Professor Fiona Ross
- PhD supervisor
- Principal Investigator of Women in Type: a social history of women's role in type drawing offices, 1910-1990
- Curator of the Non-Latin Type Collection
OfficeRoom F8, Typography & Graphic Communication
Building locationWhiteknights campus (Building 21, TOB2)
Areas of interest
Fiona lectures in type design with specific reference to Arabic, South Asian and Thai writing systems on the MA Typeface Design and MRes Typeface design pathways in MA Communication Design. She teaches components of the Research Methods module for all postgraduates; supervises PhD students whose research relates to her area of specialism; and is the Principal Investigator of the Leverhulme-funded research project Women in Type: a social history of women's role in type drawing offices, 1910-1990.
Fiona is Curator of the Non-Latin Type Collection, with responsibilities for its maintenance as a growing resource for researchers and students, including the digital capture of original artefacts and the development of digital databases to form online resources.
Fiona has a background in languages. From 1978–1989 she worked for Linotype Limited (UK) and was responsible for the design of Linotype's non-Latin fonts and typesetting schemes. Since 1989 she has worked as a consultant, type designer, art director, and lecturer, and in 2003 joined the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading.
Her recent work as type designer has been in collaboration with Tim Holloway and John Hudson (as Associate Designer of Tiro Typeworks), notably on Adobe Arabic (TDC award 2006), Adobe Thai, Vodafone Hindi (TDC award 2008) and Adobe Devanagari (2009), Nirmala UI Devanagari (2011), Aldhabi (Perso-Arabic script, 2012) and Sarkar (Bengali script, 2012). More recently with co-designer John Hudson, Sanskrit Text (for Windows 10), and Murty Gurmukhi, Murty Hindi, Murty Telugu, Murty Sanskrit, Murty Bangla and Murty Kannada for Harvard University Press for the Murty Classical Library of India. Also, with Neelakash Kshetrimayum on Bengali fonts including ABP 2015 (2017) and Linotype Bengali revival (2020).
In addition to presenting conference papers and running workshops, Fiona has co-curated seven international exhibitions, and written and contributed to books and numerous articles. Her work and research is focused on (1) non-Latin type design: theory, history, practice; (2) design approaches to multi-script typeface design; (3) the relationship of tools and typefounding methods to the visible appearance of typeforms of diverse writing systems; (4) documenting type design as an often-unacknowledged collaborative process.
- Certificate in Sanskrit, University of Tubingen
- German BA Hons, University of Kent at Canterbury
- Postgraduate Diploma Sanskrit with Pali, School of Oriental and African Studies
- PhD Indian Palaeography, SOAS, London University
- Fellow of the Higher Education Authority
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
- Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society
Awards and honours
- SoTA Typography Award, 2014
- TDC Medal, 2018
- Ross, F. (2021) Invisible hands: tracing the origins and development of the Linotype Devanagari digital fonts. Journal of the Printing Historical Society , 3 (2). pp. 111-153. ISSN: 0079-5321
- Savoie, A. and Ross, F. (2021) Dora Pritchett, Dora Laing, Patricia Saunders…the invisible women of Monotype’s Type Drawing Office. In: Levit, B. , (eds.) Baseline Shift; Untold stories of women in graphic design history. Princeton Architectural Press , New York. pp. 110-119. ISBN: 9781648960062
- Ross, F. (2019) A pocketful of type: the impact of mobile phones on global type design. Type , Fall 2019 (4). pp. 24-33.
- Izadpanah Abkenar, B. and Ross, F. (2019) Twentieth-century Persian newspaper types – investigating the design process.
- Izadpanah Abkenar, B. and Ross, F. (2018) Marlik typeface. Rosetta Type Foundry
- Izadpanah Abkenar, B. and Ross, F. (2018) Markazi text typeface. Google Fonts
- Ross, F. (2018) Historical technological impacts on the visual representation of language with reference to South Asian typeforms. Philological Encounters , 3 (4). ISSN: 2451-9189 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/24519197-12340054
- Ross, F. (2017) Fonts for classical texts in a digital age. University of Reading (Collection)
- Ross, F. and Kshetrimayum, N. (2017) ABP 2015 Bengali typeface. Ananda Bazar Patrika , Kolkata, India.
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2017) Murty Kannada typeface. Harvard University Press
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2017) Murty Bangla typeface. Harvard University Press
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2015) Sanskrit text typeface. Microsoft
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2015) Murty Telugu typeface. Harvard University Press
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2015) Murty Hindi typeface. Harvard University Press
- Hudson, J. and Ross, F. (2015) Murty Gurmukhi typeface. Harvard University Press
- Ross, F. (2015) Aspects of typographic communication: notes on South Asian typeforms. In: Makinson, J. , (eds.) Honoris Causa: Essays in Honour of Aveek Sarkar. Allen Lane , UK. pp. 47-77. ISBN: 9780241248676
- Ross, F. (2015) The Murty Classical Library of India – a collaborative design project for Harvard University Press. In: Kudrnovska, L. , (eds.) 365 Typo. Étapes , Paris. pp. 258-259. ISBN: 9791095254003
- Ross, F. (2013) Digital typeface design and font development for twenty-first century Bangla language processing. In: Karim, M. , Kaykobad, M. , Murshed, M. , (eds.) Technical Challenges and Design Issues in Bangla Language Processing. IGI Global , Pennsylvania U.S.A.. pp. 1-15. | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-3970-6.ch001
- Ross, F. and Singh, V. (2012) From hot-metal to OpenType – the type design process for world scripts.
- Ross, F. (2012) Non-Latin scripts: key issues in type design. In: Ross, F. and Singh, V. , (eds.) Non-Latin scripts: from metal to digital type.. St Bride Library , London, UK. pp. 125-153.
- Ross, F. , Luna, P. , Shaw, G. , Berry, J. , eds. (2012) Non-Latin scripts: from metal to digital type. St Bride Library , London, UK. pp 160. ISBN: 9780950416182
- Ross, F. , Holloway, T. , Kshetrimayum, N. , Hudson, J. (2012) Sarkar Bengali typeface. Anandabazar Patrika , Kolkata, India.
- Ross, F. (2010) Indian type. In: Suarez, S.J., M. and Woudhuysen, H. , (eds.) The Oxford Companion to the Book. , 2. Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780198606536 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780198606536.001.0001
- Ross, F. (2008) The Linotype Non-Latin Collection, University of Reading. In: Banham, R. and Ross, F. , (eds.) Non-Latin typefaces: at St Bride Library, London and Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading. St Bride Library , London, UK. pp. 32-62.
- Banham, R. and Ross, F. (2008) Non-Latin typefaces at St Bride Library, London and Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading. St Bride Library , London. pp 64. ISBN: 950416150
- Ross, F. and Shaw, G. (2003) An unexpected legacy and its contribution to early Indian typography. In: Randle, J. and Berry, J. , (eds.) Type and typography: highlights from Matrix. Mark Batty Publisher , New Jersey. pp. 169-181. ISBN: 9780971568761
- Ross, F. (2002) Non-Latin typesetting in the digital age. In: Sassoon, R. , (eds.) Computers and Typography. , 2. Intellect Books , Bristol, UK. pp. 42-53. ISBN: 1-84150-049-6
- Ross, F. (2002) An approach to non-Latin type design. In: Berry, J. , (eds.) Language, culture, type: international type design in the age of unicode. ATypI , New York, NY. pp. 67-75. ISBN: 9781932026016