Women in type: the contribution of type drawing offices to twentieth century type-making
Design histories have largely overlooked the activities of those – particularly women – who contributed to the type-making processes at play during the rapidly changing social and technological environments of the twentieth century. Initial research, undertaken as part of the ‘Women in Type’ project at the University of Reading (UK), indicates that a number of type foundries across Europe employed women as part of departments that were alternatively known as drawing studios, type drawing offices, or departments of typographic development. These women worked daily on developing and producing typefaces that were, eventually, almost always attributed to male designers. Alice Savoie will discuss the particular case of the work carried out by women in the Type Drawing Office of Monotype in the UK, with a focus on the 1920s and 1930s, a period that many have qualified as a golden age for the company. In a wider perspective, this talk will advocate a more inclusive and collaborative view of design history, and of its narratives.
The Herb Lubalin Lectures are recorded and made available here and on Vimeo with the generous support of Hoefler&Co.