Congratulations to Cal Swann awarded Honorary Fellowship of ISTD in recognition of his significant and outstanding contribution to graphic design and typography, throughout his long career in industry and design education.
During his five decade career Cal has pioneered typography through practice and teaching – never losing sight of his ‘hot-metal’ roots.
Published by Lund Humphries, his book aimed at students ‘Techniques of Typography’ which was published in 1969, remains a classic. It’s a simple and concise introduction and explanation on typography and its reproduction. Although some elements might not seem relevant now, most of its teachings are timeless and essential to understanding the basic principals of the handling of type.
Cal gained an MA in Applied Linguistics, at Lancaster 1986, and in 1991 this research resulted in a second student book ‘Language and Typography’, also published by Lund Humphries.
All ISTD members will receive Cal Swann’s famous chapbook ‘A Feel for Metal’ in an edition recently re-published by ISTD and printed by Banbury Litho. First published in Western Australia in 2011, it starts off: ‘In our totally digital twenty-first century it is all too easy to discount the hard earned, time-ingrained typographic sensibilities that came from prolonged contact with metal type.’
Essentially this booklet tells Cal’s story from the age of sixteen enrolling as an art student to study typographic design in his hometown of Leicester in the 1950s, to lecturing in several UK art schools and polytechnics – via the RAF, print shops, composing rooms and various advertising agencies.
Following positions as Head of Design at Saint Martin’s, and Dean and Professor of Typographic Design at the Faculty of Art and Design at Liverpool Polytechnic, Cal emigrated to Australia in the late 1980s where he was Head of Design at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, and was awarded a Professorship in Typographic Design.
While Professor of Design at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia he launched the first online Master of Design in 1998.
Still active in design and teaching typography online, Cal is another of that rare breed of typographers who has dedicated a career to inspiring others, resulting in a following that extends from the UK to his current home in the Southern Hemisphere.