Call for papers: Message – Edition 2

Typography, Lettering and Text as Image (edition 2)
Where are the boundaries of communication and meaning?

Call for academic submissions
Scholarly submissions are invited for consideration in the full colour, large format, and international journal, Message.

Deadline for submission of abstracts (300-500 words): 8 September 2014
Notification of abstract acceptances: 15 September 2014
Full paper/report (4000-6000 words): 5 January 2015

Email to:


The second edition of the Message journal asks for illustrated submissions that will explore typography, lettering and text as image and that question, investigate and expand the boundaries of this relationship.The intention is to create not only a practice focused and discursive academic publication but also where authors can explore how far designers/illustrators/artists can develop text as a visual language? Are we facing a new future in visual language with images utilising text and lettering? Can text be divorced from words and still have meaning? Are there boundaries of meaning when considering text as image, or are the margins blurred?

One thing is certain, Beatrice Warde’s essay, The Crystal Goblet, or printing should be invisible, recedes as a guiding principle, as the forms of typography break out of anonymity and occupy the centre of artistic and designed image in a new word-based era of experimental and developmental creativity. This can be detected across an eclectic range of disciplines and media.

Craig Ward, Sam Winston, Ellen Bell and Gordon Young are artists who allow words to dominate their visual language. The intertextuality of their language creates a multi-layered referential system. Sam Winston displays a new aesthetic from the use of text, which goes way beyond reading, envisaging words in concrete form. Gordon Young’s words in the built environment demonstrate this art on an extreme scale. Art can be constructed from typography, opening onto a beautiful aesthetic composed of text and image.

At the beginning of 2014 graphic designer Philippe Apeloig exhibited a retrospective collection of his work across three decades, at the Typorama in Paris. The catalogue states, “He chose the world of typography because it enabled him to transpose the emotions he found in painting, literature and dance. He made typographic characters the central element of his creations”.

Currently showing in New York is Century: 100 Years of Type In Design, bringing together a host of rare works and unique artefacts to examine the centuries-old way in which these two entities have developed in partnership. It has been curated by Monotype and put together with Pentagram partner Abbott Miller. It features limited edition letterpress posters by Alan Kitching and is described by It’s Nice That as an immersive and intelligent exploration of type in graphic design. Amongst several exhibition partners is the Type Museum, whose message “Our vision places printing from moveable type within the broader cultural context of man’s use of graphic symbols”, echoes our own interests.

It is evident in a globalised society that images replace textual language and digital technology has enabled the democratisation of typography, whose potential for fluidity and symbolism allow a new graphic practice called what? Textual image? Written pictures? Typographic artistry? Technology is changing but mixed words and image are not new. In our own time and culture words and image are distinct from each other, but in past centuries and other cultures worldwide, this has not been the case. Art movements and individual artists, particularly in the 20th century, have taken the challenge of redefinition to create concrete poetry, futurist poetry, Dadaist statements and expressive typography to list just a few.

Whether researching this from a long history of written and visual language, from diverse cultures or from the freedoms that technology has brought, the areas to be explored are various and inspiring.

Mes­sage is a peer-reviewed aca­demic journal that con­sists of blind reviewed aca­demic papers plus one to three com­mis­sioned essays/articles. It is ded­ic­ated to the devel­op­ment and dis­cus­sion of con­tem­por­ary Visual Com­mu­nic­a­tion research par­tic­u­larly within Art & Design with an emphasis on Prac­tice, Out­puts and Artefacts.

The aim of the Mes­sage journal is to explore and expand the bound­ar­ies of Visual Com­mu­nic­a­tion within Art & Design through an exper­i­mental and devel­op­mental ethos, chal­len­ging the prac­ti­tioner, the devel­op­ment and use of tech­no­logy, as well as ques­tion­ing Visual Com­mu­nic­a­tion val­ues and social, eth­ical and sus­tain­able practices.

The Mes­sage journal wel­comes con­tri­bu­tions from national and inter­na­tional Visual Com­mu­nic­a­tion research­ers and prac­ti­tion­ers from a vari­ety of per­spect­ives – the­or­et­ical, con­cep­tual, edu­ca­tional, industrial.

The Mes­sage journal has been ini­ti­ated by the Mes­sage research group at Ply­mouth Uni­ver­sity.
The group’s research focuses on the areas of graphic design, illus­tra­tion and visual com­mu­nic­a­tion.
The Ply­mouth Uni­ver­sity Mes­sage journal and research group is com­mit­ted to enhan­cing the devel­op­ment of these sub­ject areas, both in edu­ca­tion and com­mer­cial design, through research and enterprise.

Mes­sage advis­ory board
Pro­fessor Teal Triggs Asso­ci­ate Dean Royal Col­lege of Art, UK
Pro­fessor Phil Cleaver Middle­sex Uni­ver­sity, UK
Asso­ci­ate Pro­fessor Vladi­mir Geroi­menko Ply­mouth Uni­ver­sity, UK
Pro­fessor Dóra Ísleif­s­dót­tir Ice­land Academy of Arts
Asso­ci­ate Pro­fessor & Head of MA Design Maziar Raein. Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Nor­way
Patrick Baglee, design con­sult­ant and journ­al­ist, NY

Con­tri­bu­tions can take the form of:

Research papers (4000–6000 words)
A crit­ical ana­lysis and con­tex­tu­al­isa­tion of ini­tial stages, on-going or com­pleted prac­tice based research pro­jects (to include research question(s), meth­ods and where appro­pri­ate out­comes and findings).

