Using the collections: thoughts from the 2014/15 winners of the Michael Twyman Bursary

Michael Twyman Bursary awards winners, Monica Olveira and Sergio TrujilloPerez, have both commented on their experience of working with the collections in Typography.

Sergio said:

“I have been exposed to an eye-opening teaching philosophy which combines theory, practice and history . . . we as students have been encouraged not only to explore but also to interact with the items found within the Department’s collection of printed material. Everything from antique books, newspapers, posters and ephemera, to original sketches, production pieces and printing tools, has been at our disposal. The close contact with these collection pieces provides the historical context needed to better understand, appreciate and practice any design profession. It is definitely a unique experience to work in such a historically rich and creative environment, and I am extremely thankful that I was able to do so.”



Monica used material from the collections for her professional assignment project, which involved assisting with curation, and designing an exhibition:

“One of the reasons that made me decide to enrol in the MA Book Design was having the opportunity to explore the archive and come face to face with so many materials that I had only seen before in books or the internet. Since day one of the MA I tried to sneak in to the reading room and timidly into the archive but not really knowing what to look for yet. This finally happen when we were given our professional assignment and my tutor suggested that I developed a forthcoming exhibition at the Department curated by Eric Kindel.

This exhibition brought together two periodicals — Future and Fortune — to show the diversity of graphic information during the post-war years. Future magazine was part of the Isotype Collection held in the Department’s archive while Fortune belonged to private collections.

To acquaint myself with the materials I spent a few days in the archive going through different issues of Future and Fortune. Getting to know better both periodicals helped me to devise a more informed graphic language for the exhibition as well as understand how to structure it. The final stage was bringing all the elements together, from the magazines on display inside the cases, the text panels and large images on the wall, to the booklets and website.

Putting together such an exhibition was quite a laborious process due to the various elements involved, but one that made me come across so many unknown materials. The archive is full of boxes, drawers and shelves still there to explore, some of them I hope to discover in my final year.”