates shared elements of study and pathway-specific elements. This Book Design pathway allows for specialisation and a deeper engagement with Communication Design.
The Book Design pathway combines practical design for printed books and digital publishing platforms with related theory and history of typographic design and visual culture. A lively studio environment is fostered through assignments for clients, practical projects set by practising designers, and through access to traditional and digital printing facilities.
In the practice of book design, you will develop your work through briefed and self-directed projects that engage with emerging experimental publishing strategies as well as the current demands of professional practice. You will develop both your design skills and your ability to write reports and evaluate designs in relation to audience/user needs and production practicalities.
A research-based approach
As well as working with our own extensive special collections, we make visits to archives and libraries in Oxford and elsewhere, ensuring a truly hands-on experience of book history. Through our collaboration with the London Centre for Book Arts, we also have excellent venues for London-based activities.
You will develop your knowledge and analytical skills through lectures, seminars, and directed reading. Supported by workshops on research-based writing, your dissertation will allow you to focus on a specific aspect of historical or contemporary book design, through consideration of both practice and critical discourse.
The pathway is led by Ruth Blacksell with contributions from Rick Poynor. Visiting academics, researchers and award-winning professional designers ensure that you are challenged by a wide range of genres and approaches. Whenever possible, you can join students on our other MA pathways for taught elements, enhancement activities and to hear visiting speakers.
For more information, please visit the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication website.
Working on a variety of practice-based projects has been invaluable, and the research, reading and writing helped me to develop and sharpen my analytical skills. I have been able to apply all of this to my current work on a challenging digital project for one of the world’s largest publishers of art books.