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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme

Women in type

a social history of women’s role in type-drawing offices, 1910–1990
When Thu 13 Sep 0920
Where Arenberg Theater
Who Fiona Ross, Alice Savoie
In alignment with the conference’s theme Type Legacies, Fiona Ross and Alice Savoie will introduce a significant new University of Reading research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust that draws on their experiences as type designers and historians. Fiona and Alice will describe how this interdisciplinary research project will provide the first socio-historical analysis of women’s role in the male-dominated British type-manufacturing industry during the 20th century. The project examines the positions women achieved and their responsibilities in the type-drawing offices of the British companies of Monotype and Linotype, at a time when the industry was transformed by external socio-historical factors and significant technological developments. The research team, which includes Helena Lekka, examines this subject in three interrelated ways: in terms of social history; in relation to technological developments; and in terms of contributions to typeface design. The talk will illustrate how, through archival research and interviews, an account can be recorded of the largely overlooked, yet pivotal, involvement of women in the type design process. The research project aims to make a significant contribution to social and design histories, while informing current design practitioners.

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