Prof. Michael Twyman

Professor Michael Twyman’s long and distinguished career at the University of Reading has won international recognition. It began with his vision for a university course which combined intellectual and practical work in, what he later described as, ‘design for reading’. Established in 1968, it was the first course of its kind at a British university and led to the establishment of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication in 1974. Since then generations of students have benefited from his approach to education that is inspirational, challenging and inclusive.

In a constantly evolving discipline embracing every form of communication design, Michael Twyman led his students through the immense changes imposed by technology. His approach to design education, through typography, while integrating history, theory and practice has ensured that his legacy is far reaching and today universities and colleges throughout the world employ academics who studied under his guidance. His graduates occupy key positions at companies in fields as diverse as magazine and book publishing, information design, and wayfinding, with others helping to shape the future of digital companies such as Nokia, Adobe, Microsoft and Google.

Michael Twyman has also contributed much to the educational programmes of international organisations like ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design and Communication Assocations) and ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale). He is a recognised expert on the history of lithography and has many books and other publications to his name on subjects relating to the history of printing and graphic design and to theoretical aspects of typography and graphic language. His passion for embracing the wider spectrum of design in an historical context has led to the establishment of many internationally important archives including the Isotype Archive and Rickards Collection of Ephemera. He retired as Head of Department in 1998 but still teaches postgraduate students. His students have described their time on his courses at Reading as ‘deeply enabling’ and ‘inspirational’. He has greatly enhanced the reputation of the United Kingdom as a leader in design education.
Read Michael Twyman’s Medallist’s Address at the 2014 Awards Ceremony.

Prof. Michael Twyman

University of Reading

Sir Misha Black Medal