Page 1



O 1 #001 2012




Karel Martens Dutch graphic design legend Karel martens isn´t afraid of running out of date even though he´s been i the buisness for over 50 years.


Claude Garamond He was one of the leading type designers of the 16th century, but how do we relate to him today?


Stefan Sagmeister Master of happiness stefan sagmeister is a role model for designers all over the world. His new art project once again sets the bar for future projects.


Marian Bantjes With unorthodox methods this woman has impressed again and again. Her decorative and mathematic approach is incredible. Is it all in the details?


Paula scher Who is this wonderous woman?

















TYPO /no. #1 2o12



He maintains some distance from the main developments of our time: from both the practices of wroutinized modernism and of the facile reactions against this. His work is both personal and experimental. At the same time, it is publicly answerable.

When I make something, I always consider for whom I’m making it.

Over the now 50 years of his practice, Martens has been prolific as a designer of books. He has also made contributions in a wide range of design commissions, including stamps, coins, signs on buildings. Intimately connected with this design work has been his practice as an artist. This started with geometric and kinetic constructions, and was later developed in work with the very material of paper; more recently he has been making relief prints from found industrial artefacts. This book looks for new ways to show and discuss the work of a designer and artist, and is offered in the same spirit of experiment and dialogue that characterizes the work it presents. In his work, Karel Martens embraces both freedom and order. He finds inspiration in the limitations of the profession and turns obstacles into challenges.

OASE, a Dutch architectural journal, is an illustration of how designer can maneuver in the narrow field of graphic design production. OASE balances between book and a magazine and each new issue reinvents its forms to surprise its readers. Karel Martens gave OASE a clear direction and convincingly makes a magazine that is both modest and luxurious, making one believe that a low-budget publication is in fact a precious object to be collected. A grid became a fascinating element for Karel Martens. The most basic element in graphic design is given an active role that reflects the tone of the magazine. Karel is the founder of Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem. Martens has a famous Chinese indigo coat, the first of which he bought 25 years ago. He likes that it is lightweight and has numerous pockets. When it tears, he returns to Paris to buy a replacement. For years, Martens made monoprints on archive cards from the Stedelijk Museum with washers and other found objects. The museum now sends him its old cards whenever they become available. As a student, his daughter, Aagje — also a graphic designer — would not show her father any of her work. Now the two collaborate regularly. He often uses standard blue crates, typically used for storing mushrooms, as a modular archive for his print work. They’re stackable, fit flat A4s, and are easy to transport. His first client was Van Loghum Slaterus, a small publisher specializing in social-science texts. “For me, socialism means that you respect your public,” he says. “So when I make something, I always consider for whom I’m making it.” In 2009 an entire issue of the Korean graphic design magazine GRAPHIC was dedicated to WT, whose students have traveled to France, South Korea, and New York City to exhibit their work. In 1987, he designed a stamp celebrating Australia’s bicentennial that plays on the fact that “Australië” and “Nederland” have the same number of letters, both with an “r” in the middle. Some of his most-cherished work was selfcommissioned, like the card announcing the birth of his grandson Julian in 1995.

/karel Martens

Karel Martens works and occupies an intriguing place in the very present European art-and-design landscape. Martens can be placed in the tradition of Dutch modernism – in the line of figures like Piet Zwart, H.N. Werkman, Willem Sandberg.


/Claude Garamond 6

TYPO /no. #1 2o12

What a type . Looking at the pre-19th-century typefaces that are still in widespread use today is a little like visiting a modern re-creation of an Anglo-Saxon village. If you ignore the aircraft passing overhead you can easily imagine yourself back in the first millennium.

But however absorbed the inhabitants seem in their daily tasks, you know that at the end of the day they will take off their coarsely woven garments, slip into some Lycra, and head home, probably picking up a takeaway and video en route. However convincing it all looks, in reality it is an elaborate fake. And that's just how it is in the world of type. You may think you're working with actual letter forms drawn in the 16th century, but they're actually a 20th-century re-creation based on the originals, or what were thought to be the originals. It can get confusing.

didn't bring him much financial reward. When he died, his widow was forced to sell his punches, and his typefaces were scattered throughout Europe. Garamond the typeface gradually dropped out of sight, to disappear for nearly two centuries.

Plantin was based on a face cut by the French type designer Robert Granjon (working 1545-88); the printer Christopher Plantin himself never used the original source type. Janson, designed in 1937, is named after a Dutchman, Anton Janson, who had nothing to do with the face at all; the design was inspired by the work of the Hungarian Nicholas Kis (1650-1702). The various versions of Baskerville are all 20th-century work; the earliest one was not even based directly on Baskerville's type, but on what came to be known later as Fry's Baskerville, a piece of 18thcentury intellectual piracy. In 1924 George Jones designed a face for the Linotype company which he called Granjon, but the design he used as inspiration turned out to be the work of Robert Granjon's fellow countryman and contemporary Claude Garamond (c. 1500-61). And the typefaces that bear Garamond's name — well, as the saying goes, fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Garamond had long been regarded as one of the type designers par excellence of the century that followed Gutenberg's invention of movable type. Using Aldus Manutius's roman type as his inspiration, Garamond had cut his first letters for a 1530 edition of Erasmus. It was so well regarded that the French king Francois I commissioned Garamond to design an exclusive face, the Grecs du Roi. Although Garamond's typefaces were very popular during his lifetime and much copied, as for many of the early type designers, the work

