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Research topics present and past

This page lists the research topics of our current active students, followed by a listing of the thesis titles of past students. Most past theses are retrievable from the British Library database EThOS.

Current research topics

Diacritics in the Arabic script and Typography
The Design of Annual Reports, 1980-2000
The use of typographic variants and space in printed Korean dictionaries: from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century 
How does the design of pictorial signs, as a component of digital communication, affect their use as a form of personal expression?
Linear and concurrent developments of early digital type design processes in environments of specifications, strategies, production and discourse. 
How the book, as a physical object, influences and is part of the process of storytelling through its narrative structure 
Representations of gender in print production technology advertisements, with focus on the post-war period

Letterforms in political printed propaganda during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39)

Arabic typography for beginner readers
Using emerging technologies to explore dimensional typefaces and investigate processes for new designs
Typographical variations in Chinese print: missionaries, metal type, and printing press in late imperial China (1813–1860)
A comparative study of Bengali letterforms to support diversity in Bengali digital font design
Teaching methods of Arabic-English bilingual typography design for graphic design students at Princess Noura University, Riyadh, KSA
Lettering and typography at the English seaside: a study of resort identity, development, and experience 
The impact of societal and technological changes on the development of personal printed writing paper in Great Britain, 1800 to 1870 

The analysis of Tangut script from a typeface design perspective 

Past student theses

Date Thesis title (final)
2024 The application of an information design approach to the development of a user-oriented digital local food map for Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Hampshire
2024 Evolution of Chinese typeforms up to the early 20th century
2024  A systematic analysis of visual and algorithmic letter fitting
2023 Design, production and circulation of artists’ publications in the 1960s and 1970s: a comparison of Beau Geste Press and Seth Siegelaub
2023  The discourse in early digital type design technologies 
2023  Searching for bearings outside the historical canon: an investigation into the archive of Charles Mozley, graphic artist, illustrator, and designer 
2022 A diachronic study of food labels with a particular focus on verbal and pictorial narratives that are relevant to health
2022 Towards understanding diversity in Arabic type styles: its origins, its current use and its effect on Arab readership
2022 Fairness in design: a model for critically analysing digital government forms
2022 Legibility of Chinese-English direction signs: how the spatial presentation of bilingual typography in two different scripts affects sign legibility
2021 The early typographic representation of the Persian language
2021 Networks, artefacts, and technology: nineteenth-century Muslim lithographers, missionaries, and colonialism in the Malay archipelago
2021 Reading with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Modifications to book design as a way of supporting preserved literacy skills
2021 Design for decision making: the design of information for later life housing options
2021 Designing italics: approaches to the design of contemporary secondary text typefaces
2020 The development of typographic forms for the Kannada and Telugu scripts (1801–1900)
2020 Communications for flood awareness: using information design to support people in the uptake of preparedness actions
2020 Conventions, traditionalism, Latinisation, and modernity in Armenian typefaces across type-making technologies from 1512 to 1977
2020 Embodied iteration: materialising the language of writing and performance in women artists' publishing (1968–1977)
2020 Fortunato Depero and Depero futurista 1913–1927
2019 A new method of analysing printed type: the case of 15th-century Venetian romans
2019 The use of informative and decorative pictures in Health and Safety posters for children
2019 Better museum maps: an empirical study comparing the appeal and effectiveness of graphic design approaches
2019 A comparison of seeking-finding behaviours across the contexts of environmental space, paper documents, and on screen 
2019  Coherence in typeface design: visual similarity of characters in Cyrillic, Devanagari, and Latin
2019 Democratizing knowledge and visualising progress: illustrations from Chambers's Encyclopaedia, 1859-1892
2018  Arabic types in Europe and the Middle East, 1514-1924: challenges in the adaptation of the Arabic script from written to printed form
2018 Linotype's design of new Greek typefaces for photocomposition in the Greek printing market, 1970-1980
2018 The Latin alphabet reform in Turkey
2018  An information design approach to documenting live art: locating & empowering the document user
2017 Devanagari type in the twentieth century
2016 Clothing the paper: On the state of newspaper design, redesigns, and art directors' perspectives in contemporary quality and popular newspapers
2016  Monotype and Eric Gill: a study of the design and production of Gill's hot-metal typefaces
