Font Workshop with John Hudson

We’ve definitely moved up a gear or two this term as our timetable becomes filled to bursting point.

My seminar on how designers respond to technological constraints went quite nicely; the gist of the presentation was that successful type designs accommodate the needs of technology, but don’t depend on them. A talented designer will always develop their typefaces to work with more than one technology, and let their eye for aesthetics be the final arbiter over design decisions. Continue reading


Term starts

After a good winter break it’s now time to put our brains back in gear and prepare for a packed term. Our dissertation proposals are due at the end of next week; this is where we outline our topic, how we want to approach it, and where we’ll find information, resources or people to write about. I haven’t yet started mine, as I’ve been also occupied with writing my seminar, which is also due next week, and which counts towards our final marks. Continue reading


Puzzlements and progress

Our first term is over, though it feels as though we’ve all only just settled in. The ten weeks have passed so quickly, in a flurry of workshops, conferences, seminars, critique sessions and typographic delights. I’m feeling lucky to be able to spend this year doing something I enjoy so much at a department with such a great name. Continue reading


Research-led design

The last couple of weeks have felt a little more pressured, as we concentrate more on our practical projects, delve more deeply into the non-Latin scripts and start our core seminars.

As well as classroom commitments, I have become the student representative for the class, which involves extra meetings both in the department and with the Students’ Union. The food situation near the Typography and Arts departments is pretty dire, so some sort of petition or direct action may be in order. There have also been a few silly problems with IT in the department which have needed more patience than expected.

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False starts, confusion and learning

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been bashing out ideas for my practical project, the type family designed especially for Burmese dictionaries. As I blogged before (Thoughts on a Brief and Exploring Burmese), I’m aiming for a fresh, lively and cheerful design, in which the Burmese and Latin scripts harmonise well. Continue reading


Thoughts on a brief

Our first full week in the department has been lots of fun. I’m definitely seeing why Reading University is so highly regarded. Our teachers are really top class: enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fascinating. And it’s a sign of how fun the department is that there are so many ex-students still hanging around, doing research and working on projects, clearly showing no sign of getting bored even after such an intense year of study. There’s always going to be more to learn.

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Our first assignments

My last few weeks have moved really quickly, as I made my decision to come to the MA programme only at the start of August. Since then, I’ve had to finish off some freelance design jobs, sort out my enrolment and accommodation in Reading and get some vfb font files in good enough shape to send to the publishers (unfortunately no sign of a release date yet, as I’m going to need to concentrate on the MA for the next 12 months). Continue reading