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Lecture Notes

Identify the contemporary and historical significance and impact that typography has had on a location.



colour | form | feel | dynamics | texture | visual identity

“… Typefaces are not toys they are tools, they are designed to solve problems….”

Tobias Frere-jones – typeface designer

Infographics – express data in order of relevance




The 2006 article in the critique by Ellie Stewart was a valuable source for investigating pre-field trips. A designer named Peter Saville named ‘Original Modern” is striking to the eye, colourful and bold. I am not sure I agree with the modern appeal; I reference retro to the clean lines, perhaps adding to the edgy, fresh appearance. Thanks to Ellie.

Image source 2006:

Peter Saville – Manchester: original modern: Manchester City Council has finally launched the new branding for the City designed by Creative Director Peter Saville.”

History is captured beyond direct vision; visual stories are beyond the superficial layers, and often,

all you need to do is look up………

Process example: stencil disc earliest origin dated to the 8th century


“Vernacular typography is typography often developed to suit particular needs of a certain location or culture.

10 photographs to define the identity of Manchester

Narrow down to 5

“Note down the exact location to include street name, building number, city / town, area postcode and, if possible, the longitude/latitude on Google Maps as we want you to log your examples on the GeoType page on the MA Graphic Design website.”

Examples: street signs, universities, street art, letter forms, bars and consider histories, applications, role and use.

Science of type?

Design Gaps

Critique & Distil


  1. Falmouth University. (2024). History revealed. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2024].
  2. McNeil, P. (2017). The Visual History of Design. ISBN 978-78067-976-1.
  3. Factory Records. (n.d.). Peter Saville: Manchester – Original Modern. [Online] Available at:
  4. Cooper, C. (2023). Extol: on a career in letters and finding your voice. [Online] Available at:
  5. K-Type. (n.d.). Deansgate, Manchester Modern. [Online] Available at:,on%20the%20M%20and%20W [Accessed on 25 January 2024]

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