Reading at ICTVC 5, Nicosia
Reading staff and graduates have returned from the fifth International Conference on Typography & Visual Communication, hosted by the University of Nicosia. ICTVC is the brainchild of Dr Klimis Mastoridis (a Reading alumnus) who, since the first event in 2002, has given the conference a distinct character that sets it apart from most such events. Amongst typography-orientated events, ICTVC is probably the most diverse in the range of academics and practitioners it brings together. And, even in this smallest of its iterations, it attracted speakers and delegates from four continents.
The combination of research and practice makes ICTVC a very good fit for Typography, and it was no surprise to see the Department represented well. The speaker lineup included staff members Mary Dyson, Gerry Leonidas, and Sue Walker, and current PhD candidates Sallie Morris and Niki Sioki. PhD alumni Petra Cerne Oven, Sue Perks, Karel van der Waarde, and MA alumni Julián Moncada, Elena Papassissa, Vaibhav Singh, and Adi Stern also presented papers.
For a general report on the conference, head over to Mark Barratt’s post on the Eye magazine blog.
Monotype’s lauded Pencil to Pixel exhibition (in Wapping last November, and New York earlier this month) included a relaunched Monotype Recorder, after a hiatus of fifteen years (the previous issue had been published to mark the Centenary of the company, on the occasion of the 1997 ATypI conference, in Reading). The new issue celebrates Robin Nicholas’ long career and contribution to the company, as well as to typeface design in general. A few days ago Monotype posted the bulk of the issue as an online magazine, including Robin’s interview to Eye magazine, and Gerry’s comment on Robin’s work.
The annual TypoBerlin conference is a major fixture on the European design calendar, bringing together over 1,500 attendees in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Erstwhile staff member Ken Garland opened this year’s conference with a talk on the theme of “touch”, taking the audience on a journey through senses and ideas, culminating with a very personal and touching – pun intended – story. Department graduates Paul Barnes and Marian Misiak talked on making typefaces from Cornish vernacular lettering, and Polish type design heritage from the Communist era respectively. Gerry Leonidas spoke on the emergence of typeface design as α professional discipline with global reach. Slanted magazine have been reporting on their blog on Ken, Paul, Marian, and Gerry.
Wayne Hart, a Department alumnus and visiting instructor for letter cutting, has just been awarded Gold Award & Overall Winner and Maker of the Year Award in the annual Craft & Design competition. The specialist media judge, Medeia Cohan-Petrolino, summed up Wayne’s work:
Wayne Hart’s work offers a unique juxtaposition – upholding traditional letter-carving methods while simultaneously being contemporary and innovative. His passion for his craft and meticulous manner come across in every aspect of the work that he produces. Wayne’s craftsmanship and creativity are already at an impressive stage and his plans to continue pushing forward with his practice and technical development will surely make him one to watch.
Wayne has already been awarded a number of prestigious scholarships from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, the Worshipful Company of Masons, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, the Finn Family Fund, the Bishop of Norwich and a number of smaller charities. His work is increasingly recognised, and can also be seen in the base of the clock tower in the University’s London Road campus.
When the Pencil to Pixel exhibition opened in Wapping last November, visitors were treated to a rare selection of typeface design and type-making objects from the Monotype Archive. The inspiring exhibition was accompanied by a special issue of the Monotype Recorder celebrating the work of Robin Nicholas, and an exceptional special issue of Eye magazine.
Today the exhibition announced the dates and location for its New York City run, in May. The exhibition is supported by the Department (which also claims amongst its alumni the curators of the exhibition).
We are the first institution, with Goldsmiths, to support the campaign to include design in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a proposed new qualification. Currently, the EBacc will require pupils to achieve a certificate in five subject areas: maths, English, sciences, languages (ancient and modern) and humanities (defined as only history or geography). This formulation has been widely criticised for its exclusion of creative subjects, and sparked a widely supported campaign to include design in the core subjects of the qualification. The list of organisations and companies backing the campaign reads like a roster of design excellence, across the sector.
