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Professor Eric Kindel


In addition to my role as Head of Department:

  • I teach studio-based design practice and lecture on topics across the undergraduate programme
  • Supervise BA and MA dissertations, and supervise research students
  • I also serve as Department Director of Studies for Postgraduate (Research) Students
  • Curator of the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection

Areas of interest

My research takes in several areas of interest: the graphic design of information, with an emphasis on aspects of Isotype; informal and alternative print methods, with a specialism in the history of stencils and stencilling; and the inventive intersection of design and print production.

Graphic information

Between 2007 and 2011, I served as Principal Investigator for the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project Isotype Revisitedtogether with Co-Investigator Professor Sue Walker. The project's main outcomes included Otto Neurath's From hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography (Hyphen Press, 2010), the exhibition "Isotype: international picture language" (Victoria and Albert Museum, 201011), and the multi-authored Isotype: design and contexts, 19251971 (Hyphen Press, 2013). During the project my own research focused on Isotype activities in British colonial West Africa. This research is summarised in "Isotype in Africa: Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, and the Western Region of Nigeria, 19528", a chapter in Isotype: design and contexts, 1925–1971.

Research in this area is presently focused on Isotype contributions to British publishing in the context of postwar reconstruction and economic development, with an emphasis on "Future Books"and Future magazine (194652). The research encompasses a comparative study of graphic information made by leading designers for other mid-century periodicals, most notably Fortune magazine in the USA.

Stencils and stencilling

Research into the history of stencils and stencilling as used principally for lettering and marking out texts has been in progress since 1999 and is wide-ranging. My aim is to establish a reliable account of such work across a wide expanse of time, context and location. I regularly publish investigations into individual episodes of stencil work that will eventually form a summary history. The research has extended to collecting artefacts and reconstructing techniques to support historical and physical interpretation. Aspects of the research have been funded by the AHRC, American Philosophical Society, Printing Historical Society and University of Reading's Research Endowment Trust Fund, and has involved long-term collaborations with Professor James Mosley and Professor Fred Smeijers.

Research in this area is presently focused on three topics: the development of stencil-making in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, highlighting the work of Jean Gabriel Bery; the stencilled poster in France in the nineteenth century (with Pierre Pané-Farré); and the typical French stencil letters and numerals made famous by painters, architects and designers.

Videos of some of my presentations: 

Early Stencil Makers in Europe

The Stencilled Poster in Paris in the 19th Century (on YouTube)

Objet-type, the French Stencil Letter (on YouTube)

Academic qualifications



  • Kindel, E. (2014) Stencil dies: new tools for an old trade. In: Blume, J. , Pané-Farré, P. , Smeijers, F. , (eds.) Vom Buch auf die Strasse: Grosse Schrift im öffenlichen Raum (Journal der HGB #3). Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst , Leipzig. pp. 41-61.

  • Kindel, E. (2011) Reaching the people: Isotype beyond the West. In: Heinrich, R. , Nemeth, E. , Pichler, W. , Wagner, D. , (eds.) Image and Imaging in Philosophy, Science and the Arts. Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, new series, vol. 17 , 2. Image and imaging in philosophy, science and the arts, volume 2 (Proceedings of the 33rd International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2010) , 2 (17). pp. 175-193. ISBN: 9783868381160