Category: events

Bauhaus typeface revived by MATD student

Adobe’s “Hidden Treasures” programme kicks off the typographic commemoration of the forthcoming centenary of the Bauhaus school by releasing four revivals based on lettering by Bauhaus staff. Drawing on original material in the archives of the  Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, a group of current typeface design students were selected to work on digitising the original lettering, extrapolating the missing letterforms and characters to fill out the required character set, and adapt the designs for digital formats. The fast-paced project was led and supervised by Ferdinand Ulrich and Erik Spiekermann, and included in-person meetings in Berlin and Dessau, online collaboration, and a launch event in New York City.

Ferdinand Ulrich, Hidetaka Yamasaki, and Erik Spiekermann being captured working on the Bauhaus project. Image by Robyn Steffen

Each of the four typefaces were revived by a student from a typeface design course: Hidetaka Yamasaki, a current MA Typeface Design student, worked on lettering by Carl Marx; Céline Hurka from the KABK on letters by Alfred Arndt; Luca Pellegrini from the ECAL on lettering by Xanti Schawinsky; Elia Preuss from HGB Leipzig worked on letters by Reinhold Rossig; and Flavia Zimbardi on letters by Joost Schmidt. The typefaces are released gradually through Typekit’s subscription service to professionals using Adobe’s dominant suite of applications, and are a superb example of archival material inspiring contemporary design.

 

A July like any other in Reading

Ribbon ceremony
Ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Art Department gallery.

The Department of Typography did not get the memo that July is supposed to be a quiet period. We kicked off the month by hosting the KSBDA International Invitational Exhibition, its first stop after Seoul, and on its way to Katowice, Poland. The exhibition, attended by members of the current Board of the KSBDA and several past presidents, was held with the kind collaboration of the Department of Art. The visitors had the opportunity to examine material from the Collections in Typography, and discuss their use in teaching.

Michael Twyman at ICTVC
Professor Michael Twyman delivering the opening keynote at Thessaloniki.

The second week of July saw many staff, research students, and postgraduates fly off to Thessaloniki, to take part in the 6th ICTVC conference. The triennial event is spearheaded by alumnus Dr Klimis Mastoridis and aligns closely to the research strands of the Department. Several members delivered papers, and Emeritus Professor Michael Twyman delivered the opening keynote.

Monotype celebration
Celebrating the Monotype Studentship, from left: senior designer Malou Verlomme, Type Director Dr Nadine Chahine, the VC Sir David Bell, and Head of Department Professor Eric Kindel.

Back in Reading, we marked the tenth anniversary of the Monotype Studentship, a substantial initiative in funding support for our postgraduates. The Studentship is only one element of our deep collaboration with the company, which stretches from research support to technical training.

Over the two last weeks of July the Department was taken over by the annual TDi summer course. The international cohort (with participants from Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, India, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, UAE, USA, as well as European countries and the UK) spent long days in sessions led by several members of the Department’s staff and student community, working in our studios, with material from the Department Collections, and personal staff collections. Through lectures and seminars, to hands-on sessions with archival material and letterpress equipment, the TDi provides a unique distillation of key areas of the Department’s narrative on typography and typeface design. Marek Jeziorek documented this year’s course in several albums, starting here.

Information Design at DRS 2016

Sue Walker and Alison Black attended the Design Research Society 2016 conference in Brighton. They organised a session, Effective Information Design, to raise the profile of the history, theory and practice of information design.

Support for health care is an area where information designers have undertaken research projects ranging from health promotion, through clinical practice, to medicines safety. The session included three health related papers. Jenny Darzentas reported her team’s work on patient information leaflets for mobile devices, with reference to Fentanyl patches, affirming that conventions for the organisation of patient information on paper are not directly transferable to mobile devices. A team from the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art and British Red Cross present their project about a smartphone app that helps to raise the awareness of ‘balance health’ as an aid to prevent falls in people over the age of 65. David Craib discussed approaches to creating and understanding meaning in communication design, working with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Maxwell Roberts talked about work that compared objective measures of performance and subjective ratings of design effectiveness in two variants of the London Underground map. Continuing the visualization theme, Joanna Boehnert presented her Mapping Climate Communication project which introduces discussion around impact and power in data visualisation. Eden Potter identified some of skills and personal qualities that information designers need to successfully undertake a project reinforcing that information design is as much about process as it is about artefact.

The papers can be found in the proceedings following the introduction:

Walker, S., Black, A. (2016). Introduction: Effective information design. in: P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia, eds., Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society – Future-Focused Thinking, Volume 6, pp 2303–2308, DOI 10.21606/drs.2016.603

Typography in Beijing

TDC opening

Soon after the conclusion of a successful visit by students from CAFA to Typography in 2015, we commenced working on a reciprocal visit to Beijing. As it happened, several strands of activity came together to make this an exceptionally productive visit. A short report follows below; the local organisers, led by CAFA teacher Liu Zhao, recorded all presentations for translation and reposting on the Chinese social networks, and microblogged almost every minute of the trip to a jaw-droppingly numerous online audience.

Opening the visit with a more formal occasion, Gerry Leonidas and José Scaglione (Reading alumnus and ATypI president) took part in the judging of the 8th Founder Type Design Competition. The event, held every two years, included for the first time Latin typefaces by Chinese designers. The next day, the winners were announced in the National Centre of the Performing Arts (the “Egg”), together with the opening of the TDC61 exhibition, the Chinese leg of the global tour of the annual design competition; and the opening of the “Chinese Type Modern 1919–1955” exhibition with material from the archives of Founder Electronics on the transition of Chinese type-making across technologies – with clear influence by Reading’s TDi 2015 course, in which Founder staff participated in.

