Dr George Thomson studied graphic design at Edinburgh College of Art, including calligraphy, lettering and typography. He was awarded a PhD at Stirling University. After lecturing in lettering and typography at Glasgow School of Art for many years, he was appointed Head of Graphic Design at what is now the University of Cumbria. Although still practising as a lettering and typographic designer, including computer-aided calligraphy, much of his time is now spent on lettering research. His work on post-medieval gravemarker lettering was rewarded with an Honorary Research Fellowship from the University of Glasgow. He has written several books as well as papers on both inscriptional palaeography and other aspects of funerary culture which have appeared regularly in British and international journals. Dr Thomson is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.
Dr Thomson’s research focuses primarily on gravemarker inscriptions of the post medieval and early modern periods, although he has also make extensive studies of other aspects of funerary memorials including discoid gravemarkers and vernacular memorials. He has produced ground-breaking work with his application of multivariate statistical analysis to the study and interpretation of inscriptional forms and, most recently, has utilised geometric morphometrics (shape analysis) to analyse inscriptional lettering in an attempt to identify individual carvers of seventeenth-century grave slabs.