The case for design’s contribution to the economy was recently made by the Design Commission’s Restarting Britain: Design Education and Growth report, supported by the Design Council and other organisations. Its text makes a strong case for the contribution of the creative sector to the UK economy in terms of GDP, employment, and innovation. In particular, it highlights design’s role in inter-disciplinary skills that are essential for innovation and enterprise. Design is an enabling sector, without which many seemingly unrelated industries cannot function effectively: for example, advances in science rely on design for their commercial application, and successful differentiation. For Typography’s point of view, this is especially pertinent in a global market where using textual and visual information in meaningful ways is increasingly the product itself, separate from any rendering environments.
You can add your support to the campaign here.
Following an invitation by the very active Petra Dočekalová of TypoSemestr, Gerry Leonidas will give a lecture at the Tranzit Gallery in Prague on Monday 26 November. The lecture will be followed by a two-day workshop on Greek type design, in the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design.
(The trip is timed perfectly to pick up some issues of the latest TYPO magazine, which is full of Reading connections!)
The University is a partner in the Pencil to Pixel exhibition which opened yesterday in the Metropolitan Wharf, in Wapping. After the taster of Gill’s drawings seen in Beauty in the Making last spring, Monotype pulled out all the stops for Pencil to Pixel: the event marks the first public viewing of many materials from the archives in Salfords, from original drawings by Bruce Rogers and Chris Brand, to an unbound folio masterpiece of Modern typography belonging to Adrian Frutiger, to an innovative display taking over the entirety of one of the walls, displaying a never-reccurring combination of typeforms from the company’s library. The exhibition is accompanied by twelve “collections” (booklets showcasing themed selections of typefaces by Abbott Miller, Patrick Burgoyne, and others), and a range of specimens and keepsakes.
The exhibition marks the publication of two major editions: a new issue of the Recorder, celebrating Robin Nicholas’ career in the company (with an opening article by Gerry Leonidas), and a special issue of Eye magazine, dedicated to the contributions of Monotype to type and typography. Both editions include superb photography, and should become instantly collectable – not least because the material in the exhibition is unlikely to be made available in this scale anytime soon.
There are many Reading connections with the exhibition, starting with the main organisers: Dan Rhatigan and James Fooks-Bale are both graduates of the Department. The special Recorder issue follows on from the Centenary Issue of 1997, published on the occasion of the ATypI conference in Reading; and the Linotype the Film publicity on display sports the exquisite (but unreleased, yet) redesign of Metro by another graduate, Toshi Omagari. Not least, the Recorder includes a picture of Robin teaching a few years back in a room eerily similar to the studio where Book- and Information Design postgraduates spend their days!
More about the exhibition in blog posts by Eye and Gerry.
We are amongst the supporters of the “Pencil to pixel” exhibition organised by Monotype UK. The exhibition will showcase a ranger of typographic treasures, and host design-themed events. The opening is on 16 November, and the exhibition will run the following week, 19—23 November, in the Metropolitan Wharf in east London.
The Musée de l’imprimerie in Lyons is hosting ‘La lettre à l’heure des révolutions technologiques’, an exhibition about typeface design and technological revolutions throughout the twentieth century curated by Alice Savoie, celebrated typeface designer and PhD researcher in the Department.
This exhibition, which runs to 14 October, illustrates the challenges faced by users and producers of typefaces during the three major technological shifts in the industry: from foundry type to hot-metal, to photo-composition, and to digital typesetting. The exhibition explores the considerable influence these changes have had on the design process, and the progressive disembodiment of type, which transformed the industry and redefined the roles of both designers and manufacturers.
The material presented draws on the typographical archives held by three major institutions: the Musée de l’imprimerie in Lyon, the Monotype archives held by Monotype Imaging in Salfords (UK), and the non-Latin collections in the Department.
The closing of the exhibition is marked by the Congress of the Association of European Printing Museums. The two-day event features an exceptional roster of speakers: Iris Kockelbergh (Director of the unique Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp), Andrea De Pasquale (Director of the Braidense National Library in Milan, and the University Library in Turin), Charlotte Delannée, Johan Seivering, and Andréas Schweitzer (of the Association pour le patrimoine industriel, Suisse), Honourary Friend of the Department Mathieu Lommen (Curator of graphic collections, Amsterdam University Library), and our very own James Mosley, Richard Southall, and Alice Savoie.