2015 Relationships between document instantiations across systems, mediums, and genres
2014  The "modern face" in France and Great Britain, 1781-1825: typography as an ideal of progress 
International cross-currents in typeface design: France, Britain and the USA in the phototypesetting era 
2014  Reading and the morphology of the page: a historical study of the typographic design of the Greek alphabet book, 1771-1919 
2013 Arabic type-making in the machine age; the influence of technology on the form of Arabic type 1908-1993 
2013  Edward Wright (1912-1988) artist, designer, teacher with Descriptive catalogue of works (1937-1988)
2012 Typographic meaning: readers' impressions of patterns of typographic differentiation 
2012  A definition of the principles of Isotype and an investigation into their methods of diffusion and legacy 
2011 Design is Ordinary: Lay Graphic Communication and Its Relation to Professional Graphic Design Practice 
2010  Using visual explanations of complex verbal concepts to aid dyslexic children in literacy acquisition 
2009  Tibetan typeforms: an historical and visual analysis of Tibetan typefaces from their inception in 1738 up to 2009
2008  The Fifteenth-Century Printing Practices of Johann Zainer, ULM 1473-1478 
2008  Visual genre conventions and user performance on the web 
2008  A framework for graphic description in book design 
2008  Towards the optimization of software instructional demonstrations 
2008  Typography in traditional poetry: Methods of segmentation in narrative poems and sonnets 
2008  Information books for children: Their visual anatomy and evolution (1860-2005) 
2007  E. McKnight Kauffer: poster artist. An investigation into poster design and production during the inter-war period using E. McKnight Kauffer's oeuvre as an example 
2007  Secret and Confidential: Some Aspects of Oxford University Press and its Activities in the Second World War 
2006  English little presses, book design and production. A study of five London publishers, 1945-1979 
2006  Effects of the typographic layout of reading examination materials on performance 
2005  Frederick Gye and Giles Balne: A Study of the firms Gye & Balne (1805-1829) and Balne (1829-1938) with particular reference to their colour printing 
2005  Usability for Learning. A Socio-Cultural Approach to Usability of VLEs 
2005  The life and work of Beatrice Warde 
2005  The arrangement of links in government websites 
2005  Sebastiao Rodrigues and the development of modern graphic design in Portugal 
2005  Designing appropriate icons for Taiwanese computer users 
2004  The development of special characters in Slavonic languages with the emphasis on the orthographic reforms in Slovenian and Croatian language 
2003  Typography & graphic design in Spain 
2002 Images of peace in Britain from the late nineteenth century to the Second World War 
2002  Understanding readers' navigation in www documents 
2002  Otl Aicher: design as a method of action 
2001 Thomas Way & T.R. Way 
2001  Informing young people: What motivates young people to read community education resources 
2001  Tabulation, grouping and separation techniques in the presentation of printed accounts and financial statements during the time of letterpress 
1999  The Kynoch Press 1876-1981 
1999  Knowledge construction in typography: the case of legibility research and the legibility of sans serif typefaces 
1999  Milestones in lithographed cartography from 1800 
1998  Towards a methodology for studying commonalities in the drawing process of young children 
1998  An analytical approach to procedural pictorial sequences 
1997  Casting the Greek newspaper 
1996  Compound-plate printing: the impact of a style 
1995  Paul Renner and German typography, 1900-1950 
1995  Publishers and purchasers of the photographically-illustrated book in the nineteenth century 
1994  The Illustrated Wittgenstein: a study of the diagrams in Wittgenstein's published works 
1994  The Linotype in the United Kingdom 1889-1912 
1993  O Gráfico Amador: The roots of modern Brazilian typography 
1993  The graphic language of vernacular literacy primers in West Africa 
1993  An investigation into the suitability of the graphic presentation of patient package inserts 
1991  Photography and printmaking 1840-1860 
1991  The translation of the Anglican book of Common Prayer 
1990 Semiotics and design: from gothic revival to avant-garde 
1990  The graphic translation of text 
1990  The contribution of the firm of Boulton & Watt to engineering drawing 
1989 Graphic communication in development programmes: models for communicators 
1989  H.N.H. The work of Henry Noel Humphrey 
1988  Greek printing types in Britain from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century 
1988  Joins in children's handwriting and the effects of different models and teaching methods 
1987  The typographic contribution to language. Towards a model of typographic genres and their underlying structures 
1985  English printers 1600-1700 and their supra-text roman and italic types 
1983  Descriptive techniques for studying verbal graphic language 
1981  Colour lithography in England during the nineteenth century 
1979  Otto Neurath's contribution to visual communication (1925-45) 
1972  An investigation into some aspects of the use of colour in illustrations designed for the primary school child 
1966  Lithography 1800-1850: a study of the techniques of drawing on stone in England and France, and their application in works of typography 
1965  Experimental graphic processes in England, 1800-1859