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Herb Lubalin, diseñador gráfico y tipógrafo norteamericano. Nació en Nueva York en 1918 y falleció en 1981. Herb Lubalin estudió en la Cooper Union School y muy pronto comenzó a trabajar como director creativo e diversas agencias para crear en 1964 su propio estudio. Fue uno de los fundadores de ITC, International Typeface Corporation de cuya revista Upper and Lower Case, U&lc, fue director artístico. Lubalin, uno de los innovadores tipógrafos americanos, rechazó la filosofía funcionalista de los europeos en favor de un estilo ecléctico y exuberante. Su manipulación del tipo reflejaba un deseo de romper con la tradición y explotar las posibilidades tipográficas de los nuevos sistemas de fotocomposición. Sus trabajos comprenden packaging, diseño editorial, creación de alfabetos y publicidad. Como diseñador editorial fue responsable del Saturday Evening Post, Eros, Avant Garde y la citada U&lc. Para Avant Garde, Lubalin creó su conocida tipografía del mismo nombre comercializada por ITC desde 1970 para la que también creó con Toni DiSpigna la Serif Gothic. ITC fue fundada por Lubalin, Aaron Burns y Edward Rondthaler con el objetivo de rediseñar tipos clásicos para fotocomposición y crear otros nuevos que tuvieran en cuenta las formidables posibilidades del nuevo medio. La influencia de ITC en el diseño gráfico mundial se vio favorecida por la extraordinaria difusión de su boletín U&lc notablemente influido por las ideas tipográficas de Lubalin y otros creadores como Ed Benguiat. Lubalin se había iniciado en la publicidad lo que explica su capacidad para conectar con gustos mayoritarios y a la moda. De los años sesenta es su conocida propuesta para Mother & Child, en la que era patente su habitual utilización de juegos formales de

naturaleza trivial y, en ocasiones, escasamente original, pero que, gracias a su enorme dominio de las formas escritas, adquiría una exuberancia y vitalidad enormes. Lubalin es, en este sentido, el más decidido representante de una corriente en favor de los retruécanos visuales y la ironía visual. «El altísimo valor artístico de las obras de Herb Lubalin se reconocerá todavía durante muchos años en el futuro… probablemente ha sido el mejor diseñador gráfico de todos los tiempos». Estas palabras pertenecen al elogio póstumo pronunciado en 1981 por Lou Dorfsman (destacado diseñador gráfico estadounidense) con motivo del fallecimiento de este gran maestro Ttipografico. A menudo, semejantes elogios son retóricos, pero en este caso el texto responde ciertamente a la verdad: en efecto, durante más de cuarenta años, Herb Lubalin contribuyó a impulsar los sectores en los que trabajó, demostrando muchas veces ser un genial innovador; por otra parte, sus trabajos han sido expuestos en los museos de todo el mundo, desde Tokio a París, de Barcelona a Sao Paulo, de Estocolmo a Frankfurt. Su primera pasión fue la tipografía.


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Lubalin designed the typeface Avant Garde for the last of these magazines. The font was not originally designed as a commercial typeface – it was simply the logo for a magazine. Lubalin’s letterforms with tight-fitting combinations reflected Ginzburg’s desire to capture “the advanced, the innovative, the creative.” The character fit was so perfectly tight that they created a futuristic, instantly recognizable identity for the publication. Later he and Tom Carnase, a partner in Lubalin’s design firm, worked together to transform the idea into a full-fledged typeface. “I asked him to picture a very modern, clean European airport (or the TWA terminal), with signs in stark black and white,” Ginzburg’s wife and collaborator, Shoshana recalled, “Then I told him to imagine a jet taking off the runway into the future. I used my hand to describe an upward diagonal of the plane climbing skyward. He had me do that several times. I explained that the logos he had offered us for this project, so far, could have been on any magazine but that Avant Garde (adventuring into unknown territory) by its very name was something nobody had seen before. We needed something singular and entirely new.” According to Ralph Ginzberg, “The next morning, driving to work from his home in Woodmere he pulled over to the side of the road and phoned me (the first time he ever did that). ‘Ralph, I’ve got it. You’ll see.’ And the rest is design history.”Given the high volume of requests for the font, Lubalin formed Lubalin, Burns & Co. (which later became the International Typeface Corporation) and released ITC Avant Garde in 1970. Unfortunately, Lubalin quickly realized that Avant Garde was widely misunderstood and misused in poorly thought-out solutions,


