"I teach typography at Emily Carr University and design books.  Currently, I am working on an illustrated book about patterns in nature. It will be my fifth book for children."

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Student Profile: Robin Mitchell Cranfield

English Master's student in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

December 09, 2020
Print

My main area of interest is typography, with a special interest in early modern publishing. My other areas of interest are syllabic typographic systems and “whitespace” in page layouts. As a graphic designer specializing in book design, it is important to me to consider printed matter from practical, as well as theoretical perspectives.

I teach typography at Emily Carr University and design books.  Currently, I am working on an illustrated book about patterns in nature. It will be my fifth book for children. My website is robinmitchellcranfield.com

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I wanted to study print culture and hear good things about the program

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.

As we go through our day, we read hundreds, even thousands, of typeset words. But while one of the earliest things we learn is how to recognize the meaning of these words, many of us never learn how to really see the type that forms those messages. Considering typography critically reveals layers of meaning in our designed environment, from advertisements to book covers to our social media platforms. I am looking to find points of connection between content (like writing) and form (layout).

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

The classes available for print culture are really interesting.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?

Yes, I have received a SSHRC grant and a Print Culture Entrance scholarship. I work full time and have a family, so without financial assistance it would be much harder for me to find time to the research I need to do.

DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM FOR THOSE SEARCHING.

My program is a focus on publishing practices (typography, printing, and copyright laws and other things like that) and looking at how that impacts us culturally. It could sound dry, but if you ask people how the arrival of amazon has affected their daily lives, they are likely to have an opinion. As a program it has a lot of points of entry. I'm the only designer in my program, for example. People come from different areas.