News, writing and awards

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Writing What do graphic communication designers do? [...] paper

We have published a paper called What do graphic communication designers do? Some thoughts and a list of disciplines and specialisms on Medium. It could be helpful to show what graphic designers are involved with and do, and also for people choosing a career in the field of graphic design. Our main Medium page is here. February 2018.

Medium.com logo, shows a thick serif font and says 'Medium' in black

Writing Information on different categories of people […] and infographic

Note: this paper was originally published on the Usability Geek website in February 2018. In May 2020, we moved it to our Medium so we can update it more easily.

Our paper Information on different categories of people for graphic communication, website and information designers including free reusable infographic has been published on the Usability Geek website. This is the second time we have collaborated with Usability Geek. There is also a freely reusable and copyright free infographic at the end of the paper that accompanies the paper. You can download the infographic as a PNG (an image which is good for emails or websites), PDF (which can be made any size, and allows high-quality printing) or HTML (online webpage). Thanks again to Justin.

Susan Weinschenk (PhD in Psychology) and CEO at The Team W showcased this paper in her April 2018 email newsletter. In 2015 we reviewed her book 100 things every designer needs to know about people in the Information Design Journal 21(1), 2014.

Thanks also to The A11Y Project that provide a great accessibility checklist for website designers, they have kindly linked to this paper in their ‘resources’ section under ‘further reading’. February 2018.

Usability Geek logo, shows the text 'Usability' on the left in capital black letters, then 'GEEK' in capital orange letters to the right, and the letters 'E' and 'E' in 'GEEK' have been made into a face sign
The Team W logo, shows in a thin grey border box, the text 'THE TEAM' in capital black letters on the left, with a black circle on the right, with a white letter 'W' inside it
The A11Y Project logo, shows a black circle on the left with a pictogram person with there arms and legs open, then the text 'A11Y Project' to the right in a thin black sans-serif font

Writing Updates to our Letter and symbol misrecognition [...] paper on the Typography.Guru website

Our paper Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers [2018 third edition] has been updated and it is now a 2018 third edition of the paper. Between December 2015 (when it was originally published) and February 2018, the paper has been read 37,000 times, this has exceeded all our expectations. We hope you continue to enjoy the paper and get things from it. Thanks to Ralf. February 2018.

Typography.Guru logo, on the left shows a large red raised capital 'G' letter, then on the right in light grey the text 'Typography.Guru'
The A11Y Project logo, shows a black circle on the left with a pictogram person with there arms and legs open, then the text 'A11Y Project' to the right in a thin black sans-serif font

Writing 10 tips for better book designs paper republished on UXPlanet.org

Our paper 10 tips for better book designs has been republished on the UXPlanet.org website. This is the 4th time this paper has been requested to be republished. Thanks to Nick. October 2017.

UX Planet logo, shows a red dot on the left with the text 'UX' within it, then the text 'UX Planet' on the right in a bold grey sans-serif font

Writing Small print in graphic communication and information design: A discussion of issues and interactions paper

Our paper Small print in graphic communication and information design: A discussion of issues and interactions has been published on the Usability Geek website. It is a paper about the areas of writing, graphic communication design, information design, usability and people. Thanks to Justin. January 2017.

Usability Geek logo, shows the text 'Usability' on the left in capital black letters, then 'GEEK' in capital orange letters to the right, and the letters 'E' and 'E' in 'GEEK' have been made into a face sign

Writing Letter and symbol misrecognition […] paper updated on the Typography.Guru website

Our paper Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers [2016 second edition] has been updated and republished on the Typography.Guru website as a 2016 second edition, it features: new figures, new research and corrections.

Thanks once again to Typography.Guru. October 2016. Thanks also to Steven Heller for his interest in the 2016 second edition: Steven Heller Daily Heller: Type for impaired eyes in Print Magazine (24th October 2016).

Typography.Guru logo, on the left shows a large red raised capital 'G' letter, then on the right in light grey the text 'Typography.Guru'
Steven Heller logo, shows 'STEVEN' in black large capital letters on the 1st line, the 'HELLER' in large red capital letters on the line below, stacked on top of each other
Print magazine logo

Writing Snapshots III book

Image of Snapshots III book cover, shows an orange bar across the top of the cover, then a dark red/brown bar on the lower twothirds, with the text 'Publishing the next 5 years' with the letters and pictograms of books stacked on top of each other

Our paper 10 tips for better book designs has been republished in a book called Snapshots III (ISBN: 978-1-909362-03-1) produced by the Book Machine and Kingston University Press. The book contains short papers from a range of people in the publishing industry. They are working on getting a distributor for the book, more information about the book can be found here. August 2016.

