Week 12: Designs for Launch of Authorial Artefact

THe Tasks

  • Research and investigate how designers and makers publicise their activities or products, and the media organisations and business platforms that will be a mouthpiece for the PR and marketing of your initiative.
  • Design and create a prototype or series of prototypes, in the media of your choice, through fast iteration, testing and development, to help an audience or business partner see the potential of your proposition.
  • Create and communicate a one page outline or short video of next steps, and even production partners, to support any future development.

Research and investigate how designers and makers publicise their activities or products.

I’m going to focus on how community projects are publicised through the community and then in the wider world…

Zetteler, as mentioned in the lecture, definitely has some community projects …

Vernacular Typography

Searching for typography community projects, one stuck out to me: Vernacular Typography. It is “a non-profit photo archive and community-based initiative dedicated to the documentation and preservation of rapidly vanishing examples of lettering in the everyday environment.” It was set up by Molly Woodward to capture everyday typography inspired by a trip to Cuba. There was also a kickstarter campaign:

I really love how she described her project, and it fits between this and my collaborative tool, Filo’type. The main website has errors and doesn’t load, but some parts on the blog domain still function. There are a few hiatus, and then she picks up posting over the Corona-virus epidemic and Black Lives Matter protests.

The instagram page is followed by lots of mainstay typography accounts like letteringdaily and abctypography and has nearly 7,000 followers. I feel like Woodward has moved on somewhat from this as the last post is from 2018.

The media organisations and business platforms that will be a mouthpiece for the PR and marketing of your initiative.

There are two levels of marketing that I need to engage in for this project. Firstly, the people in the community with whom I want to engage and secondly, to share the outcomes with people. The two audiences require different techniques that overlap in some situations and on timelines. 

To engage people in the project, I need to be more focussed on the community. It is geographic in audience, so the strategy needs to be geared to that. For the initial market research survey, I decided to print out posters with tear off tags that I distributed around local places to pique the interest of people in the area. I also contacted Facebook groups based in the area, hobnobbed friends and colleagues in the area, and their contacts. and sent an email to Artillery Arts, a local arts facilitator.

On the survey, I created a field where people could enter their email address if they were interested in hearing more. At the end of the week, when this is handed in, I will email these people to thank them for their contribution and give them an update of my plans. This will form an ongoing email newsletter.

I need to expand my audience base. From here, I plan to contact more local community structures, such as places of worship and charity to learn how to reach more people. I am to gain more qualitative feedback before proposing my project.

I intend to engage more people through partnerships that I will forge. Firstly, I want to get in with Artillery Press as they have a huge following and we will be able to mutually help each other,. Then, with the Mills Community Space where I hope to hold the first workshops. For production of the publication, I would like to partner with Paekarikiriki Press, the local letterpress studio, and Rabbit Road Press, riso printers, so that we can work together and promote the project.

Throughout this, I am to be in touch online with people and establishing a respected presence online in the Facebook groups. I plan to write small articles for Waltham Forest Echo, the local newspaper with photos of the workshops to include people in later stages of the process. There are some non-English language local newspapers too, and I’ll try to do them same in them.

The overlap between the two audiences will be social media and a website. I am personally not keen on Facebook, but given that there are several groups on there, I will have to consider setting up a business page as a hub for information. On Instagram, I will set up a page where I can share content from the project as it goes along and calls for action. I will also make a hashtag so that people can share their own content too.

To advertise the project, I can use the content that has been collected from the sessions, such as videos and photos (permission given, of course) taken by a professional to send out as press. The Instagram page will have a natural wealth of content from the project and give it gravitas. Setting up a website will provide content to the press – such as a press section, names of contributors and details where to buy the publication.

In the same way that Alec suggested in his lecture, reaching out to people with ready made content seems like a great way to go. I’d need someone to help me write (thank God I can usually ask editors to proof read) and maybe I can ask people on the project to write about what they’ve done.

Next year I will qualify for the D&AD New Blood Awards, and provided that there is a suitable category I will submit the project in the awards and for a showcase in the exhibition.

For this project, I think that hiring a PR agency will be overkill and exceed the budget. However having quality images to send out is essential so I will include budget for a photographer/videographer to capture the project to send out to press and to record it as it goes.

Design and create a prototype or series of prototypes, in the media of your choice, through fast iteration, testing and development, to help an audience or business partner see the potential of your proposition.

My authorial artefact is a framework, and a framework that depends on a project that I can’t complete in a week. The outcomes depend on the community workshops … so I need to think about this for a bit.


I made a tiled image of lots of different doodled letters to illustrate the PDF and show how much letters can vary:

And then I mocked up how a publication could look without influencing the outcome too much:

Create and communicate a one page outline or short video of next steps, and even production partners, to support any future development.


Week 11: Challenge

How can you ensure a business / creative idea is targeted and researched to maximise potential?

  • Select one of your ideas from the previous week and develop a clear business outline of your intended audience outlets for distribution or purchase.
  • You may need to evolve aspects of the proposition, and ensure there is a clear objective for the next stages of development.
  • Your output will include product development, research insights and production challenges; all of which will come together in the final week of this module.
  • Upload the artefact and evidence of any development undertaken (this might also include brand names and approach to the product’s story), and include a one page report outlining research, insights and development challenges.

