Dr Rob Banham
- School Director of Teaching and Learning
- Year Tutor for third-year undergraduates
OfficeRoom B1, Typography & Graphic Communication
Building locationWhiteknights campus (Building 21, TOB2)
Areas of interest
My three main research interests are the design of printed ephemera, the influence of technology on design, and the history of colour printing. These interests first came together in my PhD on the work of Frederick Gye and Giles Balne, nineteenth-century letterpress printers, and subsequently in a series of publications (see below). I have a particular interest in using archives and collections in research and teaching.
I am a practising designer, specialising in the design of books and journals. In 2013, for example, I designed Michael Twyman’s magisterial A history of chromolithography: printed colour for all (British Library); and between 2003 and 2017, I edited and designed The Ephemerist, the journal of the Ephemera Society.
I also support organisations encouraging design and printing practice and the preservation of historical materials. From 2001 to 2010, I served as Chairman of the Friends of St Bride Library, who organise a highly successful programme of lectures and conferences on a wide variety of subjects related to design and printing.
TeachingI teach across all levels of the BA Graphic Communication programme, delivering lectures and seminars on the history of design and printing and leading a range of practical design projects. I also supervise BA and MA dissertations, and PhD students.
‘Democratising knowledge: Chambers’s illustrated encyclopaedia, 1860–1892’ (2014–2019). I served as University of Reading academic lead in this Collaborative Doctoral Award, in partnership with National Museums Scotland. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
‘The type designs of Eric Gill’ (2011–2016). I served as University of Reading academic lead in this Collaborative Doctoral Award, in partnership with the St Bride Library. Funded by the AHRC.
'Printing and typesetting in film’ (2008). I was Principal Investigator in this project funded by an AHRC 'Small Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts'.
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Reading (2008)
PhD, University of Reading (2005)
Funded by the Educational Charity of the Worshipful Company of Stationers’ and Newspaper Makers’, PIRA, and University of Reading.
Awards and honoursBeatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship, Harvard University (2003)
Professional bodies/affiliationsFellow of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE)
Colour for commerce: letterpress-printed ephemera in Britain, 1740–1830
Printing to 1970
The industrialization of the book 1800–1970
'The largest type in England': wood lettering for jobbing printing 1800–1830
Occasional publishers: producing and marketing books in England 1771–1844
Lottery advertising 1800–1826
A handlist of films showing printing & typesetting
Nineteenth-century jobbing: the printing methods of Gye and Balne