The talk focused on Josefina and Sue’s experience of applying the research findings and the design approach to a set of documents explaining how to use a test for viral flu. The team developed a toolkit to support the creation of point-of-use instructions, taking account of views from diagnostic industry members to inform an understanding of how instructions are produced currently and what guidance might be helpful.
Plus, the IIID award ceremony closed the conference, and Josefina won an award in the Healthcare category for her work with CwPAMS on their Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit. Congratulations to Josefina!
Healthcare was the theme for the 2023 IIID Vision Plus Conference, held in the Design Forum in Vienna. Rachel and Josefina gave a joint talk about their ongoing work looking at documents from the Forms Information Centre Collection held at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication. The documents were produced by the British government in the 1970s–80s to guide citizens in navigating public services. These services included claiming benefits, accessing healthcare, supporting disabilities, and help for those with caring responsibilities.
Presenting at the conference was a good opportunity to share examples of healthcare-related documents that are held in this unique collection. They shared a brief timeline of what was happening during the time that these documents were being produced. They then shared examples of document design that were of particular interest during their initial work. These include how symbols, pictograms, and illustrations were used to communicate healthcare topics, and how colour and layout helped people understand their options and take steps to access public services.
Sue Walker and Josefina Bravo have produced guidance in the form of a toolkit and a dataset for the design of instructions to support home and community diagnostic testing. This derived from the AHRC-funded Covid Rapid Response project ‘Information Design for Diagnostics: Ensuring Confidence and Accuracy for Home Sampling and Home Testing’. The work was also support by funding from the University of Reading’s Rapid Response Policy Engagement funding from Research England, which enabled consultation with research users and implementors of the toolkit.
Alison Black, Jeanne Louise Moys, Sue Walker, Gerry Leonidas and Eric Kindel showcased a range of research projects, past and present, to give Part 1 students an insight into the current state of design research.
A new AHRC-funded project begins today. Transforming science for young people: Marie Neurath and Isotype books for children aims to find new audiences for the approach to science communication taken by Marie Neurath in her books for children, produced in the 1940s and 1950s. The illustrations in these books, in series such as the ‘Wonder world of nature’ and ‘Wonders of the modern world’, were innovative in their approach to the design of complex information.
Following on from Isotype revisited, the project will make extensive use of the materials in the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection, to identify approaches to science communication relevant to teaching in primary schools today. We will work with teachers and teacher educators as part of the design process to ensure that their ideas and needs are taken into account. Pilot schools will be involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the resources to ensure they are relevant and effective.
An exhibition at House of Illustration in London in summer 2019, Marie Neurath: Picturing Science, will display examples of Marie Neurath’s illustrations from the children’s books, as well as sketches, drawings and correspondence that show the iterative nature of the design process.
Project people and partners
Prof Sue Walker and Prof Eric Kindel, Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading
Dr Andrew Happle, Institute of Education, University of Reading
Our use of the Lettering, Printing and Graphic Design Collections in the Typography Department, and our distinctive approach to collections-based research, was exceptionally well demonstrated at the 2018 ATypI conference in Antwerp. We enjoyed top quality presentations by Typography staff and PhD students. In a conference with over 550 international delegates, who repeatedly mentioned the ‘Reading’ influence in conversations and comments, it was humbling to realise just how influential and significant our work with collections has been in developing new knowledge about type and typography, and in inspiring people to undertake research.
‘Women in type: a social history of women’s role in type-drawing offices, 1910–90’ is a new three-year research project now underway in the Department, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Professor Fiona Ross. The project team includes Dr Alice Savoie and Dr Helena Lekka. For more information about this exciting and timely project, see the Leverhulme Trust’s newsletter for January 2018 (p. 11).