Profile, research details & links

Becky Howson


Against the Grain - pioneers of printing education, 1890-1990

The Printing Types is a practice-based PhD project reimagining contemporary typographic practice through experimental letterpress processes, integrating traditional visual design principles. I am developing individual and collaborative practice print rooms in the UK, Germany, Italy and Holland. This creates a typographic vernacular specific to the study. The practice is a re-enactment of the historical knowledge, an understanding of design principles such as hierarchy, contrast, space, colour, typographic conventions such as weight, style, size, layout and visual elements such as form, pattern and line, so that I can design systems to exploit traditional techniques to create discourse that deviates from the historical function, the commercial, the industrial. This is to locate typographic structures and patterns in contemporary typography.

I have observed, spent time with, handled and analysed the work of pioneering print educators and practitioners in archives and collections. It is an intrinsic part of the project, drawing upon historical aspects to make the new situated in typographic tradition, typesetting and movable type printing technologies. I reassemble and reorder typographic conventions.




Centre for Printing History and Culture


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