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Eric Kindel, ‘Stencil work: scenes and themes’

This event is free for all. Join us in Room T4 in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. To join via Zoom register here.

This talk will survey scenes and themes of stencil work spanning six centuries, discussing and illustrating the surprising variety of uses to which stencils have been put in the production of graphic and textual documents, marks, and messages. Drawing on more than twenty years of research, the talk will explore aesthetic, technical, social, entrepreneurial, regulatory, and linguistic dimensions of stencil work, presenting scenes that are hybrid and in-between and themes that are perennial and therefore historically durable. Among the scenes will be so-called stencil “incunabula”, stencil work typical of France, Britain, and the USA, the multilingual complexities of stencil terminology, and the conundrum of stencil type and typefaces. On show will be early “cut work”, magnificent books made in monastic and secular ateliers, stencils cut by known makers and anonymous ones, depictions of stencil work across the centuries, large-scale stencil advertisements, ingenious stencil devices, and much more. The ensemble will be delivered as a sequence of visual and verbal evidence to build a synoptic presentation of this attractive domain of graphic communication.

Prof Eric Kindel is the Professor of Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. His staff profile, includes links to publications and talks.

Example publications:

Stencil: a descriptive bibliography

Delight of men and gods: Christiaan Huygens’s new method of printing

Patents progress: the Adjustable Stencil

Example talks:

Objet-type, the French stencil letter

Stencilled posters in Paris in the nineteenth century (with Pierre Pané-Farré)

Upper right image courtesy of St Bride Library, London.


16 March
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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