A few weeks back Kirsten Disse sent round an email to one of our UK designers mailing lists saying that she’d arranged a trip to the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading and asking if anyone wanted to join her. Worried that she’d soon be swamped with eager typophiles from Microsoft offices across the UK I rattled off a reply immediately. I needn’t have worried, Kirsten was joined by Dave Crawford, Sergei Golubev, and I. Well, the hundreds of others I expected sure missed out – it was a fantastic visit.
Martin Andrews showed us round their collection of ephemera which stretched from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, through grave plates, seventeenth century shorthand guides, and even a collection of labels sewn by the manufacturers into men’s pants! As you can see it wasn’t just ephemera, they had some great work of early scribes and more recent calligraphy by Edward Johnson.
As well as the collection of ephemera they had an amazing collection of working presses from a reconstructed Gutenberg press (used by Stephen Fry on the tele’) through to modern equipment used to print the university’s brochures etc. And we got to try out the Albion Press – how cool is that?