From July 23 to 25, the Granshan Conference is going into its third reiteration. This year, it will be hosted by the University of Reading’s Department of Typography & Graphic Communication (not in its derelict, yet charming premises, but in the University’s business school – a more presentable venue). The Department’s standing as a ‘hub of research and practice in typeface design for global scripts’ makes it well suited for Granshan, which is becoming the foremost conference dealing with type for scripts beyond Latin.
This year, I am able to attend Granshan for the first time as displacements around the world, of both conference and me, fortuitously coincide. Day one of the conference has been dedicated to presentations by graduates of the MATD programme, ‘to highlight the expanding influence of the programme’s graduates’, and I am excited to be amongst the speakers. Their good company encompasses expertise in scripts from Arabic, to Devanagari, to Hebrew, from Tibetan to Thai and more, practised at leading type foundries and software companies, as well as independent consultants and scholarly researchers.
My talk will pick-up a topic that is frequently aluded to, but rarely discussed critically: the so-called ‘harmonisation in type design’. Based on an article in a forthcoming publication, I am going to explore the origin of the concept and term, to then query the necessity for ‘harmonised type design’ in applied typography. If anything, I would expect it to give an opportunity for some discussion.
As my talk will be the last of the day, it will lead up to the presentation and exhibition of the recently launched Murty Classical Library of India series, a highlight of contemporary multi-lingual publishing, and a project I am fortunate to be involved in too.
I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, see you all in Reading!