Researchers’ Night at Reading

The Department contributed speakers and events to the Univesity’s Researchers’ Night on the theme of Language, Text and Power.

Gerry Leonidas introduced visitors to the history of typography through an array of printed books and type specimens: he outlined how research in historical documents informs design decisions in contemporary environments. Using Greek as a case study, Gerry used original archival material to give examples of current design practice in areas as diverse as printed dictionaries, branded corporate material, and mobile device interfaces.

Paul Luna spoke at the Language, Text, and Power seminar on researching the past, designing the present. He looked at how analysing the layout of Johnson’s Dictionary of 1755 can help formulate approaches to contemporary dictionaries, and about design decisions for a scholarly edition of the Book of Common Prayer. You can read the text of his presentation, with some of his illustrations, here.

Anke Ueberberg offered a hands-on experience for visitors, explaining the workings of Gutenberg’s press using a full size working replica, hand-made by Alan May, formerly a lecturer in the Department. Based on research recently published in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society, Alan’s press supports the view that a Dürer drawing of an early printing press, long thought erroneous, may in fact be an accurate portrayal.