Week 13 Overview

And at the end of January, Week 13 begins! I wasn’t idle with the course and used the time to do research and have an experiment. In all:


This week we had a webinar, and here is my presentation for it:

There are some links that people recommended to me:


Stuart put me onto a Studio that used to be in Walthamstow and thought they might have an interesting perspective. I haven’t heard back yet!

Daire’s Interviews

Daire’s interviews for his final output where listed as a good resource for me to look at.

Other media – TikTok and Facebook

Alice suggested I get on TikTok, which pains me, but I know is good to do.


January: Halfway Feedback

It is really interesting to read the feedback that Stuart and Susanna gave back to me in December. Having taken a break over Christmas to give myself a rest in this hectic time, I’ve come back with a rested mind a motivation refreshed. As such, I feel in a really good position to take a look at the feedback and work out where I need to push my project further. I’ve focussed on these bits!

You are drilling into areas that can potentially bring new debate into the discipline about culture and representation. You need to really consider how you can focus this, ask the right questions to gather research that investigates this properly. This will come in stages but what is lacking from your proposed workshops is the
narrative from peoples own diverse perspectives beyond images.

That’s really nice to hear, and I appreciate being told I need to get a different perspective from my workshops. I had thought about conducting a survey where people could type in their results and really draw the narrative out, so I think I should follow that. I’ll draft the questions and post them up. I do agree with this feedback, because my project doesn’t elicit this kind of contribution from the audience yet, and I really want it.

Action plan

  • Draft survey questions and set up
  • Include on website and desseminate

“It is great to see you searching and engaging with others practice but where is your critical analysis, or the context in relation to your own work? Tell us.”

Ooops! At the end of last term I was really exhausted and posted up so much but I know I didn’t critically reflect well enough, at least on my blog. I think I’ve done a much better job in my draft critical report, however, I’ve not posted that up because I didn’t want to begin duplicating things and losing my train of thought. I wonder if I should go back and include this now, but I think if I write up my critical report now and then retroactively amend the post I won’t confuse myself so much.

Part of my reticence in doing in last term is that I’m very unsure in the language to use. I read critical pieces of work and they use vocabulary to critique that seems so far beyond my own that I get that imposter syndrome feeling. Still, I need to do it, even if I use a different kind of language.

Action plan

  • Carry on researching and including others’ work
  • Research on how to critically review. This piece from UCL is about critiques as a larger writing genre, however it does include a list of how to evaluate source texts. I will endeavour to use this and include my thoughts on my blogs as well as critical report.

In the workshop participant information sheet it would be good to encourage people
to collect / document lettering that means something to them. The shop signs they
use/ see, the hand created signage, etc- I think you might need to empasise or
make more links to encourage them to document from their own personal / cultural
perspectives to get interesting results perhaps. And ask them to describe not just
document – it is the narrative that is interesting.

Again, this focusses on building the narrative. I was so focussed on making the tasks easy that I forgot why I was asking them. I’ll go back and look and see how to tie it together. I wonder if the survey can help address this.

There is too much text for the people you wish to engage all in one document.
Have you considered doing video intros to the project? It is far more human. You
can still have the text copies but you need to think about how to engage people
when their first language is not English, who are not academic, who might feel
intimidated by the way you are introducing the project. I think you need to be more
creative here. Who have you consulted with about what are the most effective
methods to use?

Your project is dynamic and human but your intro to it via a text heavy document
is dry and overwhelming- this will put many people off. Many people won’t know
what you are going on about they have not been on your journey with your project. They do not know what typography means. How can you illustrate what you want
via a short video piece? Make it human…. Make it visual… Make is accessible…. If
there are human conversations- videos – examples etc that can be shown to hook
people in the text can follow but do not rely on these documents to get
participants. How are you sending these out and to whom? Are you working with a
local voluntary service- how can you work with them to intro the project? How will
people get help in terms of accessibility – language etc?

I think this feedback repeats a lot and deals with a lot of the same issues. I need to make my project more use friendly, really! I didn’t think of doing videos, although I know that Artillery Arts do find them useful for projects, especially in the early days of Covid. Perhaps this is something that I could do in the mornings before work and put up onto the website.

It’s always a balance between too much information and explaining it well, and perhaps paper isn’t the best initial way to introduce it to people. I’d still like to have paper so that people can have something concrete to refer back to, but I do like their idea of videos to introduce people who aren’t confident reading English or prefer to engage in a different way.

I’m struggling to know how to include different languages, as I am a typical English monoglot. I could try reaching out to different organisations to see if they could help me translate to the other common languages in the area.

Action plan

  • I have cut down the forms a little already, but will go a little further
  • Write and structure videos
  • Make videos, which I think should be easy enough to bring together on the website.

I would like to see more theoretical research into participatory research methods –
you must demonstrate you have done your research thoroughly in this area. You
have delved well into research relating to typography but not enough into socially
engaged design/ participatory design/ co design etc and the vast amount published
in this area.

