Lecturer awarded fellowship by distinguished design society
16 June 2022
Andy Neal, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Falmouth University, has been awarded Fellowship of the International Society of Typographic Designers in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Society.
The Society exists as a professional body run by and for typographers, designers and educators. Across the world, members are committed to raising the bar and inspiring a love for all forms of typography.
Andy has been involved with the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) since 2004 and a professional member since 2005. Initially, his role was as part of the assessing juries, but later as one of the senior moderators charged with ensuring the quality of work is maintained at the high standard set by the society.
He was invited to become part of the Education Team in 2013, opening up the opportunity to contribute to the writing of the international assessment briefs (a number of which have been taken on and used in the scheme) and to the overall assessment process – including contributions towards the new holistic assessment criteria used by the society.
We caught up with Andy to get his reaction to being acknowledged by this prestigious society, as well as discuss what his achievement means to students studying Graphic Design at Falmouth.
“Investing time and energy into both ISTD and the students at Falmouth is hugely rewarding, and driven by a desire to see creativity grow in the people around me.”
What impact has your work with the ISTD had on the BA(Hons) Graphic Design course at Falmouth?
Typography has always been a foundational part of the teaching of Graphic Design at Falmouth, and the successes enjoyed by students on the course has very much been a team effort.
That said, my experience and involvement in ISTD has contributed to the development of significant typographic content and support across all years of the curriculum.
In particular, this included the Stage 2 Typography module (which I ran for many years and follows similar holistic principles to those championed by ISTD), together with my support for Stage 3 students submitting work for the assessment scheme.
Internationally, the assessment pass rate averaged around 32–35% and Falmouth would regularly see over 50% students pass (peaking at 70%).
Despite no longer teaching on the module, the course continues to guide all students through a thorough understanding of principles which, arguably, still form the common ground of the discipline of graphic design.
What does it mean to you to be awarded the fellowship?
Teaching is definitely a career of passion – and your own success is very much tied to the students you work with.
I found my way into typography (in part) through people who championed the discipline professionally and academically.
Investing time and energy into both ISTD and the students at Falmouth is hugely rewarding and driven by a desire to see creativity grow in the people around me. This is often a quiet, humbling and slow work, and very much about long-term development rather than short-term gain.
For my contribution to be recognised by an organisation held in such high regard has been hugely gratifying and has reinforced my belief in the power of a creative education and in the value of typography as a foundational and central part of modern design teaching.