Event Graphic Design Educators’ Network Pedagogic Research Symposium

Photo of the Design School, shows a grey and cool green front made out of a lot of glass, which very light grey concrete panels, then the glass revolver door at the front

We attended the symposium at the Design School, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, U.K. on Wednesday 20th April 2016, 1pm–5pm. It was very pleasant, interesting and in a nice modern building. The highlight presentation was by: Dr Karel van der Waarde Communication design education: Could 9 reflections be sufficient? For details about the next event and for more information visit the Graphic Design Educators’ Network website.


Photo of the conference centre, shows people sitting at small conference desks looking at the front where the lecturer is giving a presentation

Update Our business name

In 2015, we have updated our name from User Design to User Design, Illustration and Typesetting.

Writing Letter and symbol misrecognition […] paper published on the Typography.Guru website

Our paper Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers has been published on the Typography.Guru website. Thanks also to Design Week, ilovetypography.com, Smashing Magazine, The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) and Typostrate for taking an interest in the paper. December 2015.

A car number plate, Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers
Typography.Guru logo, on the left shows a large red raised capital 'G' letter, then on the right in light grey the text 'Typography.Guru'
Design Week logo, shows the ord 'design' in large tightly letterspaced green letters, then the word 'week' vertically turned to the right of the letter 'n' in the word 'design'
i love typography logo, shows a rectangle light green box with the text 'I Love Typography' in thin white letters
Smashing Magazine logo, a red rectangle box, on the left in a small white diaginal box is a white letter 's', then to the right on the 1st line is 'Smashing Magazine' and below that 'Magazine' both in white capital letters
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) logo, shows the letters 'RGD' on red background with white text,
Typostrate logo, shows a black rectangle box and in the bottom left, the text 'typostrate' in white sans serif letters, then an underscrore symbol underneath the letters 't' and 'y'

Writing Letter and symbol misrecognition […] paper and book review in the Information Design Journal

After a long period of time and many delays, our paper Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers has been published in the Information Design Journal, 21(1), 2014.

We have also done a book review of Susan Weinschenk’s great book 100 things every designer needs to know about people at the end of the journal. June 2015.

Photo of the Information Design Journal, 20(1) 2014 shows a white cover side-on, with a technical oval triangle diagram on the front, and the text 'idj' in large white bold letters at the top

Writing 10 tips for better book designs paper

Our paper has been republished for a 3rd time in a near original form, on the Book Machine website. The paper was only edited by them slightly. March 2015.

Book Machine logo, shows a large brown dark red circle with the words 'Book Machine' in large capital letters diagonally and the 2 letter ow's in book, are mechanical gear cogs

Writing When information design is a matter of life or death paper

Our double peer-reviewed article When information design is a matter of life or death has been published on the Boxes and Arrows website. November 2014.

Boxes and Arrows logo, shows a 3D box made out of arrows in orange thick lines, the 'boxes' on the 1st line, then 'and' on the 2nd line, then 'arrows' on the 3rd line

Work showcase One of our illustrations published in a new book

We have an illustration featured in a new book 1,000 dog portraits published by Rockport Publishers. April 2014.

Photo of the book cover 1,000 dog portraits, shows a sad grey dog's head

Writing 10 tips for better book designs paper

Our paper 10 tips for better book designs has been published on the Creative Choices website [website not online anymore], and in their email newsletter (issue 172, January 2014). We would recommend that you read this version of the paper, rather than the one on the Creative Bloq website which was heavily edited. January 2014.

Creative Choices logo, on the 1st line in a dark gree colour is the text 'creative', then below that is the text 'choices' in a lighter green text

Writing 10 tips for better book designs paper

Our paper 10 tips for better book designs has been published on the Creative Bloq website, October 2013. The paper was heavily edited by them and some content was not included unfortunately. October 2013.

