Jon Melton

Design Consultant - Graphic Designer - Type Designer - Academic

Jon Melton is a traditionally trained graphic designer and typographer; graduating from art school in 1984, he furthered his professional training in industry as an advertising art director and designer, and throughout his career he has worked on a diverse range of design projects that includes furniture, interior and architectural feature design. He headed his own design practice working for both regional and London based clients, and was appointed as a visiting lecturer at the Cambridge School of Art in 1996, until accepting the post of course leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design  from 2001 to 2021. In this time Jon has informed typographic design and industrial practice within the art school and helped to establish the course's reputation for excellence and innovation in contemporary graphic communication...


Jon completed his Masters Degree in Typographic Design in 2007, being awarded a distinction for his postgraduate research into the categorising and conceptualising of display and ornamented types of the 19th century. He received inspirational lectures on the course from Jeremy Tankard, Andrew Byrom, Dale Tomlinson and Simon Loxley - and expert instruction and tuition in type design and the drawing of letterforms from Tom Perkins, Gaynor Goffe, Eric Marland, Nick Shinn.


Through investigative practice he generates type faces that explore the potential of historically inspired letterforms within contemporary contexts. His typeface specimens have been exhibited widely in Britain - including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Brighton, Northumberland - as well as abroad in Ireland and Germany.


He is a senior lecturer at the art school that is situated within ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) in Cambridge. Where his academic and practiced-based research concentrates upon seventeenth to nineteenth century history within type evolution; and through his new and revival typefaces and historical research he seeks to explore missed opportunities and forgotten avenues of type design. This work leads to publication in this largely discounted and ignored period in typographic history.


He has delivered papers at both the The Plus/UKType and St Bride Library conferences, and was the academic curator for the national Abram Games and 'Type Tarts' exhibitions at The Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge. More recently he delivered papers at the Printing Historical Society conference 2014 and the Baskerville Society's 'Beauty of Letters in the eighteenth-century' conference back in 2015. He delivered a paper on the Cuban Afiches (poster art) use of sans serif type in 2016. Jon Melton presented leading research on the eighteenth-century origins of sans serif typography at ATypI18 in Antwerp in a paper titled: 'The True source of the Sans' which was published online in January 2019. His research typeface Bishop Sans was published in 'Ways of Thinking' by Ruskin Arts, and his long awaited research into Sir John Soane's model for serif-less letterforms was published in 'Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century' by Liverpool University Press in August 2020. Some examples of his earlier conference papers, written and published work can be viewed or downloaded at the foot of this page.


As a Senior Lecturer, Jon now concentrates on type design and type history research. His other research interests lie in Georgian applied arts, furniture, interiors and architecture - all of which inform his work and research. Jon continues to offer design consultancy to industry via which has also included working closely with traditional craftsmen within commissions for the reinstatement of structural features and applied detailing on residential period buildings.


  'Ogilby' Paper awaiting publication - 2022, originally delivered at the Printing Historical Society

  'The Serif-Less Letters of John Soane', Chapter, Pen, print and communications in the 18C 2020

  'ETRVSCA - Bishop Sans', Article, Ways of Thinking 2020

    'Soane - a classical architype', Paper, St Bride Conference 2010, published Ultrabold No.9 2011

    'Is that an ascender or ...', Article, Create It, Issue 2, published by The District 2009

    'Games at the Ruskin', Curation, Abram Games Exhibition, Ruskin Gallery Cambridge 2009

   'Join the Fat Club', Article, Computer Arts Project, Issue 111 2008

    'Bifurcated Bodoni - the missing link', Paper, The Plus Moving type Conference 2007