Design experts are maintaining Birmingham's position as the UK's foremost city for typography with a series of lectures and events throughout 2015.

The city has a strong typographic heritage thanks to the celebrated work of industrialist, printer and type designer John Baskerville, and his legacy is being recognised by Birmingham City University-based research group Typographic Hub and the Baskerville Society.

Led by Prof Caroline Archer, the Hub, based at BCU's Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, works to promote the history, theory and practice of type design.

Signwriter Joby Carter's free lecture called 'All the fun of the fair' takes place at BCU's Parkside Building on January 15.

A few years ago sign-painting was considered a dying art and it was almost impossible to find a practising sign-writer who would be prepared to take on a trainee as vinyl and plastic replaced traditional skills.

In March, the work of John Baskerville will be celebrated with a two-day conference called The Beauty of Letters.

In the preface to Paradise Lost, his most-noted work printed in 1758, Baskerville describes himself as an admirer of the beauty of letters.

This conference takes his phrase as a starting point to explore the production and distribution of letters, words and images during the 18th century and contributed to political, economic, social and cultural change in Britain and the wider world, according to organisers The Baskerville Society.

Other lecture highlights include Gordon Young, creator of the award winning Comedy Carpet typographic pavement in Blackpool, renowned letter carver John Neilson and calligrapher Ewan Clayton.

Geraldine Marshall, a postgraduate research student at the Typographic Hub, said: "Birmingham is the UK's foremost typographic city. It was home to John Baskerville, creator of 'Baskerville' one of the world's most well-known and enduring typefaces.

"However, Birmingham's claim to typographic fame does not simply lie with Baskerville.

"For three centuries, the spirit of this typographic mastermind has touched generations of the city's printers, educators and designers."

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