The University has launched its biodiversity mapping tool, KiteSite, which is to be used in teaching to track sightings of plant and animal life and, through GPS, map their location on campus. The tool was developed from existing open-source software by a joint team of biologists, computer scientists and designers as part of a University-funded Teaching and Learning Development project. Typography and Graphic Communication student, Liam Basford (pictured centre), developed the branding and communications for the project. He is with Bethany Everett (left), one of a group of student volunteers who tested the tool, and Alison Black, of Centre for Information Design Research, who was part of the academic team involved in the project.
Our collection of twentieth-century town plans, road maps and route plans includes four AA Route Sheets that were individually made in the 1940s for the trips members wanted to take.
The little booklets contain a combination of directions, maps, town plans and points of interest. The routes outlined in our recent acquisitions are London to Bournemouth, London to Liverpool, Chiswick to Middlesbrough and Middlesbrough back to Chiswick. They contain ‘places of interest’ descriptions of parts of the route: ‘Much pleasant woodland & some high ground after leaving Winchester’ as well as a detailed account of the route, in an abbreviated form that makes sense in context: ‘under second rly.br.bear lt.into’.
By 1948 AA membership returned to the pre-war level of over 700,000 and demand for routes like these increased rapidly, particularly when petrol rationing ended in 1950. The evocative ‘places of interest’ information was dropped at this time when details of the return route were added to the reverse of the route sheets. These route guides were the Sat Nav of their day, ideal for people that wanted a handy set of instructions on how to get from A to B.
Laura Weill, Typography Collections assistant
Mary Dyson outlines how she approaches typefaces and the challenges for research from a psychological and design perspective in The Conversation
Titus Nemeth submitted his PhD thesis in 2013, on the evolution of Arabic type-making under the influence of changing technologies. The thesis spans the period from 1908, when the first adaptation of Arabic to mechanical typesetting introduced machine-aided composition; and 1993, when the adoption of Unicode marked the end of typeface design’s association with specific platforms. Titus’ research was supported by an AHRC Studentship.
Titus’ PhD represents a number of type-related research projects drawing on archival material, and is a useful reference for all researchers in this area. He has now published on his blog an engaging reflection on his experience doing a PhD at Reading. His article is a source of inspiration and guidance for potential researchers, and contains useful advice for research at this level.
The PhD was not Titus’ first experience in Reading. He had graduated from the MA Typeface Design in 2006, having completed an important Latin/Arabic typeface and a dissertation on Arabic newspaper typography.