This is really interesting, and I will do this!

Action plan

  • Research the theory behind research methods and write about them in my critical report
  • Copy to the blog!

Right now, I’ve lost a bit of oomph to analyse the feedback further and will get to work on my action points instead.

Week 9: Feedback from Panel ReVIew

In Week 8 we had a panel review. I thought mine went well, despaite some technical hiccups! Here is what the panel said:

Mark Rudd

A great presentation and a subject which is bound to be interesting on many levels. I agree with what others said – this will be more interesting if it is aimed towards people who are not designers, more towards local people, with a view to encouraging dialogue and community. Also with a view to historical interest – again, interesting to local people, not just designers. 

It is great to think about this being a model for a project that could happen all over, nationally, maybe even internationally. With this in mind, it would be good to consider the name. Stowe Framework references Walthamstow… maybe there should be a parent brand name, like PlaceType, or CommunityType, or something much better than that! And then you would have Walthamstow, (or Hull, or Rome) underneath the parent brand name. Just a thought! 

Bryan Clark

  • Focusing on vernacular typography – to capture cultural identity place and time of Walthamstow – really great!
  • What else might it show, change in racial balance, political or faiths etc…
  • Good workshops about curating local identity – is it a period of time and how can reveal the unseen – I prefer the idea of working with residents as opposed to designers
  • Is a glyph workshop a long shot – good for designers but interested more in community response
  • Phil Baines and others work in this field – so what could you do that is new and will give them a run for their money.
  • Good to see feedback on the project at the end slide
  • Final question around how lettering and type gives a sense of home – more emotional connections, like lettering on railway bridges and a broader mosaic of visual connections

Anna Mankee- Williams

I like the project and it speaks to the connectivity of life,(and how disconnectedness with our environment can have huge impact. Arguably place and people cannot be separated (although we work hard to do just that!) Consider:

  • Understanding the culture and sub culture of a place through the lens of this project
  • Has Covid altered the sense of place (are people spending more time locally – has that had an impact)
  • What are the threats to the vernacular and will there be a pivot back to protection of the vernacular?
  • Where can this project impact most powerfully?

Rosanna Vitiello

Great borough to work in and work on hyper-local vernacular seems like it’s really missing I would find this very valuable in my line of work

How do human’s shape a sense of place
What are the stories behind the type?
What do we do with this new knowledge of vernacular once we have it?How are we codifying subcultures? And multiculturalism?

Look at England In Particular —
How can you involve community members in something as specific as type?
How can you bring them in? And what might they do differently as a result?


Great presentation and well handled with the technical issues! I really love the look and feel of your project, it already has a strong identity which is great. I’m interested to see how you market this and get people signing up to take part! Do you think this would be somewhat weather dependent and will this impact when you launch the workshops? 

I know one of your external collaborators mentioned their concerns about doing this during the pandemic, but I think there’s plenty you can do to make it work – it might not be exactly as you envisioned it pre-covid but the tweaks you have to make could end up improving it. Will there be any focus on the wellbeing benefits of taking part, a bit like Ella’s project? As it is again encouraging people to connect with their local area, giving people something different to focus on etc. 

– Have you thought of how you will adapt to the current covid crisis in terms of the workshops?
– How can you use social media and digital marketing to enhance the project.
– Will you promote the work produced in the workshops?
– Could you target other industries to attend workshops as group team building activities. How would those industries approach the workshops differently?

My thoughts

It might seem big-headed to evaluate my feedback, but I see it as a way of really honing in on what the panellists are saying and how I can progress with the project. I doubt I’ll be able to do everything that is suggested of me, so I am going to figure out what is the most useful and what falls outside the remit of what I can do.

The common theme is that although the panellists they were interested in local designers’ thoughts, they thought I should focus on the community’s responses. I really do intend to do that! Maybe they were just making sure that I do, or maybe my presentation didn’t emphasise my true intentions. Either way, that’s something that I need to highlight when I next show my project to someone.

Covid also pops up a lot, and it has been always on my mind. I’m trying to balance the possibility vs the reality of what I can do. My workshops are designed to be self-led, and so I need to be able to describe what I want well. For the glyph workshop I have toyed with the idea of making a video-led workshop that people can follow.

The feedback has also suggested I look into the world beyond this project: taking it outside Walthamstow. Mark Rudd suggested changing the name to make it less Walthamstow focussed. I did think of TypePlace and CommuniType as names, but ti seems they have already been taken. While I do see his point, I have shortened the name to its suffix that means ‘meeting place’ and I so like that the name has ties to its origins. Maybe I should explain this more. I do intend to bring in other industries to take workshops, but this is out of my budget right now to facilitate. It’s something for the next stage rather than now. I can use this stage to build and beta-test the project before expecting people to pay for it.