Category: research

Freeing Liberty through information design

This July, Rachel Warner and Emily Allbon presented their project ‘Freeing Liberty through information design’ at the International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication (ICTVC). Their project focuses on designing information on our civil liberties, provided by Liberty. Liberty gave Rachel and Emily a challenge: to identify how information design might help to make their online legal information advice more accessible, useful, and understandable. At the conference, initial ideas were presented for information on:

  • Stop and search – a downloadable online checklist to use when faced with a stop and search event
  • Police complaints – a flowchart that aims to communicate the steps and roles involved in the police complaint process
  • Immigration – the use of illustrations to accompany text to acknowledges experiences and emotions

The project continues to develop, with future plans for workshops with information users, legal experts, and advisors. So, watch this space!

Sketch of a flowchart working out the police complaints processDesign process: sketching out the police complaints process

An image that displays text as a checklist that can be used as an aide memoire in a stop and search eventInitial ideas: draft solution for stop and search information

 

Looking at women looking at themselves being looked at

9 June – 9 September 2022

This exhibition, now open in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, explores the concept of the male gaze in twentieth-century British illustration, and is curated by Cătălina Zlotea.

The exhibition analyses the work of the British illustrator, Charles Mozley (1914–1991), through a contemporary lens. It does so by foregrounding two female stereotypes depicted in advertisements, ephemera, and fine art lithographs made by Mozley between the late 1940s and the early 1980s. The exhibition arrangement creates contrast and conflict between the image of the middle-class “virtuous” woman – a virgin goddess placed on a pedestal – and the “loose” woman – an anonymous sex object signalled through hair colour and scanty clothing. This female presence, recurrent in Mozley’s work, demonstrates the quality of the artist’s draughtsmanship while connoting middle-class masculine virtues, follies, and sexual desires. 

The exhibition is open weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed bank holidays.

About Charles Mozley

Charles Mozley was born in Sheffield where he studied painting and drawing at the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts. In 1933 he won a scholarship from the Royal College of Art and moved to London to study painting. After graduating, he taught life drawing, anatomy, and lithography at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. Following the Second World War and for the rest of his career, he worked as a freelance artist. 

Prolific and versatile, Mozley was among the artists commissioned by Frank Pick and Jack Beddington for prestigious London Transport and Shell-Mex advertising campaigns. He also created designs for the advertising agency Colman, Prentis & Varley, for theatre and film production companies, and for many British publishers. He painted a mural for the Festival of Britain, contributed to the popular “School Prints” and “Lyons Lithographs” series, and produced ephemera for restaurants and the wine trade. Alongside commercial work, Mozley continuously painted, made prints, and exhibited in solo and group shows. 

The long list of commissions, as well as the works held by the Charles Mozley Trust, provide evidence that Mozley’s pictures were widely seen in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. As Nicolas Barker has remarked, Mozley’s work is “a graphic-mirror of the post-war era”, making it a valuable resource for the study of visual culture.

Credits

Curator: Cătălina Zlotea
Exhibition design: Cătălina Zlotea, Hannah Smith
Exhibition consultant: Eric Kindel
Archive consultant: Sallie Morris
Production: Geoff Wyeth

Thanks to the Charles Mozley Trust, which has supported this exhibition and the doctoral research by Cătălina Zlotea that informs it.

Installation

Selected works by Charles Mozley highlighting key projects.
Overview of the exhibition space contrasting the “loose” woman and the “virtuous” woman, as subjected to the male gaze.
Illustrations by Mozley depicting the “loose” woman.
Illustrations by Mozley depicting the “virtuous” woman.

13 July: a celebration of letterforms and ephemera

We are holding a one-day symposium on Saturday 13 July, where world-class experts in design research, teaching, and practice will discuss ways of positioning ephemera within graphic design and typeface design. Participants will experience the visual richness of printed ephemera through illustrated talks and hands-on sessions with material from our collections of ephemera. 
Hands-on sessions will be conducted by Martin Andrews, Paul Luna, Lucienne Roberts, and Michael Twyman. Talks will be given by Rathna Ramanathan and Fred Smeijers. (For past students and attendees of our events, the sessions will include material that has not been viewed before in any of the regular in-term sessions.) 
The Symposium will begin at 10:00 in the Department of Typography, and conclude at 17:30. Lunch will be  provided in the Meadow Suite. The event is capped to 60 participants to enable close access to the material, discussion and networking.

 

Postgraduate research communication success

Congratulations to postgraduate researcher Bodil Mostad Olsen who has won the University’s prize for research communication in a poster competition, held as part of the University’s annual Doctoral Research Conference. Bodil’s communication of her research topic – the history of health communication on food labels – was judged top among a very competitive field of posters representing research across a wide range of arts, science and social science disciplines. Her poster illustrates her collections-based research. It shows the changing influences of scientific understanding of food hygiene and nutrition, food packaging technology, and societal change on the presentation of food to consumers from 1850–1970. This area of typographic and graphic communication practice, although influential in people’s everyday decision-making, has not been  considered previously from this wide, contextual perspective.