Pos­i­tion papers (4000–6000 words)
Put for­ward and debate a pos­i­tion on a par­tic­u­lar issue.

Reports (4000–6000 words)
Reports that doc­u­ment advances in the field for example new col­lab­or­a­tions, tech­no­lo­gical devel­op­ments, pro­cesses, meth­ods etc.

All papers are con­sidered with the under­stand­ing that they rep­res­ent at least 80% ori­ginal mater­ial and have not been pre­vi­ously published.

Dates for submission of abstract (300-500 words): 8 September 2014
Notification of abstract acceptances: 15 September 2014
Full paper/report (4000-6000 words): 5 January 2015

Full sub­mis­sion must include: abstract, writ­ten paper or report, images (with evid­ence of per­mis­sions), captions, and three-sentence biography with contact details (affiliation, address, email).

When submitting a full paper/report, contact details from authors should be included on a cover sheet only and have authors details (name/s etc.) removed.

Abstracts/Full paper/report should be emailed to:

Receipt of your sub­mis­sion will be made within 5 work­ing days

Style guide
The 1990s rather than the ‘90s

Use double quo­ta­tion marks around a quote. If the quote is from an inter­view con­duc­ted by the writer it’s bet­ter to break it up, by insert­ing, he/she ‘says’, ‘reflects’, ‘con­tin­ues’ etc. But also, para­phrase is very help­ful in keep­ing the reader engaged, and looks less for­bid­ding than a large inden­ted block quote.

Use ital­ics for a book, film, work of art, etc.

Num­bers spelled out from One to Nine, for 10 and over we use numerals.

Please note: Sub­mis­sions must fol­low Har­vard sys­tem of referencing.

Papers and reports selec­ted by the Edit­ors will be peer-reviewed by inter­na­tional pro­fes­sion­als and schol­ars – all mater­ial will be “blind” read and com­men­ted by, at least, two reviewers.

The peer-review of each paper or report, will con­cen­trate on whether the research paper or report is
suf­fi­ciently well con­ceived, has poten­tial to be well executed, and is appro­pri­ate to be included
in Message.

  • Review­ers will be invited to con­sider sub­mit­ted papers and reports within their expertise.
  • Each sub­mis­sion will be reviewed against clear edit­or­ial cri­teria. Feed­back will be provided.
  • After con­sid­er­a­tion by the Mes­sage edit­or­ial team a decision will be sent to the author within a spe­cified time frame.

Edit­ors will respond to authors accord­ing to the fol­low­ing
– accep­ted without revi­sion
– accep­ted with minor revi­sion
– rejected

It is essen­tial that all authors finally provide a thor­oughly proofread and checked manu­script along with images in the spe­cified format with proof of permissions.

Selec­tion of peer–reviewers
The Mes­sage edit­or­ial board will in the first instance identify appro­pri­ate review­ers for a par­tic­u­lar
paper or report. Review­ers will be chosen accord­ing to factors includ­ing their expert­ise, repu­ta­tion
and know­ledge. We intend to build a data­base of aca­demic expert­ise around rel­ev­ant sub­ject areas.

As part of our edit­or­ial pro­ced­ure, the Mes­sage team will brief poten­tial review­ers before send­ing them papers and reports to review and all cor­res­pond­ence will be treated con­fid­en­tially. Review­ers will remain anonym­ous dur­ing the peer-review pro­cess and impar­ti­al­ity will be our aim.


All com­ments from review­ers to the edit­ors will be treated confidentially.

A good review would answer the fol­low­ing questions:

  • What are the main aims of the paper/report?
  • Are the aims of the piece well situ­ated in the con­text of any other known
    research around the subject?
  • Who would find this paper of interest? And why?
  • In what fur­ther dir­ec­tions would it be use­ful to take the cur­rent research?


The review pro­cess will be seen as con­fid­en­tial by the Mes­sage edit­or­ial board and review­ers. As the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this pro­cess, the reviewer should not dis­cuss nor con­sult other col­leagues or experts about the review unless this has been agreed with the Mes­sage edit­or­ial team. Where appro­pri­ate we will request any feed­back that might help to strengthen the paper or report to send to the author.

The Mes­sage edit­ors may edit com­ments made by review­ers. In their com­ments to authors, review­ers are encour­aged to be hon­est but not offens­ive in their language.

It will be the respons­ib­il­ity of the Mes­sage edit­or­ial team to send the decision to the author with any review­ers’ comments.

The Message editorial team makes final publishing decisions. In the event that these are dif­fer­ent from the reviewer’s recom­mend­a­tions this will have been the res­ult of a robust pro­cess of con­sid­er­a­tion. Authors of prin­ted con­tri­bu­tions will receive a PDF of their article for personal use only and one complimentary cop­y of the rel­ev­ant Mes­sage issue.

Mes­sage Edit­or­ial board – Vic­toria Squire, Esther Dud­ley, Peter Jones
Mes­sage Pub­lisher – Uni­ver­sity of Ply­mouth Press

Cur­rent UK retail price per issue £10
For more details of Mes­sage visit:


One Response to Call for papers: Message – Edition 2

  1. Pingback: Conferences / Journals | Society of Nigerian Artists, Oyo State Chapter

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