Back in July, our team was joined in the Monotype archives by photographer Laura Bennetto. Laura has long collaborated with the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, and we were thrilled to have her photograph some of the key documents we have been using for our research.
Laura was able to take beautiful shots of some of the type drawings held in the archives (known as 10-inch drawings), the ‘pink cards’ (which record all tasks undertaken by the TDO on each Monotype face), as well as some invaluable notebooks containing handwritten notes by important figures such as Fritz Max Steltzer (Drawing Office manager) and long-standing TDO member Dora Laing. Laura also captured some of the archives’ most intriguing artefacts, such as a multi-faceted cylinder displaying different kinds of rulers.
As designers and historians, we are keen to convey to the public the materiality of the archival documents and artefacts that form the basis of our research. Having a professional photographer make such beautiful images is an exciting means to provide an insight into the Monotype Archives, which are privately held and not publicly accessible. We have already started showcasing some of these images in our talks, and Laura’s photographs will also form the basis of a digital display, which we are aiming to present in various venues in Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.
We are very grateful to Laura for her work, and to Monotype for allowing us to access, photograph and display their archives.
Photography Laura Bennetto © Monotype Archives. All rights reserved.