Type Writing: A One-Day International Symposium

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News | Yves Peters | March 1, 2011

Type has been working with the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design
at Birmingham City University, and launched a month ago The Typographic Hub, an exciting new initiative for research into the history, theory and practice of typographic design. The Hub is celebrating its launch with Type Writing, a one-day international symposium scheduled for 16 March 2011. This symposium will explore the link between the typographer and the writer of words, be their texts literary, commercial, instructional, or inspirational; whether they have been produced by a professional writer, graphic auteur, or the casual passer-by who has simply given form to his thoughts. Speakers have been drawn from the USA, Europe, New Zealand and across the UK.

Booking for the symposium is now open. Tickets cost £35.00 or £15.00 for full-time students, which includes refreshments and a sandwich lunch. Tickets must be booked in advance of the event. Download a PDF of the programme and booking form.


Special Caslon poster designed and printed by Wasteyourself at Type’s House of Caslon event on Wednesday, May 5, 2010.

The Typographic Hub

Historically, Birmingham is England’s typographic heart, home to luminaries such as William Caslon first grandée of English type design; John Baskerville creator of the world’s most well-known and enduring typeface; and Leonard Jay a teacher par excellence, who revolutionised 20th century typographic education. It is Birmingham’s illustrious lineage that makes BCU the natural home to the Hub.

But the Hub is not simply concerned with Midlands’ type; it is interested in typography of all eras, from all nations and in all its guises. Research projects range from a new study of John Baskerville of Birmingham to London tart cards, Parisian underground graphics and Italian typographic modernism. The Hub welcomes doctoral research students from home and abroad who wish to study typography and its allied fields.

The Hub also maintains a specialist library, which is open to anyone with either an academic, professional or passing interest in typography, and its contents allow the study of all aspects of the cultural, practical and technical achievements of the industry. The library comprises more the 4,000 items of typographic interest including reference books, journals and periodicals, trade literature, items of printed ephemera and collections of special interest.


Industry and Genius, the sculpture in Centenary Square outside the main entrance of Baskerville House, honouring John Baskerville as the inventor of the Baskerville typeface. Made in 1990 by David Patten, the letters spell out Virgil, the name of the Roman poet whose works were printed by Baskerville in his typeface in 1757.

Professor Mario Minichiello, Head of Visual Communications at BCU comments:

The Typographic Hub represents a significant development for all those within graphic communication and typography. The Hub has an international appeal as it is a timely resource as a centre of discourse, research, debate and business activities. I would encourage all academics and practitioners in the field to be a part of the start of this and to contribute to the strength and depth of typographic practice and knowledge.

The work of the Hub is promoted through a publishing programme of popular and academic articles, which appear each week on its recently launched website www.typographichub.org, which was designed by BIAD alumni Supercool, Birmingham.

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2 Comments:

  1. What a good idea, can’t be there the 16th this month however, hope to visit the Hub in Birmingham on another occasion soon. Good luck.

    Teaching a typography elective at RMIT, Melbourne Australia last semester I’d like to share experiences. Anyone interested? I’d love to send you a Pdf.

    ‘Framing Fonts’ focusses on legibility: an issue of concern.
    ua.moc.yhpargonull@okin

    Posted by Niko Spelbrink on Mar. 1, 2011
  2. Just 5 more tickets left for the Type Writing Symposium. Register now to be sure of a seat.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Mar. 11, 2011

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