Creative Bloq logo, shows the letters 'CB' in a orange speech bubble, then 'Creative Bloq' in large capital grey letters to the right

Competition judging We are a judge on the Center for Plain Language, ClearMark Awards 2013

We were asked for a 2nd year running to help judge the Center for Plain Language, ClearMark Awards 2013, in Washington, U.S.A.

The ClearMark and WonderMark awards recognise the best and worst in plain language (writing, graphic communication design and testing) each year in the form of government, non-profit, and private companies. The 2013 ClearMarks and WonderMarks awards ceremony was held on 16th April, 2013, at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S.A.

Unlike other competitions, in the ClearMark Awards you actually get direct user/judge feedback on your submissions, so why not apply in 2014? April 2013.

Center for Plain Language logo on the left which shows 1 blue and and 1 green speech bubble, then the title in blue and green letters to the right, with 'Make it clear.' below it in grey. On the right is the Clear Mark Awards logo, which shows a black lightbulb icon, the word 'Clear' on the left and the word 'Mark' on the right, with the word 'Awards' in small capital text below it

Work showcase Other places to see our work on the web

You can view selected work from us on Creativepool, Behance, The Creative Finder, Dexigner, Coroflot, Dribbble, ElloWorking Not Working, Creative Hotlist, Find Creatives, Dasauge, Lecture in Progress, The Department for International Trade, GOV U.K., Outside Directory.

Writing Typographic magazine: Hiut

A short version of our paper: Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers has been publishing in Korean, in the typographic magazine Hiut, 4(2), 2013 [website not online anymore].

Front cover of Hiut magazine, has a light brown background with a greyscale photo of a Korean man in a portrait oval shape

Writing Letter and symbol misrecognition […] paper published in the international typographics magazine Baseline 61

Our paper: Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers has been published in Baseline magazine 61 (2012), Kent, U.K. Launched in 1979, it is the authoritative magazine about type and typography. The paper is essential reading for anyone interested in legibility, clear typographic design, typeface design and typographic accessibility for different types of people.

Photo of Baseline magazine, shows the title in white large text at the top with a purple, red and orange abstract square design

The paper has also been published in the typographic magazine Slanted #18, signage/orientation. Karlsruhe, Germany.

Photo of Slanted magazine, shows a green background colour and a grey road junction icon with the title 'Slanted' in large yellow capital letters at the top

Award Runner-up in the British Book Design and Production Awards 2012

Our self-published book: Punctuation..? came runner-up in the Environmental category in the British Book Design and Production Awards competition 2012. The book is showcased in the award winners catalogue on page 25. Oxford, U.K.

British Book Design and Production Awards logo, in a black thin border square box, shows the letters 'B B' on the 1st line, then the letters 'D &' on the 2nd line, then the letters 'P A' on the last line

Award Merit in the 3×3 Magazine, children’s show competition, number 9, 2012

From 1,500 entries from 35 countries all over the world, our book The journey of larks has been awarded a merit (young adult category) in the 3×3 Magazine, children’s show competition, number 9, 2012, New York, U.S.A.

3x3 logo, shows 3 x 3 in a bold white font and then the title in small capital letter, all on a black background colour

The subsequent printed annual 3×3 children’s book show annual number 9 features our work.

Photo of the 3x3 annual front cover, shows a white rabbit's head pop-up above a sunset

Competition judging We are a judge on the Center for Plain Language, ClearMark Awards 2012

We were asked to help judge the Center for Plain Language, ClearMark Awards 2012, in Washington, U.S.A. It was enjoyable and the variety and complexity of submissions was vast, from 1-page letters to complex multi-page forms.

The ClearMark and WonderMark awards recognise the best and worst in plain language (writing, graphic communication design and testing) each year in the form of government, non-profit, and private companies. The 2012 ClearMarks and WonderMarks will be announced at the awards ceremony on 22nd May at the Clarity 2012 Conference.

Unlike other competitions, in the ClearMark Awards you actually get direct user/judge feedback on your submissions, so why not apply in 2013. April 2012.

Center for Plain Language logo on the left which shows 1 blue and and 1 green speech bubble, then the title in blue and green letters to the right, with 'Make it clear.' below it in grey. On the right is the Clear Mark Awards logo, which shows a black lightbulb icon, the word 'Clear' on the left and the word 'Mark' on the right, with the word 'Awards' in small capital text below it

Fellowship Fellow of the Communication Research Institute

We have been accepted as a fellow of the Communication Research Institute. We are very pleased and look forward to future collaborations. August 2011.

