Inclusive design workshops for print and digital design

This week our part 2 undergraduates participated in exciting inclusive design workshops as part of the Breaking down Barriers project. Students wore simulation gloves to discover how conditions such as arthritis may affect user experience across print and digital design. Read more about the inclusive workshops here.

Raj in gloves

Rajan Dole exploring how paper stock can influence inclusive design

Louise in gloves

Louise Lee wearing simulation gloves to experience the challenges people with arthritis experience when interacting with mobile devices

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.

 

kidsex2

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.

kidsex

Heritage and creativity: new lettering for HMS Victory

The name of HMS Victory, launched in 1765, the oldest ship of the Royal Navy that is still in commission, has been repainted. The name had been painted when the vessel was refurbished in 2005 for the two-hundredth anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar, but unfortunately the style used was Trajan, the Roman inscriptional letter that was quite unknown in England in 1805. Since the ship was being repainted during 2015 in a colour that is believed to be closer to that used in 1805, the opportunity was taken to repaint the name at the stern, using the ‘English vernacular’, the bold traditional style of lettering that is believed to have been in use at that date. The model for the style was engraved lettering by George Bickham. There was also guidance from contemporary paintings, and from scale models of 18th-century warships at the National Maritime Museum.

The letters were painted by Phil Surey from drawings by Adrien Vasquez of John Morgan Studios. Advice and historical research was by James Mosley.

Victory name - 2015-10-03 1 Victory name - 2015-10-03 2 - letter R

Typography tops the bill in the REF

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.

Our overall score was: 56 per cent 4*; 39 per cent 3*; 5 per cent 2*.

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.

Typography student winner of University MA prize

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.

Reading presence at the New York & London Art Book Fairs

MoMA

Last week saw the annual, simultaneously programmed, Art Book Fairs at MoMA PS1 in New York and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Contributors from the Typography Department’s Art Information symposium, first staged in April at London’s ICA, presented again in New York and organiser Ruth Blacksell was invited to talk at NYCUs Artists Institute space in Manhattan. John Morgan, who will follow on at the Artists Institute this Autumn, presented live at the London Fair with his sell-out Whitechapel event ‘I will not make any more boring books’. Amongst the plethora of conference presentations and events across locations, other highlights included AA Bronson in conversation (London), the ‘Unbinding the book’ projects (London), ‘Publishing as research and development’ featuring the web-based magazines Triple Canopy and East of Borneo (NY), Norway’s Kunstnerbøker focus (NY), David Reinfurt of Dexter Sinister on Bruno Munari (NY) and Emily McVarish from California College of the Arts on the book designs of Phil Zimmerman (NY).

NY Art Book Fair

The London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery

Xerox

Printed Matter

Thesaurus of ephemera terms

In November 2013 Typography’s Centre for Ephemera Studies (CES) published a Thesaurus of Ephemera Terms, which is freely available for download here, in two versions: alphabetical and top term order.

Ephemera Thesaurus

Top term report

At present there are no plans to provide a searchable version. While not wishing to undermine the integrity of the thesaurus it is understood that users will adapt it for their own purposes as circumstances change.

We would welcome any comments and suggestions for improvement received before the end of 2014, as we intend to issue a revised version in 2015.

Please send comments and suggestions to ephthes@reading.ac.uk.

 

Getting from A to B: inspiration from the archives

 

AAroutepage

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

Art Information symposium at the ICA – Saturday 26 April 2014

This one-day event looks at acts of publishing in contemporary art & curatorial practice.Aspen#4_box_McLuhan_inside

Organised by Ruth Blacksell, Programme Director of the MA in Book Design, this event features presentations by Jo Melvin, Chelsea College of Arts, London; Lucy Mulroney, Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center, New York; Stuart Bailey, Dexter Sinister/The Serving Library, New York; and John Russell, Professor of Art at the University of Reading. Click here for more information and tickets.