29 September 2008

Wall of letters


The contractors were helping Martin Andrews restore our lettering artefacts wall today. Previously in Spur H, it has now expanded along both sides of the corridor between Spurs E and F at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication. The photograph above, taken in 2003, shows former Chancellor Lord Carrington, Martin Andrews, and Sue Walker admiring the signs.

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10 September 2008

Letter-painting therapy

We’ve made a start painting the new spur-identification letters in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication. Here are Martin Andrews and I with our work.

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12 May 2008

Forms of address

To pick up on Rob Waller’s note about endless addresses, the official address of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Reading used to puzzle me. Here it is:

Department of Typography & Graphic Communication
University of Reading
2 Earley Gate
Whiteknights
PO Box 239
Reading
RG6 6AU

Then it occurred to me that the reason for the multiple layers was that this was a portmanteau address, interlarding different user needs. This is what a human visitor needs to find the Department:

Department of Typography & Graphic Communication
University of Reading
2 Earley Gate
Whiteknights
Reading

This is all the Post Office needs to deliver mail:

PO Box 239
RG6 6AU

To complicate it a little, this is what the University postal service subsequently needs to get the letter to exactly the right place:

Department of Typography & Graphic Communication

So the official address is a kludge: no-one needs all the information, but each bit of it is used by somebody. But there’s a user who isn’t currently catered for: the SatNav-guided driver who, if they tap in RG6 6AU, will shortly find themselves driving into Reading’s main postal sorting office. What they need is probably

SatNav: RG6 2AU

– would you like to try it and see?

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28 April 2008

Do not obey this sign!

Just a few yards away from the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Reading is this illegal direction sign, carefully set in Helvetica instead of the prescribed Transport alphabet.

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