Type design and inter-disciplinary innovation

Phototypesetting disk segment

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.

Teaching award for Sara Chapman

Sara ChapmanCongratulations to Sara, who has received one of the 2012 University Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning. This scheme recognises and rewards individuals who have made outstanding, on-going contributions to teaching and learning. This can either be through direct interactions with students, their support of staff within the School/section, or their contributions to a Faculty, Directorate or University initiative.

Type in Europe

James Mosley and Alice Savoie are contributors to a new book published to coincide with the Congrès des Musées Européens de l’Imprimerie in Lyon. James Mosley contributes an inventory of ‘the materials of typefounding’, while Alice (who is an AHRC-funded research student) writes with Alan Marshall and Bernadette Moglia on ‘our typographic heritage’.

Copies are available from www.imprimerie.lyon.fr

La lettre en Europe

Whatever Next

Whatever Next

Founded by Camberwell Press‘ creative director, James Edgar, Whatever Next: a discourse in typography is an exhibition and book stemming from a series of conversations that took place in 2011. The discussions are prefaced by four essays, one of which is by Gerry Leonidas. The book will be launched at the Kemistry Gallery on 4 October, with a corresponding exhibition of visual responses to the discussions by contributors. The exhibition will run until 20 October, and is open daily 10:00–18:00, and 11:00–16:00 on Saturdays.

Simplicity at the London Design Festival

Simple is smart

Alison Black, Professor of User-centred Design, shared a platform with leading designers and creative thinkers at the 2012 London Design Festival, explaining the importance of simplicity when developing products and services. Charing the event, which took place at the V&A Museum, was Philip Davies of Siegel+Gale. Other panel members were Merlin Crossingham, creative director of Wallace and Gromit at Aardman Animations; Stephen Fear, British Library entrepreneur-in-residence; and Charlie Allen, bespoke London tailor.

The panel shared their perspectives on the fundamental significance of implementing simplicity to connect to the modern consumer. They also provided their views on a wide range of topics, including how to embrace simplicity while avoiding the simplistic. Another interesting discussion centered around the idea that people have different perceptions and interpretations of simplicity.

“Brands that provide simpler interactions and experiences are winning the battle to stand out in the competitive marketplace,” said Philip Davies. “Simplicity is a powerful tool that helps brands get into consumers’ heads faster, and stay there for longer. As the UK continues to struggle in economic uncertainty, those brands that offer experiences that are clear, direct and easily communicated will generate strong customer loyalty and forge ahead.”

The lively debate played out on Twitter. Highlights from both #SimplicityTalks and the live event will be curated, together with opinions, images and ideas from select influencers who are renowned for simplicity in their fields, to create a book that will showcase the profound impact of simplicity.

Gerard Unger wins the Piet Zwart Lifetime Achievement Award

Gerard Unger

Gerard Unger, Visiting Professor in the Department, has been awarded the Piet Zwart Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, instituted by the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO), will be given during the Dutch Design Awards (DDA) ceremony, on 21 October. The BNO has put out a substantial press release in Dutch only (go to the Google translated page).

Our warmest congratulations!