Justin Howes Memorial Lecture 2019

On 21 February 2005, Justin Howes died suddenly and unexpectedly of heart failure. He was 41 years old and inmidst of his PhD research at the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication in Reading, UK. Justin investigated aspects of type-making in the ‘long eighteenth century’, and presented a talk about ‘Extreme Type’ at Reading’s postgraduate research seminar only a few days before his death. His paper was posthumously published in Typography Papers 7, which can still be bought from Hyphen Press. A better and much more insightful obituary than I could ever provide was written by Robin Kinross, and can still be read on the Guardian’s website.

On 14 March, I will have the honour and pleasure to be giving this year’s Justin Howes Memorial Lecture at the St Bride Foundation near Fleet Street in London. It will consider the theme of progress in the context of Arabic type-making and typography, and query if and when new technologies genuinely advanced the craft. The talk will present research and ideas that developed when working on Arabic Type-Making in the Machine Age, and embed them in a longer historical perspective.

Ticket sales, including those for this event, are an important support for the priceless St Bride Foundation. By attending, you contribute to maintaining one of the foremost typographic libraries in the world. And further to an evening of typographic delectation with like-minded connoisseurs, your ticket also provides you with some savings on that other purchase you’ve been wanting to do for so long: My publisher Brill has kindly agreed to provide attendants to the talk with a 25% discount on the book, which will more than off-set the ticket that supports St Bride Foundation.

So what’s holding you back?


Correction: In the first version of this post I erroneously suggested that Justin did not have a chance to present his paper at Reading’s postgraduate seminar, when in fact he only passed away after giving his talk on 17 February. Thanks to Eric Kindel for pointing out this mistake.