Font Forum line-up

Font Forum conference

The exhibition and competition awards served as the opening events for the two-day Font Forum, a conference on typeface design with speakers from China, Japan, and Europe, to packed auditoria. At the end of each day lively panel discussions demonstrated the interest of the student and professional audience, and the desire for stronger engagement with the international typographic community. (In the sidelines of the conference, plans were hatched to coordinate a BA module on typeface design between Reading and CAFA in 2016–17.)

workshop at CAFA

CAFA workshop

The main part of the visit was taken over by a workshop on typeface design at CAFA. The interest in Latin typeface design is considerable, and the skills of many students impressive. This is a sign of the gradual globalisation of Chinese design education, and the demands by the local professional employers for skills that can serve markets across language and script regions. Although the workshop was primarily focused on typeface design, there was great interest in typographic design, and especially for mobile platforms.

at Founder

Centre for Chinese Font Design and Research

Two visits at the Centre for Chinese Font Design and Research, hosted in the offices of Founder Electronics, focused on design issues in fonts for Chinese, design  tools and processes, and professional training for multi-script design. The second of the visits had very concrete aims, with Gerry orchestrating the localisation of Glyphs (the key font design application) into Simplified Chinese, to enable designers in China to experiment with new workflows.

CITIC publisher agreement

Starting in TDi 2015, Gerry Leonidas guided Liu Zhao to compile a list of books on typography and typeface design in English to be translated into Chinese by CITIC, one of the most prominent publishers in the country. The project is progressing well with many rights already secured, and schedules for the translations and launches in place. Gerry’s involvement in the curation of the series provides the opportunity for the University’s approach to typographic scholarship to be transplanted in a new market in a unique manner. This is part of a wider collaboration between the University, CITIC, and CAFA, with the aim of building up typeface design education in China.

Dongdao Design

Dongdao Design

Despite the timing on a Sunday evening, over 140 designers from Dongdao, one of the largest design agencies in China, turned up to listen to José and Gerry talk about typeface design solutions and studies. The presentations were followed by Q&A sessions and interviews, which will be posted on Chinese social media with subtitles.

p.s. ATypI in Beijing?

Seeing in person the typographically maturing environment in Beijing and particularly the concretely supportive attitude in CAFA convinced José and Gerry (president and vice-president of ATypI respectively) of the importance and timeliness of bringing the annual conference of the type design community to mainland China. They outlined the key parameters of a proposal with Dean Wang Min and Liu Zhao, and explored timing options. Look for announcements through ATypI!

Making an impression: printing presses, type and colour

 

This workshop, based around the printing press collection in Typography, attracted postgraduate students, academic staff, museum and library professionals, and members of the public interested in the materiality of text, books and ephemeral documents.

Participants used the presses under craft supervision, and had a go at casting metal type.

They printed a page from the Gutenberg bible on a reconstructed one-pull wooden press that Gutenberg would have used, as well as 19th century woodblocks on another.

Alan May demonstrated printing of a Fust and Schoeffer 2-colour initial.

The workshop culminated in a fascinating talk by Dr Elizabeth Savage (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Material Texts & Research Fellow, History of Art,Cambridge University) ‘Deciphering the First Colour-Printed Images in England: The Book of St Albans, 1486’

IMG_1474 IMG_1475 IMG_1479 IMG_1481

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

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!

 

Apple’s new system fonts

Antonio Cavedoni at WWDC

 

There is a good community of Typography graduates working at Apple, and in recent days we got a peek at what they’ve been working on. During the annual World Wide Developers Conference held in San Franscisco MATD graduate Antonio Cavedoni took to the stage to introduce the new system fonts for the Apple platforms.

The talk is an excellent overview of the work that typeface designers do “behind the scenes” to ensure the texts we read on our devices are readable and well-structured – and a superb introduction to the level of detail that typeface designers work every day.

Branding workshop with Part 3 students

Chris Washington-Sare and students working on the brand proposition for There4Reading.
Chris Washington-Sare and students working on the brand proposition for There4Reading. 

Alumnus Chris Washington-Sare (1985-89), from Pentatonic Marketing, joined us this week to deliver an all-day workshop on ‘How to help charities develop their marketing proposition’ for Part 3 students, as part of their current practical project, ‘Not-for-profit branding and design thinking’.

Learning through a series of short presentations, group work and practical exercises, students were able to develop a marketing strategy for real charity clients ‘More than Food’ (a Trussell Trust food bank initiative), Team Berkshire (a initiative of Get Berkshire Active), There4Reading (Youth Volunteering in Reading) and Kileva (Helping communities in Kenya).

Students gained marketing insights on brand values, the importance of a vision and mission, how to understand and present the functional and emotional benefits of an organisation, how to identify the points of differentiation, and the brand personality. The day ended with a session on social identity and the use of semiotics in branding.

Our students loved it:

“I found the branding workshop very informative and worthwhile. It was useful to look at the project from a marketing perspective rather than as a designer. This gave me and my team a clearer understanding of our competitors, target audience and our charities vision.”

“The day was structured well, as we went through the process right from the beginning to the end. This gave chronology and a greater clarity to how the brand develops from initial research to a vision/mission/values which begin to hint at the imagery of the brand.”

Typography has a special relationship with many of our alumni. We very much value their contributions to ensure that our current students can see where their experience at Reading might lead.

Student competitor analysis for ‘More than Food’ looking at Points-of-Parity and Points-of-Difference.
Student competitor analysis for ‘More than Food’ looking at Points-of-Parity and Points-of-Difference.