Mr Ben Archer

Job: Programme Leader BA (Hons) Communication Arts

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Address: Gateway House 5.21, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8291




Personal profile

Ben Archer is Programme Leader for the innovative, new applied media programme Communication Arts BA (Hons) and also teaches on the Media Production BSc (Hons) within the Leicester Media School. He also runs specialist publishing workshops on the Journalism BA (Hons) and the Fashion & Textiles MA (Hons).

He has worked as a graphic designer and academic in NZ and the UK for most of his life; successfully combining visual communications studio practice with contextual and critical studies at all levels (foundation, certificate, diploma, degree and postgrad) and with very diverse student populations.

His first move on being hired at DMU's Graphic Design BA (Hons) was to set up annual Adobe Roadshow Campus Days and a programme of national status guest speakers. His second was to plan and initiate the popular Amsterdam Study Trip. His third was to develop and introduce the Starpack Student Award-winning yr2 packaging elective module.

Ben likes to set live projects that leverage industry involvement and challenge students to think divergently and execute accurately.

Research group affiliations

Practice-Based Doctoral Training Programme
Institute of Creative Technologies (IoCT)
Leicester Media School

Publications and outputs 

The Trinity Chapel Lettering Project
Online PhD project blog, November 2017

Two Types: The Faces of Britain
Featured interview with design historian Mark Ovenden in BBC4 documentary broadcast 2017, 2018, 2019, estimated initial audience 300,000. A section of the programme was based on Archer's original research for Eric Gill Got it Wrong.

Very British Types: Johnston & Gill

Public lecture & exhibition with Mark Ovenden,
Leicester Print Workshop, 
28 February 2017

What does British typography look like?
Fonts at the Font series of public lectures, January - April 2016

Key research outputs

Eric Gill got it wrong
Designer magazine #14 p.25 2007 Blueprint Media Pty ISBN 8-885001-130145. 
Subsequently published online at
and translated into Mandarin Chinese in 2011

Letter Fountain
Editor, 2nd edition [English] Taschen, 2015

The readers respond
Emigré magazine #65 p.121 2003 
Princeton Architectural Press ISBN 1-56898-433-2

Research interests/expertise

      Visual communication
      Design futures / Design for behaviour change / Design activism
      Community media
      Graphic novels / Storyboards
      Film-making / Videography / Animation / Holography / Photography
      Typography / Typeface design / Typographic history
      Publication design
      Professional practice
      Industry networking
      International networking

Areas of teaching

TECH1501 Communication Practice

TECH2502 Communication Challenges

TECH3010 Technology Project (including dissertation supervision)

TECH3026 Creative Entrepreneurship


  • MA (Hons) Art & Design
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Membership of external committees

Review panelist, Visual Communications BA programmes, Sussex Coast College Hastings. University of Brighton, East Sussex. 2018

External examiner, Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Media Production, Lincoln University 2014 - 2018

Revalidation panel member, Business and Media Production Foundation Degree, Newman University, Birmingham. 2014

Revalidation panel member, BA (Hons) Graphic Design & BA (Hons) Illustration courses, University of Cumbria, Carlisle. 2013

Membership of professional associations and societies

      Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
      Friend of St. Bride Library, London
      Member, Graphic Design Educators’ Network
      Member, The Creative Knowledge Network


The Trinity Chapel Lettering Project

PhD project blog, November 2017

Conference attendance

Convenor, Seb Lester guest lecture 2013
‘Peace Hellfire & Tits’
BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration courses, De Montfort University. 

Cheltenham Design Festival April 2012.
Convenor, Naomi Games guest lecture 2012
‘Abram Games, Maximum Message, Minimum Means’
BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration courses, De Montfort University.
St. Bride Library one-day conferences July and November 2011.
Organiser, Adobe Roadshow Campus Day, 2010 & 2011

BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration courses, De Montfort University.

Consultancy work

Typographic consultancy, Cook Ltd. Sittingbourne UK 2016

Externally funded research grants information

Courtaulds-DMU Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) 008211;
‘Gossard & Berlei Branded Social Media’. 

TSB funded. 24-month KTP. 2011-2013. 

Delivered £16K of funding direct to school.
Generated turnover of £1M within 14 months.

Graded B+ by the TSB.

Professional esteem indicators

Archers’ Modell, 5.2.4 pp221 - 226 in Klassenlose Schrift

PhD publication by Prof. Jörg Petri, Rhine-Waal University, Cologne, Germany 2019


Case studies


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