Communication Research Institute logo, shows a large bright purple speech bubble with the letters 'CRI' in large bold white capital letters within it

Award Winning posters designs for the Utilità Manifesta poster contest 2011

Utilità Manifesta runs a yearly poster contest: Design for volunteering, peace and human rights, aimed at tackling social, economic and environmental issues, which is endorsed in Italy by the European Commission.

From 400 entries from designers across the world, our poster Ban public smoking (factories) is in the 20 selected winning designs.

Photograph of an industrial factory and sea infront with a lot of smoke coming out of the factory's chimmney. Then in a black border box below, the words 'Ban public smoking'
Design for Volunteering logo that shows a handdrawn bird in the shape of a heart, and then the European Commission logo to the right, which shows a blue flag with a circle of yellow stars on it, with their name in large grey letters below

Rene Wanner’s Poster Page

Our poster Ban public smoking (factories) has been showcased on Rene Wanner’s poster website. Basel, Switzerland.

Rene Warner logo, has a bright red square background with a drawn pictogram icon of an eye and eyelashes

Award VIII (8th) International Triennial of Eco-Poster, The 4th Block, 2012

Our posters Ban public smoking (factories) and (cars) have been selected as winning poster designs in The 4th Block poster competition, Ukraine.

They were exhibited in Kiev, they then travel to the exhibition halls of the Kharkov, and in October onto the International Biennale ‘Golden Bee’ in Moscow.

Photograph of an industrial factory and sea infront with a lot of smoke coming out of the factory's chimmney. Then in a black border box below, the words 'Ban public smoking'

Photograph of a car exhaust in a greyscale and green colour, then in a black border box below, the words 'Ban public smoking'

Photo of posters in the exhibition. Shows many of the posters hung-up on the white gallery wall, with a man and a woman walking across in front, and a big TV camera and cameraman behind them filming

Photo of posters in the exhibition. Shows many of the posters hung-up on the white gallery wall, with a man and a woman walking across in front

4th Block catalogue front cover. It uses rainbow-like colours the title is in large capital white bold letters, and shows a woman behind the cover holding it up

Our poster designs were also featured in their Modern eco-poster 2009–2012 catalogue (ISBN: 978-966-24-0616-0), photo courtesy of Daria Titarenko.

Book publishing 2nd edition reissue of our 3 books: The journey of larks, Life, and Punctuation..?

They are now available from up-to-date bookshops, Waterstones or direct from the distributor Central Books, and have been much updated, improved and are in a fitter final form. For more information and to order, visit our books’ webpage.

Thanks to the paper merchant, printer and distributor. Enjoy.

3 front cover images of our books. The 1st on the left shows the title in black and a cartoon person jumping into a swimming pool full of words. The 2nd in the middle shows the title written in a thin handwritten style font and lines going across the cover. The last on the right 3rd, shows the title in black text at the top, then a woman and a man at the bottom, confused about punctuation with thier arms flung-up in the air
  • The journey of larks: is based on word-play and graphic shenanigans.
  • Life: an illustrated day in the life of somebody.
  • Punctuation..?: an informative, educational and fun book which explains the functions and correct uses of 21 of the most used punctuation marks.

Work showcase Our work has been showcased in the Best of greeting cards book

Our greeting card designs in 2006 have been showcased in the book Best of greeting cards by Zeixs, Germany, 2011.

Photo of the greeting cards book shown side on, shows a white square greeting card fron with the text 'Greeting Cards' in large black capital stencil letters, there is also a present red bow at the top

Work showcase Our work has been showcased in the Letterheads & business cards 2 book

Our corporate identity design in 2002 for Montague Capital has been showcased in the book Letterheads & business cards 2 by Zeixs, Germany, 2011.

Photo of the letterheads and business cards 2 book shown side on, shows a womans face with her holding a black business card across her right eye

Writing Paper published in the Information Design Journal

Our paper Getting around the reproduction problems of colored graphs has been published in the international peer-reviewed Information Design Journal, 18(1), 2010. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.

