Peter Bella, Scholarly Endeavor


As a communication design scholar, I find motivation in Robin Landa, Distinguished Professor in the Robert Busch School of Design at Kean University, who shared: “If you’ve done well it’s your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down.” Landa, a recipient of numerous awards and honors, is an advocate committed to communication design and its instruction. I embody these ideals with my emphasis on theoretical typography, also known as speculative typography, by examining assumptions regarding dimensionality in typography. Through my research and creative endeavor, I question established conventions in a historical, technological, social, and cultural context suggesting future opportunities for emergent practices within communication design and the application of typography. My aspirations with my research is to expose audiences to new ideas and perspectives within typography; in doing so I have crafted an important niche for myself. This pedagogy and exploration has permitted me to integrate and intertwine these unique experiences and perspectives into my classroom instruction.


Typology, most commonly found in archaeology, is the classification of things according to their physical characteristics. This designation of typology is not unlike the rationalization of traditional classifications in design throughout history. Design suggests a universal synthesis connecting technology, socioeconomics, politics, culture, and directive to the design and application of typography in visual communication throughout history. These characteristics and ideologies have outlasted their associated influences enabling continually renewal and change with this synthesis in mind. As designers and practitioners continue to work in the midst of these challenges they often discount that design and application are highly interrelated by these influences of art and humanity. Through this inquiry of typology and design an examination of form and symbolism throughout the twentieth century initiates a discourse concerning the voice of design and typography for the twenty-first century.

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