On Typography papers 9

Typography Papers is the series of ‘continuing-but-not-annual’ publications which began in 1995 at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading, as a place for serious writing on typography and related matters. It was conceived by Paul Stiff, who also edited most of the past issues. The ninth number, the latest to be issued, has been edited by Eric Kindel and Paul Luna.

Though it is easier to classify it as a ‘journal’, Typography Papers has resisted falling into a typical publication framework and is probably best described, in the words of Paul Stiff, as a series of book-length volumes, with an emphasis on typographic research. Issued when available material allows, the publication continues to remain enviably free of the pressures of periodicity, also allowing treatments of appropriate length for the topics and issues it addresses. The ‘Typography’ of the title has tended to throw reviewers off a little – the publication has rarely confined its content to any conventional or limiting definition of typography. The range of research and interests in its issues has remained consistent with the founding vision that Paul Stiff outlined:

We use the word ‘typography’ in a much broader and more generous sense than is suggested by its primary use in much of Europe: not just ‘printing’, but rather ‘designing language for reading’. […] We are edgily curious about the boundaries between typography and other practices and subjects.*

Number 9 (which is dedicated to his memory) continues in this tradition encompassing inscriptions, stencilling, type-founding, readability-legibility dispute, illustration in dictionaries, and hot-metal composition for Arabic.

Typography Papers 9 has been published by Hyphen Press, London.

* From a text by Paul Stiff published on the Hyphen Press website under the title Kinneir, Reading, ‘Typography papers’. The text appeared in Italian translation in *Progetto grafico, no. 4/5, 2005.


  • Gerard Unger: Romanesque capitals in inscriptions
  • Eric Kindel: A reconstruction of stencilling based on the description by Gilles Filleau des Billettes (with two appendices by Fred Smeijers)
  • Eric Kindel (ed.): The description of stencilling by Gilles Filleau des Billettes: transcription and translation
  • James Mosley: A note on Gilles Filleau des Billettes
  • Maurice Göldner: The Brüder Butter typefoundry
  • William Berkson & Peter Enneson: Readability: discovery and disputation
  • Paul Luna: Picture this: how illustrations define dictionaries
  • Titus Nemeth: Simplified Arabic: a new form of Arabic type for hot-metal composition

Figure: Typography Papers 9

12 February 2014