Archive for the ‘education’ Category


May 10, 2019

A very big thank you to Mika Provata-Carlone – a Dante scholar, translator, editor and illustrator – for her very thoughtful and insightful review of The Typographic Dante exhibition over at Bookanista:

Having worked on the project independently for so long, it was quite wonderful to discuss it in depth with someone who has such a deep understanding of Dante and the Divine Comedy. As you may know, Barrie discovered Dante’s Inferno through pop culture as a teenager and has never formally studied the life of Dante or the Divine Comedy, even though Dante has been with him as an ongoing project for 30 years now.

At the opening of the show, Barrie also met some medievalists from the British Library and the talk (and performance) inspired Philobiblon, [(on) the love of books], to write a blog post about the first printed editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Interestingly enough, the blog post mentions that as a medievalist, he rarely thinks of the printed history of Dante’s (Divine) Comedy – as a typographer Barrie rarely thought of the manuscripts of the Divine Comedy, until very recently. The British Library online archive ( is a stunning resource and has inspired Barrie to look a little further back into history than his role as a graphic designer and lecturer usually takes him.

He would recommend the following books if you find it all as interesting as he does: Books Before Print by Erik Kwakkel and The Book by Keith Houston.

The Typographic Dante Show is on at the National Poetry Library, South Bank Center until the 30th June.





talking typography in norwich

November 22, 2018

Barrie was out and about at the Norwich University of the Arts at the beginning of November – talking typography, poetry, artists’ books, Dante’s Inferno and various other stuff as it occurred to him – the lecture also included a performance of ‘A Song For An Art School’. If you’ve ever experienced that – you’ll know it’s worth the price of entry alone…

Thank you to Glen Robinson for the invite, and for the students for turning up – a full house and a real joy to be there.

primitive printing

October 26, 2016


One of the nicest things about being part of The Caseroom Press is the larger community of people that it brings you into contact with. We’ve met so many wonderful people at book fairs, and, on occasion, got to work with them here at the University of Lincoln too. Angie Butler has become a regular collaborator with Philippa on her books, and runs (fantastic) book arts workshops with our students every year – and of course there’s Stephen Fowler, the go-to-guy for all your rubber stamping and primitive printing needs.


Stephen has now taken some time out from printing things to write a book on that very subject – and very good it is too. It made Barrie want to quit this crazy typography lark and start stamping.


With an introduction by Rob Ryan (praise indeed), the book covers all the materials and techniques you’ll need to start your own independent primitive print workshop.


The book is full of beautiful examples, experiments and suggestions as to how you might develop your own practice and is awash with delights. The Illustrations include some very nice ‘freeform repeat patterns’ by none other than Jantze Tullett too.


The book is available from Laurence King, or of course Amazon. We’d suggest that if you’re only going to buy one book this year, buy Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology, but if you’re going to buy two books, buy Rubber Stamping as well.



on the road again

October 23, 2016


Barrie had the pleasure of travelling up to Newcastle on Friday to talk to Graphic Design and Illustration students at the Northumbria University.

He’d been invited up by the extremely talented Sara Ogilvie, and spoke about The Caseroom Press, Typewriter Art and also took a few carrier bags full of Artists’ books for the students to look at (Philippa’s fabric printed Delia Taught Me To Cook was a particular favourite).

There was even a question about his Typographic Dante (he’d not mentioned it in the talk, but one of the students had really done their research). If anyone’s particularly interested in that, there’s an article about it here: Academia.

It was lovely to see Sara again – she’s also one of the illustrators for Utopian Tales – and he was given a grand tour of their studios, wonderful print room and small, but beautifully formed, letterpress studio.

A really delightful day.

So why the rather forlorn picture of his bags on the platform at Newark?

He forgot to take any photos when he was there.

back to where he once belonged

March 6, 2016


Barrie was back up in Edinburgh last week – he was talking about Typewriter Art and then ran a single sided book workshop at the Edinburgh College of Art…


After which, ably attended by Ken Cockburn Alison Bowden and Alan Mason, The Caseroom Press were ‘on table’ at the Fruitmarket Gallery for their annual Artists’ Book Fair.


As you can see, they were the first to arrive, and yet still, somehow, the last to finish setting up.


They obviously spent too much time thinking and not enough time doing.

Barrie also spoke about ‘The Most Ambitious Book We’ve Never Published’; The Utopian Tales. Which inches closer to actually becoming a book. He’s currently waiting on a few of the illustrators to send him their updated biographies.


The Utopian Tales had taken a very long time to come to fruition, and Barrie is finally hoping that he can see the edge of the forest.


August 1, 2015


In the Summer of 2011, we published a book of overheard and overlooked texts – these were all collected by Ken Cockburn and taken from formal signage, graffiti, newspaper headlines, children’s speech, aspiration and deflation…

Last summer, we set this as a project for the second year graphic design students here at Lincoln. They were asked to spend a month overlooking and overhearing the conversations that took place around them. Each of the students was asked to collect their twelve favourite texts, which were then sent to Ken to select and create the content for the book.


