Today was officially my first day of graduate study here at Reading University. The previous week I have been preparing for my classes by eating lots of delicious food, watching Doctor Who and frequently traveling to London (there will be another post on my first week in the UK later.) But unlike my first week, today was actually educational and was spent in the classroom listening to Michael Twyman talk about his giant collection of 19th century posters.
Michael Twyman established the Graphic Communication & Typography program that I am now apart of here at Reading University in 1974. It was the first of its kind in the entire world. He is well known for his writings on the theory of graphic language and his epic collections of printed design. He retired from full time teaching in 1998 but still continues to gives lectures to us post-graduate students once a week.
Every Monday Professor Twyman brings a small portion of his huge private collection and gives a talk pertaining to what he has brought in. Depending on the topic he will bring posters, books, pamphlets, advertisements, magazines, or various other kinds of ephemera. Today Professor Twyman brought in French letterpress posters from the 19th century for us to "ohhh" and "ahhh" at. All the posters were beautiful and preserved very well. Many of the posters are administrative documents or play bills. Others are advertisements, for sale signs, or even proclamations from the king.
Enjoy the images, but let's first thank Michael Twyman and the other brilliant people who archive and collect past works. If it was not for them, we wouldn't even have the chance to see these amazing designs.