The Typographic Hub
The Typographic Hub has just been launched as a new initiative by UKType and Birmingham Institute of Art & Design to promote the history, theory and practice of typographic design. If you’re a typographic geek like myself, or just somebody with a passing interest then the website is well worth a browse.
The Typographic Hub claims that historically, Birmingham is England’s typographic heart and it’s hard to argue with that statement when luminaries William Caslon and John Baskerville, and institutions such as The Kynoch Press and the Birmingham School of Printing were all based there. The Hub’s scope goes beyond an interest in Midland’s based typography with current projects exploring the hidden typography of the Parisian Metro, London’s illicit ‘tart cards’ and the work of Italian Futurist typographer Carlo Fassinelli. There are articles on the history of romantic greetings cards, the education of a (female) typographer and on the history of body type. Hopefully the range of projects, publications and blog posts will expand as the Hub attracts more researchers and practitioners to contribute to the research centre.
The Hub has set up a specialist library with over 4,000 items, which is open to anyone with either an academic, professional or passing interest in typography. I suppose you need to be in the typographic heart of England to access this but they are developing their catalogue to be on-line in the near future. I was particularly taken by the section on Print’s Secret History, documenting the role of the printer in libel, forgery, police records and of course swearing.