A few students found the project a little difficult – either they just went to their usual social media sites to draw their material from, of they were totally bemused by it. But those that engaged with the spirit of the project used their love of language and their interest in the world around them to pick out some gems of conversation and social etiquette.

The book has now been printed – the text matter has been produced digitally and the covers printed using the new Risograph – and the pages are waiting to be folded, bound and trimmed.  All the contributors will be getting a project as a welcome back gift in September.

The question is, what kind of bemusing project can Barrie come up with for them this summer?


all laid out

June 6, 2015


Bloomsbury have recently published the second edition of The Layout Book, written by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris, and The Caseroom Press make no less than two appearances in its pages.

Both Philippa and Barrie are (proud) members of the International Society of Typographic Designers and Barrie is on the Education Panel of the Student Awards Scheme. The assessment weekends making regular appearances in these blog pages.

A number of his projects have been made it into the briefing packs – Circus, Tales to Change the Word, A Manifesto for the Art School, 4’33” and Flatland – A project that had its roots in his time teaching at The Glasgow School of Art, but has since come into its own at Lincoln; the project being run in a variety of guises across all three years of the undergraduate course.


Used as one of eight ‘exercises’ in the book, Flatland asked students to re-imagine the conventions of the book. The work chosen to show a successful solution was none other than our own Matt Crowe, a Lincoln graduate from 2011 who now works at Mynt Design in Leicester.



One of the original pages in all its two colour glory.

The Caseroom Press also worked on Rose Gridneff, Alexander Cooper and Andrew Haslam’s 6×6 Collaborative Letterpress Project (exercise 7). Philippa and Barrie joined forces with John Stocker (Programme Leader for MA Design Communication), and three students – Ryan Fisher, Ash Watkins and Leanne Kitchen. The Caseroom Press was chosen to represent Letterpress at Lincoln alongside 5 other institutions from across the UK (University of Brighton, Camberwell College of Arts, London College of Communication, Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design and The Glasgow School of Art).

Details of the 6×6 project can be found here.

The International Society of Typographic Designers can be found here.

And The Layout Book is available from Bloomsbury.

typographic dreams

March 31, 2015


Barrie spent the weekend with like-minded typographers, assessing the International Society of Typographic Designers Student Awards.

All the hopes and dreams of aspiring young typographers were waiting in a series of boxes, folios and folders full of typographic treats, delights, books, pamphlets, posters and paraphernalia.


The teams were watched over by various models of monopoly playing pieces, including a train, a boot, a extremely large bowler hat, and a very friendly dog. We have no idea why they were there, but they made a welcome addition to the weekend…

ISTD Weekend

The assessors about to begin their tasks (photo from the ISTD Twitter Feed).

one side of the story

October 30, 2014

Derby 23.10.14

The Caseroom Press were invited to give a talk to graphic design students at the University of Derby last week.

Barrie gave a brief overview of who we are and what we do, then put (nearly) all our books out for a show and tell so that the students could see the variety of printing techniques, binding methods, formats and collaborations that we’ve undertaken over the last few years.

After lunch, he ran a brief workshop about making single sided/single sheet books — which prompted Stephanie Strange to ask why Barrie was only telling on side of the story — hence the name of the post. The answer is of course, that’s just about the only format of books he can make.

The event was a warm-up session for the students’ next brief, an Artists’ Book project based around the word ‘Obsessions’, which is presumably why he managed to squeeze in a talk about Typewriter Art too (thanks to Natasha Nuttall for the recent post about the St Bride talk, ‘From Q to M’, by the way). Check out Natasha’s blog here:

Remember. ‘Having an obsession, means never having to worry about what to do with your weekends’.




Thank you to Tracy Allanson-Smith for inviting us (and taking the photos).


and there was cake.

June 24, 2014


Last week, Barrie was invited to attend the ‘Researcher Essentials’ event at the Cope Auditorium; School of the Arts, Loughborough University.

The Keynote address was by Andrew Hewish (Centre for Recent Drawing [C4RD]), with a supporting cast of Liza Thompson (Bloomsbury Publishing), Jane Tormey (Radical Aesthetics, Radical Art [RaRa]), Emma Brennan (Manchester University Press), Phil Sawdon (TRACEY, Drawing and Visualisation Research), Joanne Lee (Pam Flett Press), Simon Downs (The Poster [intellect publications]), Edward Dorrian (Five Years Press), Mo White (Zines) and Rachel Marsden (independent curator).

It was a very interesting day – and thank you to Emma Osbourn for the invite – a fantastic insight into the opportunities for academic and artistic publishing, both mainstream and independent, as well as a refreshing discussion about the REF and how one might, or might not, engage with it as a practitioner who’s output for research is the form of the book.

And there was cake.