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Script, print, and letterforms in global contexts: the visual and the material

Above: Nineteenth century French trade cards showing a popular (mis)representation of writing practices and scripts used in different cultural settings. Image courtesy of Vaibhav Singh

In this conference, we seek to explore the plurality of engagements with, and interpretations of the printed and written word in various writing systems and artefacts; whether handwritten, lithographed, typographically printed, or digitally conjured. We invite both scholars and practitioners, broadly in the areas of design, printing, publishing, typography, print culture and book history, to bring critical perspectives and present fresh approaches to the study and discussion of the visual and material aspects of print in the diverse linguistic contexts of the world.

Keynote speakers: Professor Robin Jeffrey (National University of Singapore);  Dr Lucie Ryzova (University of Birmingham); Graham Shaw (University of London); Professor Ulrike Stark (University of Chicago)


Conference conveners: Sahar AfsharDarryl Lim, & Vaibhav Singh

Director: Caroline Archer-Parré

SPONSORS: Bibliographical Society, CPHC, Birmingham City Universty

VENUE: The conference will be held at the Faculty of Arts, Design & Media, Birmingham City University, UK (Please note, this is different from University of Birmingham which is located in the south of Birmingham). The department is based in the centre of Birmingham, and there are many different options for getting to BCU.


Birmingham Airport is an international airport located in the south-east of Birmingham. If you decide to fly directly into Birmingham, you can easily get into the centre of Birmingham by train, taxi, or bus.

By train: the airport is directly connected to various railway stations within and outside Birmingham via a free 'Air-link' monorail. Once you reach the Birmingham international railway station, you may purchase tickets on Virgin or Cross-Country trains that will take you to Birmingham New Street Station in 10 minutes. This station is located in the heart of Birmingham, and is a 15 minute walk to the venue.  

By bus: The city centre of Birmingham (Birmingham Coach Station) is just 25 minutes from the airport if you take a direct shuttle bus, operated by National Express. Located in Digbeth, the Birmingham Coach Station is a 15 minute walk to the venue.

By taxi: licensed black cabs can be found directly outside the airport.

For travellers coming into Birmingham from within the United Kingdom, there are two train stations located within walking distance of the venue; Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham Moor Street Station. If you are traveling from London, the fast Virgin Trains travel from Euston Station to Birmingham New Street station within 1 hour and 22 minutes. The other options for traveling into Birmingham is taking the West Midlands Trains. Please refer to the websites of each for more information. We suggest booking tickets in advance, as prices are likely to raise significantly closer to the date of the event.  


There are many options to pick from for accommodation in Birmingham, below is a list of select hotels that are within a 15 minute walking distance of the venue:

Staying Cool Serviced Apartments, Rotunda

Clayton Hotel, Birmingham

IBIS Birmingham New Street Station

Birmingham Central Backpackers


There is lots to do and see in Birmingham. We've provided some links below to get you started:

For any questions or comments, please contact