Dr Manny Ling

Dr. Manny Ling headshot
School: School of Communication & Design
Department: Design Studies
Position: Senior Lecturer, Senior Programme Manager
Location: RMIT Saigon South
Email: manny.ling@rmit.edu.vn
Phone: +84774794661 
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-3374-8632

Dr Manny Ling is the Senior Program Manager for Design Studies at the Saigon South and Hanoi campuses. He is a professional designer where he specialises in typography, book design and calligraphy. He completed his PhD research in 2008 with emphasis on the integration of East Asian and Western cultural influences upon Western calligraphy. He is also interested in the impact of digital media and design upon this traditional art form.

  • PhD Calligraphy Across Boundaries, University of Sunderland
  • MA in Communication Design, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BA (Hons) Design, University of Staffordshire

Design Studies, Graphic communication, Typography, Calligraphy & Lettering, Cross-cultural and Cross-discipline practices.

Dr Manny Ling’s research interests lie in cross-cultural design practices where he uses calligraphy as a form of graphic communication that bridges the boundaries between cultures, traditions, tools and processes.

Since 2000, he was the Director of the International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) at the University of Sunderland and has gained an international reputation for the range of research activities and outcomes such as curating of symposia, exhibitions, and publications.

Being a Chinese person educated as an artist and designer in the West has had a profound influence on his life. He is fascinated by the theme of ‘contrasts and contradictions’ and ‘crossing boundaries’ in his work: The Handmade and Digital, East and West, Old and New, Energy and Stillness, Simplicity and Complexity, and Control and Spontaneity.

Dr Ling is currently developing calligraphic research in exploring the roles of texts, documents and materiality in Vietnamese history and culture.

International Symposia

Nov 2017. Director, curator, keynote speaker and masterclass tutor for International Calligraphy Symposium, Writing 2017, A sense of the Brush, in Kyoto, Japan.

July 2015. Director and curator for International Calligraphy Symposium, Writing 2015, The Words and Contexts, in Bruges, Belgium.

July 2013. Director and Curator for International Calligraphy Symposium, Writing 2013, Words in Context, at Durham University, England.

Designing and curating of major publications

Jan 2021. Designer and co-curator of publication, Songs of Time & Place’, GAIA project, UK (ISBN 978-0-9932192-9-0).

Sept 2015. Designer and Co-curator of publication, Ghost of the Restless Shore, (ISBN978-1-906832-26-1), Atkinson Gallery, Southport, England, UK.

2015. Commissioned designer for exhibition and publication, Wordsworth, War & Waterloo, (ISBN 978-1905256471). The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, England.

Design Editorships

2017 to Present. Designer and design editor for The Scribe Journal of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, (ISSN 0265-6221).

2000 to June 2018. Designer and design editor of EDGE, the international journal of calligraphy for the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society’, (ISSN 1358-6688).

Conferences and Papers

May 2021, Research paper ‘The influence of historical scripts on contemporary calligraphy and type design’, Open Information Science Published by De Gruyter.

Nov 2019, Consultant and participating artist for a conference and an on-line exhibition, ‘The Future of Writing’, University of Newcastle, England.

Oct 2019. Invited Keynote Speaker and Paper for the Looks on Palaeography and Manuscript culture conference at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain. Paper published in the peer reviewed Open Information Science journal.

Nov 2015. Invited Keynote Speaker and participating designer/artist, Rethinking Digital Futures, NEoN Conference in University of Dundee, Scotland.


April 2018. Solo exhibition Crossing Boundaries at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Work held in the special permanent collection and also designed the exhibition catalogue (ISBN 978-988-78037-2-0)

Dec 2016. Solo exhibition, Drawing as Writing, The Design Centre Gallery, University of Sunderland, England, UK.

Sept 2016. Group exhibition, Basho and Wordsworth, at the Kakimori Bunko Museum, Itami, Japan. With publication (ISBN)

Sept 2016. Group exhibition, Calligraphy, Kurashiki, Japan

Sept 2014. Participating artist in group exhibition, Designer and Co-curator for exhibition and publication, Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets (ISBN 978-1-906832-20-9) at The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, England, UK

Feb 2014. Group exhibition, My Word (ISBN) International Calligraphy Exhibition, Askøy, Norway

2013. Participating artist in group exhibition and Designer of the publication Their Colours and Their Forms (ISBN 96378-19068320) at the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, England, UK.

1998 to 2021. University of Sunderland, UK. Various research funding and grants for research projects (funding ranging from £5,000 to £70,000K)

2013. Daiwa Anglo Japan Foundation Award

Director of Studies and supervisors for ten completed PhDs at the University of Sunderland (2014-2021)

2020. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

2020. Awarded Nominee for the Best Doctoral Research Supervisor, University of Sunderland, UK

2013. Student-led Teaching Award—Most Inspirational Tutor, University of Sunderland, UK

2011. Honorary Fellow Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society, (HFCLAS)

2011. Honorary Full membership of The Typographic Circle, UK

2011. Elected member of Letter Exchange, UK


1990 to Present. Freelance designer specialising in typography, book & editorial design, branding, calligraphy and commercial lettering

External Examiner

2017 – 2022. Dalian University, China (Southampton University), BA (Hons) Graphic Arts

2016 – 2019. Loughborough University, MA in 2D and 3D Visualisation, MA in Art and Design (Studio Practice)

2015 – 2017. Edinburgh University, Summer School Programme

2009 – 2013. Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, BDes in Digital Design, BDes in Graphic Design, BA (Hons) in Visual Communication


1990 to present. Design consultant for various companies and projects

2019 to present. Research & Education Consultant for Shaoxing University, China


2021 – Present. Senior Lecturer and Senior Program Manager for Design Studies, RMIT University, Vietnam

1998 – 2021. Senior Lecturer in Design, Program Leader MA Design and BA (Hons) Graphic Design at The University of Sunderland, UK

1996 – 1998. Lecturer, BA (Hons) Graphic Design at The Nottingham Trent University, UK

1996 – 1997. Visiting Lecturer, National Diploma in Typographic Design at The London College of Printing, London, UK

1995 – 1996. Visiting Lecturer, National Diploma in Graphic Design, Basingstoke College, Basingstoke, UK

1993 – 1996. Visiting Lecturer BA (Hons) Graphic Design, The Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

1993 – 1996. Lecturer, National Diploma in Typographic Design, London College of Printing, London, UK

1990 – 1992. Letraset UK Ltd., Digital Typeface Designer, London, UK


Since 1990. Freelance Designer, consultant, calligrapher & lettering artist