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Bonington Lecture Theatre, Bonington Building, School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University
17 September 2008 13:30-17:00

The symposium has two main aims:

  1. to demystify the process of embarking on a research degree
  2. to encourage PhD level research in graphic design, and its related subject areas.

The event presents an opportunity to hear from speakers who have developed a career in research, education and practice, since completing their PhD. Reflecting on their experience, they will discuss a range of academic and non-academic issues, talking informally about topics such as: the impact of doctoral study on their career; the integration of research, education and practice; developing research initiatives; and the balance between deliberate and intuitive practice.

Who will this be of interest to?
Those interested in pursuing a career in research; final year and post-graduate students in graphic design and related fields of interest; supervisors and potential supervisors; managers in Higher Education; practising researchers and designers.

Admission is free
But all attendees will need to register their intention to come before Monday 8 September—numbers will be limited.

1.30pm Welcome refreshments in Atrium
1.50pm Introduction - Robert Harland, Nottingham Trent University
2.00pm Keynote address - Prof Rob Waller, University of Reading
2.40pm Case study one - Dr Caroline Archer, Birmingham City University

3.10pm Refreshment break

3.30pm Case study two - Dr Paul Wilson, University of Leeds
4.00pm Case study three - Dr Catherine Dixon, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London
4.30pm Plenary session
5.00pm Closing remarks - Frank Peters, The Chartered Society of Designers

If you wish to attend email details listed below to before Monday 8 September.

Job title

Caroline Archer has worked in the typographic industry since 1988, and has a holistic approach to the subject being not only a practicing typographer but also a teacher of its theory, a researcher of its history, and a writer & journalist championing the typographic cause. Recently appointed Honorary Research Fellow at Birmingham City University, Caroline has a PhD from the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading and has written numerous books and articles about typography. She is Partner in Type UK, which provides a consultancy,
networking, education and information service to the typographic communications industry; a Director of Plus Expo Ltd, a not-for-profit company dedicated to raising the profile of graphic communication; she is also a Director of Illuminate Ltd UK which specialises in the design and realisation of cutting-edge, graphic light-installations with an interactive element.

Catherine Dixon is a Senior Lecturer (0.5) in Typography on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts, London and with Phil Baines, co-curator of the Central Lettering Record, a photographic teaching archive. Her research interests span the theoretical and practical and include type design history, typeform description and classification, and lettering in the environment. She is also a designer and writer. As a freelance graphic designer her clients include Laurence King and Penguin, for whom she has designed book covers including the award-winning Great Ideas series. Most recently she designed the acclaimed Borough Market Cookbook: Meat & Fish (2007). As a writer she is a regular contributor to the design journal Eye, has worked on the website  and co-authored with Phil Baines, the book Signs: lettering in the environment (2003).

Robert Harland is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Nottingham Trent University, and a part-time research student at The University of Nottingham School of Built Environment. His research focus is the relationship between graphic design and urban design. Before pursuing an academic career he spent 15 years in private practice in London, working for a range of national and international clients in United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Portugal in the private and public sector. He is a Member of the International Society of Typographic Designers and Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers.

Rob Waller is Professor of Information Design at the University of Reading. Originally trained as a typographer, he had a research career with the Open University, before leaving to start Information Design Unit (IDU) in 1988. With business partner David Lewis, Rob grew IDU into the largest specialist information design consultancy in the UK, working for many well known brands. IDU was sold to the global branding agency Enterprise IG in 2001, and in 2007 Rob left to return to an academic career at Reading, where he is establishing a new research centre, the Simplification Centre.

Paul Wilson is a Lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. His main research interests centre upon a conceptual reorientation of typographic process and practice, exploring the relationships between typography, writing and elements of everyday life. Recent projects have included representing a year’s worth of magazine covers as a ‘typography of sound’ for Wire magazine (UK) and the production of a live, online ‘typography of space’ for Bristol-based net-art platform Furthernoise. His current practice-based research investigates the representation of narratives of community and place. In particular it focuses on sites of class experience and situated knowledge at points of change or transition. He is a partner in the Northampton-based community arts organisation Liquidiser

* After Schön

Contact Name:
Robert Harland
Contact Email:

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