We’re proud to be in the Guardian’s top 5 for undergraduate design courses in the UK. And even prouder that the same table places us at number 2 nationally for graduate employability in design. Find out more at our Open Days on 17 and 18 June.
Lists and rankings are great fun, especially if you hit the upper reaches of the charts! That’s exactly what John Morgan, Reading alumnus and visiting teacher on our MA Book Design programme, has achieved in the Wallpaper* list of Top Twenty Graphic Designers. ‘Culture’s go-to art director’ is the way it describes John, picking up on his work for AAFiles, Tate Britain, the Venice Architecture Biennale, HMS Victory, and countless art-related publishing projects. Also cited by Wallpaper* as an ‘influential editorial designer’ is the external examiner for our BA programme, Simon Esterson.
Typography & Graphic Communication is proud to have achieved the highest GPA score (3.51) in UoA 34 (Art and Design: History, Practice, Theory), and the best REF result at the University of Reading.
Typography’s research covers the history, theory and practice of ‘design for reading’, with particular emphasis on information design, typeface design and book design. Research submitted to the REF included monographs, papers in refereed journals, type design and book design practice, and exhibition design and curation: 46 per cent was given the highest grade, described as ‘world leading’, and a 46 per cent was thought to be ‘internationally excellent’.
Typography’s high-scoring impact result (70 per cent assessed as 4*) reflected Departmental strategy of developing research projects with direct input from research users or with a clear view of the potential public benefit of the research.
Enriching communities of literacy, on the design of typefaces for world scripts traced how Departmental research has been used by organisations including Adobe, Microsoft and Nokia to create access to communication for large language communities, many of which have not, previously, had access to technology using their own scripts.
Designing information for everyday reading demonstrated how wide-ranging Departmental research into the design of functional documents, both historically and in current applied contexts, provided a knowledge base for collaborative projects with government departments (National Offender Management Service, the Cabinet Office and HMRC) which influenced their practices and brought benefit to the public they serve. Public exhibition of some of the Department’s research has changed perceptions of the development and role of communication in civic society.
We’re very pleased that Tomoko Yamamoto, who recently completed the MA in Information Design, was awarded the University’s Outstanding Taught Postgraduate Student award at her graduation on Friday.
To be eligible for the prize, a student must achieve distinction-level grades in every one of the modules they study as part of their Master’s programme. The award is then made to the student with the highest mark for their dissertation, and the highest overall weighted average mark. This year competition was fierce, with 20 students from subjects across the University achieving distinction marks in every module.
The award was presented to Tomoko by the Chancellor, Sir John Madejski. Ole Lund, programme director for Information Design, said ‘This award is a wonderful recognition of Tomoko’s hard work and we are very proud of her achievement.’ Professor Peter Miskell, Taught Postgraduate Recruitment Project Leader, commented ‘This clearly reflects well not just on Tomoko’s outstanding performance, but also on the Department more widely, and the calibre of students Typography & Graphic Communication is able to recruit.’
Tomoko, whose dissertation topic was the communication of tsunami evacuation procedures, joined the MA programme to consolidate professional experience she had gathered in medical research communication. She is planning to continue her career in information design research.
Professional assignments – ‘real jobs’ – are a special part of our BA programme, and get the thumbs up from graduate Laura Slater in this month’s Creative Review. Real jobs were “totally worth it. It did seem a lot of effort sometimes but it boosted my confidence at pitching and my experience has made me stand out from other graduates.”
This year’s Monotype Studentship, awarded to an incoming MA student through the generosity of Monotype Imaging Ltd, has been awarded to Slovenian student Teja Smrekar, who will study Typeface Design. Teja receieved her first degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maribor, where her dissertation topic was ‘The socially engaged poster’. Teja has developed an interest in typeface design and attended workshops run by Gerry Leonidas and Reading alumna Veronika Burian. In her professional practice she has designed poetry books, an identity for the Association of Slovenian Artists, and has exhibited her work at EDUZGRAF in Zagreb, Croatia.
Dan Rhatigan, Type Director at Monotype, said ‘We selected Teja because of her overall enthusiasm and particularly her research interests in the Cambodian Khmer script. It’s always our hope that the Monotype Studentship will encourage the student who benefits from the opportunity and enable them to contribute to the wider body of typographic knowledge.’
Paul Luna, Head of Department, said ‘The support of industry partners is vital to allowing students from all over the world to study at Reading, and we are very grateful to Monotype for this continuing generous contribution to design education.’
Kate Goudsmit, who as a Part 2 student was a winner in the Vincent Ma awards run by Design Portfolio Marketing Services, has been interviewed on their blog. Design Portfolio have been generously supporting students in the Department through prizes for achievement and opportunities for work experience in their busy London studios for several years, in memory of former employee and Reading alumnus Vincent Ma.
Design & Print Studio (DPS) contributes significantly to our BA programme through modules in professional practice, more usually known as the ‘real jobs’ scheme. Students gain confidence through the proximity of a working design and production office, as this year’s degree show publications for Art and Typography demonstrate. And in a real vote of confidence in our current crop of students, DPS has just announced a paid-for internship for a graduating BA student starting this summer.
Adobe Thai, a typeface designed by Fiona Ross and Tim Holloway, features in this visual project by Zurich-based artist Dafi Kühne – 40 posters in 34 languages – presented at the Biennale in 2012. You can watch the production process on Vimeo:
You can read the artist’s documentation, where he thanks Fiona, research student Titus Nemeth, and MA graduate Toshi Omagari for the help with the non-Latin typeface layouts.