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eventually becoming a stereotypical 1970s font due to overuse.Tony DiSpigna, one of Lubalin’s partners and co-creator of ITC Lubalin Graph and ITC Serif Gothic, has been quoted as saying, “The first time Avant Garde was used was one of the few times it was used correctly. It’s become the most abused typeface in the world.” Ed Benguiat, one of type’s legends and a friend of Lubalin’s, commented, “The only place Avant Garde looks good is in the words Avant Garde. Everybody ruins it. They lean the letters the wrong way.” Steven Heller also noted that the “excessive number of ligatures […] were misused by designers who had no understanding of how to employ these typographic forms,” further commenting that “Avant Garde was Lubalin’s signature, and in his hands it had character; in others’ it was a flawed Futura-esque face.” The strength of the Avant Garde font is certainly in its all-cap ligatures and it should be used as it was originally intended – a display face whose ligatures can be carefully crafted into magnificent letterform combinations. There were two original designs of ITC Avant Gardew Gothic: one for setting headlines and one for text copy. The display design contained ligatures and alternate characters and the text design did not. Unfortunately, when Avant Garde Gothic was turned into a digital font, only the text design was chosen, and the ligatures and alternate characters were not included leaving designers with the least interesting aspect of the font. OpenType technology has allowed ITC to release a complete version of Avant Garde Gothic, offering the full breadth of Lubalin and Carnase’s design. Released in 2005, Avant Garde Gothic Pro includes a suite of additional cap and lowercase alternates, new ligatures that were drawn just for this release, and a collection of biform characters (lowercase letters with cap proportions). It seems that there are still, however, lost ligatures out there and that the current execution is still lacking the finesse it deserves. Read more about The Lost Ligatures of Avant Garde and check out these scans of vintage Letraset dry transfer lettering sheets. I will undoubtedly always have a soft spot in my

heart for Avant Garde magazine as, over the years, I’ve slowly collected each and every issue. I still have a fascination with the font and can’t swear off experimenting with it entirely, but experience has shown that it truly does only work in carefully crafted combinations that balance the tight requirements of the letterspacing with legibility. It is something best left for a master like Herb Lubalin. Possibly a little insight on the history of the typeface will help others to be successful in designing with it. As G.I. Procede del francés Av ant-Ga rd e / v ̃ g d/, un término del léxico militar que designa a la parte
más adelantada del ejército, la que confrontará
antes con el enemigo. Se utilizó posteriormente para denominar, en el terreno artístico las vanguardias históricas, una serie de movimientos artísticos de principios del siglo XX


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-Contiene formas muy geométricas formada a base de círculos y líneas rectas. -Es de lectura clara y tiene una gran flexibilidad formal. Es de fuerte atracción visual.
 -Posee una altura de la “x” bastante considerable,dándole una apariencia sólida, fuerte y moderna. -Funciona muy bien a puntajes altos y permite muchos juegos tipográficos.


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ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Extra Light

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Medium Oblique

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Extra Light Oblique

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Demi Bold

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Book

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Demi Bold Oblique

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Book Oblique

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Pro Bold

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Medium

ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Std Bold Oblique


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“This is a bicameral stick-and-ball sanserif with very large x-height.”
 Robert Bringhurst “The world’s most abused typeface.”
 Tony DiSpigna, a partner of Lubalin

FADE NT SS OO THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG

“A collection of such extreme shapes causes fatigue at text sizes and cannot help but draw attention to itself, which is arguably the greatest sin a typeface can commit.”
 Alix W. White “For use in extensive text the font’s rigid, uniform strokes will create eye problems right away. Additionally, the perfect circles in the round characters begin to form light spots or ‘holes’ in the text that disturb the calm texture of columns of type.”
 “Fred,” at above source “The only place Avant Garde looks good is in the words Avant Garde.”
 Ed Benguiat “The first time Avant Garde was used was one of the few times it was used correctly.


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It’s become the most abused typeface in the world.” Ed Benguiat, one of type’s legends and a friend of Lubalin’s, commented, “The only place Avant Garde looks good is in the words Avant Garde. Everybody ruins it. They lean the letters the wrong way.” Tony DiSpigna “As the saying goes, type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters.” Matthew Carter “Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing. No argument or consideration can absolve typography from this duty.” Emil Ruder “Faces of type are like men’s faces. They have their own expression; their complexion and peculiar twists and turns of line identify them immediately to friends, to whom each is full of identity.” J.L. Frazier “Typographical design should perform optically what the speaker creates through voice and gesture of his thoughts.” El Lizzitsky


Tipografía basada en el logo que Herb Lubalin diseñó para la revista Avant Garde Magazine en 1967, y que sería rediseñada en 1970 por el genial tipógrafo junto con Tom Carnase, añadiéndole los caracteres de caja baja. Se trata de una tipografía geométrica, formada a base de círculos y líneas rectas y que fue inspirada en la Futura de Paul Renner y en el movimiento alemán de la Bauhaus de los años 20. Posee una altura de la “x” bastante considerable, dándole una apariencia sólida, fuerte y moderna. Lubalin diseñó para este tipo un extenso juego de ligaduras, muchas de ellas únicas, que la ayudaron a elevarse hasta la cima de las tipografías de los años 70.

avantgarde  

magazine about avantgarde typeface

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