The Department has made a long-term loan of Isotype work to the Science Museum, London. The loans are featured in the museum’s new Mathematics gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, which opened to the public today (8 December). Following a visit to the Isotype Collection, Science Museum curator David Rooney chose examples of Isotype that convey simply and directly the underlying application of mathematics to the production of pictorial statistics. Captions written for the items note Marie Neurath’s early training as a mathematician.
Thank you to all our prospective applicants and their parents who visited the Department on Friday and Saturday as part of the University’s Open Days. We hope you enjoyed the displays and workshops as much as we did.
If you didn’t have enough time to view the BA Graphic Communication final display, you can still see some display highlights on the show website.
If you want more information about studying with us, please email our departmental admissions team (Lauren, James and Jeanne-Louise) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next round of Open Days will be in October. Once again, we’ll be inking up the presses so that visitors can print a memento of their visit and get a taste of our hands-on experiential learning approach. There will be also be new digital and print displays of student work to view. For more information about open days at Reading, click here.
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 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.)
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.
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.
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!
Professor James Mosley, an acute observer of letterforms in sensitive national settings, has published a short note on recent work completed for Tate Britain by Reading alumnus John Morgan and his studio.
Typography alumna, Caroline Webb, has designed and installed a new Papal inscription for Westminster Cathedral, to commemorate the visit of Pope Benedict in 2010.
The 7 foot long inscription is made of one piece of Carrara Marble inlayed with letters of green and red Porphery and lies in the main entrance to the Cathedral.
The marble inlay was done by Pietra Dura craftsman Thomas Greenaway.The inscription took 2 years to design and produce, and a week to fix in the floor. The commission was technically challenging in every way; Caroline will be writing a full article to document its creation.
Martin Andrews as Caxton and Fraser Mackenzie as the printing assistant in Sky Atlantic’s documentary The British. There’s also a starring role for the Department’s wooden Gutenberg press, designed and constructed by Alan May. Watch an extract on YouTube.
Earlier this week Gerry Leonidas joined Bernard Baker, Business Development Director for the Public Sector at SAS UK in a series of radio interviews to discuss the just released ‘Communicating with the Citizen’ report, commissioned by SAS and carried out by YouGov. The marathon session (seventeen radio stations in one day!) picked up on the report’s clear indications that the public wants forms to be more clear, to see a greater use of online channels for communication with the government, and to explore positive incentives in form-based communication.
Five years after the first Greek Week-End in New York, Gerry Leonidas will return to the TDC. Already in 2007 Greek was becoming a central part of most large typeface projects, especially international branding applications. In the intervening years Greek has become a key aspect of professional designers’ skills, and a regular expectation in job postings. Just as importantly, Greek represents a particularly rewarding challenge for designers, combining a long and complex development with a relatively wide space for designers to experiment. The two-and-a-half day workshop will start with a hands-on research session, and include seminars on aspects of Greek typeface design, in-depth reviews of reference contemporary typefaces, and design critiques of work by the participants.
Gerry will also deliver a lecture at the TDC Salon on the deign of the forthcoming Greek-English Intermediate Lexicon, a major new publication by Cambridge University Press, now in its final stages. The Lexicon takes advantage of recent developments in typeface design, and offers insights into a particularly challenging typographic brief.