Photo of the Information Design Journal cover, shows a black pictogram of an offical service person in an airport

Research project International collaborative project with the Communication Research Institute

We took part in an international collaborative communication research project Credit card statements: Communication benchmarks 2009, for the Communication Research Institute, Australia. View project report and findings (PDF).

CRI benchmarks logo, a purple line cartoon person speaking through a loud-speaker

Event London Book Fair 2008

We will be at the London Book Fair for 1 day between the 14th–16th April 2008. If you are a publisher and would like to arrange a meeting, contact us.

London Book Fair logo 2008. A dark blue square background with with serif typeface all capital text with the fair name

Event Education Show 2008

We will be at the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham, U.K., for 1 day between the 28th February–1st March 2008. If you are an educational publisher and would like to arrange a meeting, contact us.

The Education Show NEC Birmingham logo 2008. Shows the title of the fair in light grey all capital letters, with 3 green arc lines above the fair title text

Event Information Design Association presentation

We will be attending the Information Design Association presentation by David Dickinson from Consumation, titled Medicines, information design and people’s health on topics around patient/medicine information leaflet design, at the Design Council office, 34 Bow Street, London, WC2E 7DL, U.K., on the 21st November 2007.

Photo of the front of the Design Council office, showing dark grey entrance and the red Design Council logo on a 3D cube before the entrance

Event Sign Design Society 2008 talk

We will be attending the Sign Design Society’s talk Public testing of pictograms by BAA (British Airports Authority) with Tim Wheen, market research executive at BAA, on the 6th February 2008, 6.30pm, room 1.6 at the John Lewis Partnership, 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN, U.K. (nearest tube station: Victoria).

Image from the talk flyer, shows a large yellow aeroplane from the top, with pictograms dotted around on the top Photo of a group people sitting watching the speaker at the front in the conference/talk room BAA (British Airports Authority) logo, shows the word 'BAA' in large black capital serif letters, then on the right a green square with a triangle flying through it

Event St Bride Library Gerard Unger lecture 2007

We will be attending the Re-reading Beatrice: The Beatrice Warde memorial lecture, on Thursday 31st May 2007, 7pm, at the St Bride Library in London, off Fleet Street. The event will conclude with the launch of the English edition of Unger’s book While you’re reading.

Photo of the front of the St Bride Library, shows a red bricked buildings, with trees arching over the top left, and a blue doorway to the right

Event Frankfurt Book Fair 2007

We will be at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the 12th October 2007. If you are a publisher and would like to arrange a meeting, contact us.

Photo of an exhibition hall at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Shows exhibition stands and small tables with people having meetings

Award 2 merits for our work in the European Design Awards

We received 2 merits in the European Design Awards 2007, in the book and editorial illustration, and card/invitation/flyer categories. Our work was featured in the accompanying book.

Book cover of the European Design Awards annual. Shows a large blue sky with green grass below, and people standing in the grass with their hands waving and swaying left to right

European Design Awards annual 2007, contains all the winners work and is available from BIS Publishers, Netherlands.

European Design Awards logo, shows a large bold black asterisks character on the left, then the word 'EDAWARDS' in large bold capital letter, the 'ED' is in black, and the 'AWARDS' is in grey

Event RGAP Small Publishers Fair 2006

We will be exhibiting and selling our 3 self-published books: The journey of larks, Life, and Punctuation..? (1st editions) at the RGAP Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 on Friday 20th October 2006. Open 11am–7pm, admission free. Holborn is the nearest tube station.

RGAP small publishers fair 2006 photo of the fair hall with lots of people standing in lanes with desks and people exhibiting their books

RGAP small publishers fair 2006 poster. Light brown background with the event title, time, details, logo and a greyscale photo of book binding workshop

Event Fast type, slow type conference

We will be attending the Fast type, slow type conference running from the 16th–18th October 2006, at the Custard Factory, in Birmingham, U.K. We will be there on the 16th. It is the 5th in an annual series of international typographic design conferences.

Front image of the Fast type, Slow type conference flyer. Shows a dark pink background, with white, light pink and dark pink, triangular capital letters, with extra information in smaller text on the right

The Type Events logo. Shows the word 'typ' in large lowercase bold letters on the left, then the word 'events' in pink lighter italic text to the right. Then says in smaller text 'Enjoy the moment!' below
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