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UAL Research Online

Letters for London

Heathcote, Edwin and Croarke, Carmody and Baines, Phil and Dixon, Catherine (2009) Letters for London. In: 7 July 2005 Memorial. Department of Culture, Media & Sport, London.

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Heathcote, Edwin and Croarke, Carmody and Baines, Phil and Dixon, Catherine

Letters for London documents Phil Baines’s work for the permanent memorial to the victims of the London bombings on 7 July 2005. The memorial, designed by architects Carmody Groake and opened in 2009, commemorates each life lost with 52 stainless steel columns (or stelae), set in four interlinking clusters that reflect the four locations of the incidents. The lettering was designed specifically for this memorial and balanced the particular requirements of the casting process with forms which drew inspiration from the pragmatic 19thC sanserifs found throughout the city on buildings rather than in printed matter.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Phil Baines

Research Interests

Graphic design
Public lettering
Penguin Books

Current Research

My design practice includes high profile, one-off commissions; general graphic design for arts organisations; and type design. Underlying themes include an interest in history and experimentation, and in the relationship between form and content.

History and experimentation are most obvious in the award-winning ‘Great Ideas’ cover designs for Penguin Books. Two series of these have been published (2004 & 2005) with a third being prepared.

Ideas about form and content inform my approach to book and publication design and vary according to the requirements of a particular client. For some, my hand is almost invisible and the design arises out of careful collaborative discussions between myself, the gallery, and the artist or curator as appropriate; on other occasions, a more subjective approach is taken.

A commission by Neville Brody for his ‘Fuse’ project in 1991 led me into type design, and that first font gained considerable notoriety, and subsequent wider exposure as a 'Fuse Classic' when released by Fontshop International. In 2003 Linotype released Vere Dignum. Other fonts are in various stages of production or feature in my own design.

My research interests are of two main kinds. One strand is closely related to my practice and includes aspects of graphic design history. Penguin by design has become central to this research, and investigation into different aspects of the company's design continues.

The other strand is an on-going photographic documentation of aspects of public lettering and signing. Much of this is in collaboration with Catherine Dixon and has resulted in articles, a book, website and many presentations. Current work includes documentation of the King's Cross railway lands.

Catherine Dixon

Research Interests

Type design: history and practice
Public lettering
Type classification
Book design
Practice-based research in graphic design
Visualizing information

Current Research

Recent research continues to focus upon the typeform description activities which directed my doctoral work. My PhD - A description framework for typeforms; an applied study - was a pragmatic response to an identified need for a new approach to typeform description, a case argued in Eye no. 18. A main research outcome is a new model for typeform description which challenges previous assumptions in the field. Enquiry also came to explore an appropriate methodology for such research located within my ongoing studio-practice as a designer.

Implementation of the typeform description framework within new environments is a particular research interest: see the description of Times Classic in Eye no. 40 and the publications Type & typography by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam (Laurence King 2002 in UK, US, German and Spanish editions).

For the purposes of further refining description activities, I continue to pursue earlier research interests in the broadening of existing type and letterform histories, with vernacular traditions providing a particular focus for exploration. Material which has informed articles for Druk, Point, TypoGraphic and publiclettering.org.uk has now been expanded in a book Signs, lettering in the environment, co-authored with Phil Baines (Laurence King, August 2003). Illustrations draw extensively from our ongoing visual documentation of this field. Lisbon is soon to feature in this process of documentation, with a collaborative project currently at planning stage. Experience gained from these various projects is also informing my current involvement in the development of a website intended to enhance accessibility to the public lettering content of the Central Lettering Record, a predominantly photographic archive which forms part of the colleges Museum & Study Collection.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RPE
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Department of Culture, Media & Sport
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2009
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2010 13:00
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2013 15:57
Item ID: 2181
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/2181

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