Dr Debra Livingston




University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia


Dr Debra Livingston began her career in the non-commercial television industry, studied visual communication and photography and ran her own freelance graphic design studio until 1995. She lectured in photography and graphic design at the Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) until joining the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in 1998 as a lecturer in Graphic Design and now Program Leader for the Bachelor of Computer-Based Art and Design program. Dr Livingston is actively involved in the design industry, mentor with the AGDA Student Council (Qld chapter), winning a Brisbane Advertising and Design, BAd Person of the Year in 2008. She has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally, winning awards for her graphic design, photography and new photo-media imaging.


Nurturing Creativity: Typographic visual abstraction through the letterpress poster


Few letterpress facilities in design institutions have survived the evolving printing industry changes and new universities don't consider metal or wood type as an essential learning tool for visual communication students. They see the traditional craft of letterpress as a technology of the past. Many schools cannot justify the finances and space needed for such a craft including the difficulty of purchasing available machines, parts and experienced mechanics to keep the printing presses in good working order. Therefore, many students are not able to experience other ways of working with type, singularly dependent upon a computer, screen and software. To help students gain new perspectives, support individual creative needs, instill confidence and enhance learning in making aware the typographic terms and designing physical layouts a workshop hosted by Design College Australia (DCA) held during Icograda, 'Optimisim' Design Week, Brisbane, partnered students with established designers. National and international practitioners imparted their experience of typography, layout and space, limited colour palette, design and style in which to make typographic posters using letterpress moveable type on vintage presses. By experiencing a traditional craft-based medium, students were challenged to abstract pictorial spaces and to question how they use new technologies. This was an opportunity for professionals to share their knowledge by mentoring students in which to guide their creative output, and to compare handcraft type with digital type. This article will focus on the craft, the making, the mastery, the process and the outcomes.


Thursday 29 September


11:00am - 12.30pm






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