Women in type
Monday, September 21, 2020, 12:30 - 2pm
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Design histories have largely overlooked the activities of those – particularly women – who contributed to the type-making processes at play during the rapidly changing social and technological environments of the twentieth century. Initial research, undertaken as part of the ‘Women in Type’ project at the University of Reading (UK), indicates that a number of type foundries across Europe employed women as part of departments that were alternatively known as drawing studios, type drawing offices, or departments of typographic development. These women worked daily on developing and producing typefaces that were, eventually, almost always attributed to male designers. Alice Savoie will discuss the particular case of the work carried out by women in the Type Drawing Office of Monotype in the UK, with a focus on the 1920s and 1930s, a period that many have qualified as a golden age for the company. In a wider perspective, this talk will advocate a more inclusive and collaborative view of design history, and of its narratives.
Alice Savoie is an independent type designer and researcher based in France. She holds an MA and a PhD from the University of Reading (UK). As a practising type designer she has collaborated with international foundries and design studios. Her recent type design work includes Faune, an award-winning typeface family commissioned by the French Centre National des Arts Plastiques, and Romain 20, distributed by 205.tf. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher on the Leverhulme-funded ‘Women in Type’ research project at the University of Reading. She teaches typeface design at ANRT Nancy (France) and Ecal Lausanne (Switzerland).