Looking at children’s reading books

A collections-based research exhibition about typography and illustration in books for teaching reading from the 1880s to the 1960s.

 

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Monday 11 January 2016 to Friday 18 March 2016

Open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday

Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, ToB2, Earley Gate

More information from Laura Weill l.weill@reading.ac.uk

The use of typography and illustration in reading books for children has changed during the last hundred years. There has been a gradual shift from graphic conventions determined by printing and typesetting practice for adult readers to those more appropriate for beginning and emerging readers. Illustrations have become more important and many reading schemes used known artists to create the much-loved characters who featured in the narrative.

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In the Top Twenty – John Morgan

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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.

Granshan hits the spot

Jae-joon Han at Granshan

Granshan is devoted to the development of typographic awareness in global scripts, through its annual competition and conference. This year Reading hosted the fourth conference, after Yeravan, Bangkok, and Munich. Over three days, the conference touched on the business of type design, training, support for minority and endangered scripts, the development of resources for complex scripts, and severals aspects of design for global scripts.

Victoria Sarapina

A tight schedule combined a dense pace punctuated by generous break times, to allow for new connections. To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the MATD, the first day was devoted to globally prominent speakers who were also graduates of programme.

Adi Stern

Lively discussions followed several presentations, and engaged gatherings continued long after each day’s talks had ended. Feedback for the event was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, creating combination of in-depth but accessible discourse in global typeface design:

The conference included two special events. The first celebrated the Murty Classical Library of India series by Harvard University Press, with a salutation by Tim Jones, and presentations by Fiona Ross, Rathna Ramanathan, and John Hudson. The second was a very special calligraphy duet with Timothy Donaldson representing Europe and Kang Byung-in representing Korea, in an impressively packed studio in Typography.

Granshan calliduel

The conference ended with an after-party organised by the current MATD students. More than twenty countries were represented by speakers, and many more by attendees, underlining the strength and extent of the current network of typeface design.An exceptional AV team produced a liveblog of the conference, and had uploaded most talks before even the end of the conference on the Granshan YouTube Channel.

The conference generated wide coverage and social media recorded very enthusiastic comments by attendees as well as speakers, exemplified by this tweet:

During the closing statements Boris Kochan announced that the 2016 Granshan will take place in Seoul. Follow @GranshanConf for updates!

 

Reading in Eye’s typography issue

Eye magazine cover

The latest issue of Eye magazine, the international review of graphic design, is dedicated to typography and typeface design. The Department is very well represented in the issue: it includes an extensive profile of Fred Smeijers, long-time collaborator of Eric Kindel on research in stencil letterforms, and past External Examiner for the MA Typeface Design programme. Our graduate Paul Barnes wrote a tribute to James Mosley’s contributions to scholarship in typography, and Gerry Leonidas led Beyond Latin, a panel article on typeface design for global scripts featuring John HudsonNeelakash KshetrimayumKamal Mansour, and Pascal Zoghbi.

‘Time(less) signs’ at Austrian Cultural Forum London

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The exhibition ‘Time(less) signs: Otto Neurath and reflections in Austrian Contemporary Art’ runs from 30 September 2014 to 9 January 2015, at the Austrian Cultural Forum London. It features a selection by curator Maria C. Holter from the ‘Zeit(lose) Zeichen’ exhibition first staged at Vienna’s Künstlerhaus in 2012, supplemented by original material from the Department’s Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection (see image above). As part of the public programme accompanying the exhibition, co-curator Christopher Burke will give a talk on Isotype at the Austrian Cultural Forum on Tuesday 14 October 2014.

See also:

Interview with Maria Holter, exhibition curator

Zeit(lose) Zeichen

Isotype: design and contexts, 1925–1971

A very special ATypI

Jan Tschichold's corrections

As students were settling into their Halls for Welcome Week and the start of the new academic year, Sunday marked the return of several members of the Typography family from the annual ATypI conference, a highlight in the calendar of international type professionals. Held in Barcelona’s impressive new Museu del Diseny by MBM Arquitectes the conference was especially significant for Typography: to celebrate the award of the Sir Mischa Black Medal to Michael Twyman, the Association invited him to deliver the Keynote lecture on the topic of  “Typography as a university study”. (The image above, of visuals marked up by Tschichold for a facsimile edition of Vespasiano’s 1572 writing manual, is from Michael’s collections – and seen by postgraduates who join his seminars.)

Forty years after the foundation of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication (and a few more since the inception of the original course, in the late 1960s), Michael’s integration of history, theory and practice continues to define typographic education. These ideas have proven not only resilient, but prescient: graphic communication education worldwide is moving towards these ideas, holding Reading as a model for both new courses and institutions realigning their design studies.

Fiona Ross and Michael Twyman

(Above: Fiona Ross and Michael Twyman in Barcelona. Photos by Elena Veguillas)

Reading’s presence at the conference was notable. Eric Kindel and Gerard Unger delivered presentations, as did no less than ten MATD alumni, with two more taking part in panel sessions (Azza Alameddine, Nathalie Dumont, Paul Hunt, William Montrose, Toshi Omagari, Michele Patane, Dan Reynolds, Dan Rhatigan, Alice Savoie, Liron Lavi Turkenich; and Veronika Burian and Nadine Chahine respectively). Fiona Ross co-curated (with the regrettably absent Vaibhav Singh) the exhibition “Making news: type technologies in transition in newspapers across the world”. The selection of items from the Department’s Collections & Archives are a source of fascination and discussion by type designers, and reflect the growth of interest in global scripts.

Making News exhibition

Borna Izadpanah and Behdad Esfahbod reviewing the Urdu section of the exhibition.

ATypI president (and Reading alumnus) José Scaglione’s announcement that ATypI 2015 will take place in São Paulo, the first South American location for the Association, which will bring the conference closer to the substantial community of Brazilian alumni.

Web designers go for typefaces

slide from SmashingConf

Kicking off a busy week for Typography staff, Gerry Leonidas spoke to a full hall at Smashing Conference in Freiburg. The new talk focused on typefaces from a web designer’s perspective, and included key notions for evaluating typefaces. Web design professionals are increasingly interested in typography and typeface design, where the Department’s expertise has many contributions to make. By way of a reminder, Marko Dugonjić (amongst many other things, SmashingConf reporter on Twitter) noted:


Crossing Borders in Antwerp

typosium 2014

The ninth Typosium, organised by Initiaal, took place at the Museum Plantin Moretus in Antwerp on 30 August, with the theme Crossing Borders/Genze(n)loos. Our own Jo De Baerdemaeker, Fiona Ross and Gerard Unger were amongst the presenters. Gerard spoke about his Alverata project, a contemporary typeface drawing on romanesque sources and employing a wide range of historically-inspired alternate shapes. Fiona wand Jo conducted a Dialogue on type, looking at a range of projects for global scripts.  Pictures on Jan Van der Linden’s photostream.