Idea chosen

Walthamstow Typeface design: For Walthamstow, by Walthamstow

This is more than designing a typeface for Walthamstow: the objective is engage the community in the creation of a means of communication that reflects them and to have a discussion about how type influences how we feel about the content it displays.

The project starts with a series of workshops, each aimed at a different demographic, where we talk about the elements of type and our experiences of living in the area. We will go on to experiment with how we can encapsulate our thoughts in letterforms and go on to design our own glyphs.

From there, I will go on to design a body typeface and a display typeface that embody the themes talked about in the sessions. The typeface can be used by participating members free of charge for personal use, and can be purchased for any commercial usage.

The typeface will be shown to the community to gauge reactions and invite people to contribute pieces of writing about Walthamstow. In collaboration with Paekarikiriki Press, the typeface will be cast so that it can typeset the writing into a publication. Members of the community will typeset pieces at Paekarikiriki Press, allowing them to experience how books are made. The publication will be available for sale at local businesses to help fund the project.

The project will form the basis of the framework, where it can be refined and packaged as a community venture that can be applied in any location and as a commercial product that is sold as a tool for companies to understand their audience.

Evolution and Objectives

This started just as a typeface project called W’stow.otf, but has now developed into a framework called Stowe Framework so that it can be transported to different areas.

The goals for this project are community-based …  

  • Engage the community in typeface design, letterpress and book publishing;
  • Run workshops for people to create glyphs of a typeface together;
  • Explore how typography is used in the Walthamstow area;
  • Facilitate conversations about how typography can shape how we view our space;
  • Foster communications between community and creative spaces;
  • Showcase the communities’ experiences in a piece of written work.

… and will have physical outcomes:

  • Latin-script body typeface and display typeface, based on workshops, for use by the community;
  • Publication of writings on the local area, set at a local letterpress studios;
  •  Online tool where people can select display characters from the workshops to write “Walthamstow” and share online.
  • Framework that can be taken to other communities and sold to companies for as an experience-based session to enable them to understand their customers better.

Product development


The original name for the project, W’stow.otf came from a shortening of Walthamstow and the typeface file name suffix of Open Type Font – because the font would be open to be designed and used by all.

After transforming the project to a framework, it has been renamed as Stowe Framework. I have chosen to make it non-location specific, and kept the Stowe. The word Stowe/or Stow derives from Old/Middle English as a way to describe a holy or meeting place. Bristol was originally “Bridge stow”, or meeting place by the bridge. I hope that the project and typeface will serve as a meeting place for people of a community,

ReseaRch insights


I am going to run a survey asking people who live in Walthamstow a few questions. Here is the Google Forms I set up:


I would have liked to, as Dan Parry suggested in the lecture, set up a questionnaire that uses logic jumps so that I can drill down into certain answers and with people only answering questions applicable to them. However, TypeForm is too expensive for one survey and does not allow such features on the free version.


I am a member of a number of Facebook groups for the Walthamstow area, and have posted on them asking for people to help me out. I don’t have much traction with the groups yet, but I hope people will be willing to help.

I also have some friends in the area, and I’ve asked them to help me out by answering and distributing the survey.

I am also going to distribute posters around places I know where people might be interested, and make it varied so that a wide a selection of people as possible are surveyed.

Production Challenges

It’s ambitious

Oh yes it is! This is not a simple project: this has many different stages and facets that need to work together. I will tackle these by breaking everything into stages with a schedule and plans to clearly communicate to participants and partners.

Talking of partners …

I’d like to team up with Artillery Arts, Rabbit Road Press and Paekarikiriki Press so that it is truly community-based. Artillery Arts have a strong base in the area and facilitate projects regularly. RRP and PP are riso and letterpress printers respectively and I hope they will be part of this so that the publication can be produced. I need to make contact with this organisations soon to build a basis of the project.

Have you ever designed a typeface before?

Well … no. Not completely. To produce this I need to get my education hat on ASAP to learn and to sign up to masterclasses where my work can be refined and critiqued.

Have you ever run a session at this scope before?

Nope. I’m nervous about running workshops, but I can’t progress to be the designer I want to be working the projects I want to work on without starting somewhere. I will enlist the help of my arts facilitator flatmate to structure and run sessions.

How are you going to attract people to come?

I’m hoping the survey will at least make people aware that something is happening, and start to build a following through partners and social media.

What about Covid-19? How are you going to keep people safe?

This project is community-based and needs people to meet in some way or another. Ideally, this would be in person, but I need to make this safe. I would run workshops at the Mill, a community space, and have reduced numbers and safety precautions.

In your survey you mention running sessions for children. How are you planning to keep them safe?

Running sessions for children, and any adults too, requires safeguarding. I would apply for a DRB check and provide all details, and invite their carer to come with them.

Finally, finances. How are you going to pay for it?

I can’t self-finance this, and so I would build the project to make it eligible for funding from the National Lottery, Arts Council and see if there is any local funding. I don’t want to charge people to come to the sessions or contribute. The publication will be available for sale, which will help finance the project and the created typeface will be free for personal use, but charged for commercial and online use.

One page report