Category: teaching

Our new collaboration with Lantana Publishing

Lena Gomez, of our current MA Communication Design Information Design Pathway cohort, has been involved in an exciting collaboration with Lantana Publishing this year. Lantana is an award-winning children’s book publisher that focuses on diversity, social equality and environmental sustainability.

Alice Curry, Lantana’s founder and CEO had been talking to Pathway Lead Jeanne-Louise Moys about a potential collaboration in 2019. Lantana was looking for a holistic communications strategy that would reflect how their vision and ethos are evolving and work effectively for their different audiences and stakeholders. When Lena joined our MA cohort in autumn 2019, her strengths and interests mapped well to Lantana’s communication needs so Alice presented us with a brief that Lena undertook for her professional practice assignment.

Portrait of young, dark-haired woman
Lena Gomez, MA Communication Design

Lena said: “Diversity in children’s literature was a large aspect of my undergraduate thesis research, so working with Lantana was the perfect fit for me. I was excited to take on the challenge of creating a communications strategy for a client that is in the middle of implementing exciting new changes”.

At the outset of the project, Lena visited Lantana and worked with them to understand their needs and priorities. She then conducted research to align her project with a broader understanding of current marketing and communication trends in the publishing industry and consider the specific customers, stakeholders and potential partners encompassed in the audience. Looking at user analytics on their existing website and social media and developing clear user personas to work with was an important part of her user-centred research. Lena also had to bear in mind how her design solutions needed to be easy and efficient to implement for an independent publisher and work with their existing systems.

Image showing Lena's design proposals for Lantana compliment slips
Lena has also redesigned compliment slips for Lantana using her new logo design

Lena developed a range of initial approaches for Lantana. These included both visual design proposals and strategies for their implementation. Once a direction was agreed, Lena developed her ideas further producing a comprehensive strategy supported by a new logo design and style guide for the redesigned brand, compliment slips and corporate stationery, a series of infographics and proposals for the redesign of the website.

Reflecting on the project, Lena said: “Working with the team at Lantana has been a rewarding experience. Through collaboration and exploration, I feel that we came up with feasible solutions that aligned well with the goals and values of the company. I’m also happy with the range of designs that I had the opportunity to work on, from logo design to infographic design and more.”

Following submission of her project for University assessment, Lantana has contracted her to continue the redesign of the website. Alice said: “I feel the project has been beneficial for both of us, the relationship has been easy and professional, and I’ve really enjoyed working with her these past few weeks. Lena has brought some fresh, new ideas and insights to the project, giving our branding a fun, child-friendly yet professional new look, and we’re delighted. ”

This project is the first collaboration between Lantana and the Department of Typography & Communication. Jeanne-Louise said: “Working on live briefs is always incredibly valuable for our students. Lantana’s brief is particularly good as Lena needed to consider the needs of the publisher and their systems alongside the needs of their multifaceted audience. We look forward to future collaborations.”

 

2020 Postgraduate Open Day

The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication warmly invites prospective MA applicants and offer holders to visit us for our annual postgraduate open day. This will be held in the Department on Thursday 5 March 2020 from 11.00–15.00.
This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the specialist postgraduate study routes we offer. You will be able to talk to current students and academic leads for our Book Design, Creative Enterprise, Graphic Design, Information Design, Typeface Design,  and Masters by Research options. View examples of student practical projects and dissertations, get a taste for our approach to collections-based teaching and research, and view highlights from our world-renowned Collections.

To register your interest and receive joining instructions, please email Victoria (typography@reading.ac.uk). We look forward to welcoming prospective MA students to the Department.

Real Jobs: Celebrating over five decades of professional design practice on our undergraduate course

Alongside our degree show opening last week, we also launched a new exhibition celebrating our ‘Real Jobs’ scheme.

Real Jobs has been our flagship professional experience programme for as long as Typography has existed as a department. It allows our students their first taste of working alongside clients to co-create, and deliver on, a design brief. Our graduates regularly tell us that their experiences on these projects exposed them to unique and powerful moments that helped them secure their first paid positions, and continue to inform their professional practice today.

Standout projects on display include the Tomos Jones’ recent gold medal-winning University display at the Chelsea Flower Show and Maddi Davies’ collaborative project on Margaret Atwood, Second Sight. But a full range of work is on show, everything from books to branding, and we hope it is a fitting tribute to the students, staff and clients who have contributed to making Real Jobs such a successful part of the curriculum here in Typography.

The exhibition runs until 28 June. If you’ve ever been a client of Real Jobs, or if you’d like to know more about how the scheme could help your project or organisation, please do stop by to enjoy this celebration of five decades of students’ first steps into the world of professional graphic design.

To see our archive of recent Real Jobs, click here. If you think you have a project that would benefit from student design support you can also book in your own project here.

“I believe this is a great scheme, both supporting students with real life projects and work experience and also providing great value to small companies in need of professional design support” – Sirin Myles, International Education Consultant

“The Real Jobs scheme is an excellent way for students to get experience working towards a brief and is a great way to help everyone involved gain experience that will be useful when transitioning into a working environment. I will be recommending the scheme to my employer as I believe it provides unique opportunities for all involved.” – Isabel Cash, Holland House Books

A selection of projects led by current students, including: animations, branding for charities and voluntary organisations, art catalogues and hockey stick graphics.

 

Production processes ranges from letter press posters to the latest digital printing techniques.

 

The exhibition includes (almost) every Typography degree show invitation ever produced, shown together in chronological order.

 

 

Designing for an evolving publishing industry

The Department recently collaborated with Oxford University Press on an exciting digital publishing project. OUP’s brief gave final year students an opportunity to explore the challenges and possibilities of user-centred design for evolving digital platforms.

Read more

Join us for our May postgraduate visit opportunity

We’re delighted to let you know we have scheduled another visit opportunity for prospective MA applicants to visit us. The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication warmly invites prospective MA applicants to visit us for a postgraduate open day. The visit opportunity will be held in the Department on Thursday 2 May 2019 from 12.00–14.00. It’s a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the specialist postgraduate study routes we offer through talking to our subject experts in Book Design, Communication Design, Creative Enterprise, Information Design, and Typeface Design. We’ll also be able to see highlights from our world-renowned Collections and examples of past student projects and enjoy our current exhibition on 20th Century Persian newspaper types.

Two postgraduate students looking at historic posters in our Collections

We’ve refreshed our postgraduate taught programmes to build a stronger, integrated typographic foundation for research and practice across all programmes and specialist pathways. These changes include a new general Communication Design pathway to complement our well-known established pathways in Book Design, Information Design and Typeface Design. These four specialist pathways are all offered as part of our newly renamed MA Communication Design – the ideal degree for anyone wishing to develop their professional practice within a world-class research environment.

In addition to the practice-intensive pathways for the MA Communication Design programme, we also offer a multidisciplinary Creative Enterprise programme and two research-intensive programmes. Our MA Creative Enterprise is designed for individuals who wish to combine their study of research and practice in Communication Design with studies of management and law for the creative sector. Our MA Research Typography & Graphic Communication is the ideal route to prepare you for independent research and doctoral study and our MRes Typeface Design is a bespoke route for experienced, practicing typeface designers who want to develop a deeper understanding of the historical and theoretical aspects of their field.

For joining information and to register your interest, please email Victoria Gifford – typography@reading.ac.uk.