However convincing it all looks, in reality it is an elaborate fake

In the 19th century the French National Printing Office, looking for a typeface to call its own, took a liking to the one that had been used by the 17th-century Royal Printing Office, operating under the supervision of Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu called his type the Caractères de l'Université, and used it to print, among other things, his own written works. The 19th-century office pronounced the face to be the work of Claude Garamond, and the Garamond revival began. But it was only after the First World War that the bandwagon really picked up momentum. Suddenly every type foundry started producing its own version of Garamond. American Type Founders (ATF) were first, and then in 1921 Frederic Goudy offered his interpretation, Garamont. Monotype in England brought out theirs in 1924, and Linotype replied with Granjon. There were yet more versions on the market by the onset of the Second World War, most notably Stempel Garamond by the German foundry of that name. Back at ATF, the company that had started the rush, Henry Lewis Bullen, librarian of the company's formidable archive, had nagging doubts about his company's product. One day, as recalled by his assistant Paul Beaujon, he declared: "You know, this is definitely not a sixteenth century type … I have never found a sixteenth century book which contains this face. Anyone who discovers where this thing comes from will make a great reputation." Beaujon wrote an article about the Garamond faces for The Fleuron, an English typographical journal. The pages had been proofed and the presses were ready to roll when Beaujon, visiting the North Library of the British Museum to check some dates, happened to glance at one of the items in the Bagford

Collection of title pages. And there was the source type for all the 20th-century Garamonds. Except that this typeface wasn't by Garamond at all. It was the work of another Frenchman, Jean Jannon (1580-1658), a 17th-century printer and punch-cutter. As a printer he was unremarkable, but as a designer and punch-cutter he was unparalleled, cutting the smallest type ever seen, an italic and roman of a size less than what would now be 5pt. Frequently in trouble with the authorities for his Protestant beliefs, Jannon had eventually found work at the Calvinist Academy at Sedan, in northern France. Cardinal Richelieu's early years of office under Louis XIII were spent in a power struggle with the Huguenots, the French Protestants. An effective way of hastening their eventual submission was to remove their means of spreading information, and the government paid the academy a visit. Among the items confiscated in the raid was Jannon's type. Although Richelieu took exception to Jannon's religious affiliations, however, he liked his typography so much that his face is the house style for the Royal Printing Office. Following a swift trip to the Mazarine Library in Paris to compare impressions with their Jannon specimen book, Beaujon's original feature was pulled in favor of a new one revealing the true source of the "Garamond" faces. It was hailed as a masterly piece of research, and the Monotype Corporation of England offered him the job of editing their in-house magazines. But the twist was that Beaujon, like the Garamond typefaces, was not at all what he appeared to be.

The Garamond “g� has a perfectly balanced wriggle and twist, affected by the tension produced by the fact that the lower bowl (the descending loop) is set at an angle to the upper. The slightly exaggerated link suggests that a heavier top half has weighed down the bottom and for a moment squashed it outwards just a little. The thicks and thins of all the strokes make the character move within its figure-of-eight contortion, and yet sit still and harmoniously on the baseline with all the other letters.


a Graphic way of mind 21c Museum now announce the presentation of Stefan Sagmeister’s Everybody Always Thinks They Are Right, the most ambitious public art project by this internationally renowned artist and graphic designer.

remain on view through the month of September, and will be an official event of the 2008 Idea Festival; the monkeys will truly express the theme of the festival: the exchange of ideas.

Six scowling, 30-foot white monkeys, posed in different positions occupy a stretch of Main and Seventh Streets in Louisville, each of them holding a banner with text that corresponds to a word in the title. Visitors can wander through and around the installation and interact with the monkeys, as they ponder the thought-provoking title of the project.

This project is one of series inspired by the artist’s personal list of guiding principles, which are now the subject of his best-selling book,Things I Have Learned in My Life, So Far. Each of Sagmeister’s life lessons has been illustrated in a variety of formats using materials ranging from food and foliage to photography and video to animals and the artist’s own body. Readers and viewers are encouraged to share what they’ve learned in their own lives through the artist’s website.

Everybody Always Thinks They Are Right was originally commissioned for the 2006 Six Cities Design Festival in Scotland, where the monkeys were installed in six different urban venues. The Louisville installation is the first time all six have been shown together; their presentation is the artist’s largest-scale public, outdoor project shown in the US. The installation will


TYPO /no. #1 2o12

Sagmeister’s work spans a wide range of media, from sculpture and graphic design to photography and video to public installations and performance art. His interdisciplinary practice references many of the major art movements

/Stefan Sagmeister

of the last forty years, from text-based conceptual art, to site-specific public interventions, to body-based performance art. An artist of the 21st century, Sagmeister dissolves boundaries between genres and between the public and private realms. Stefan Sagmeister has won every major design award, including a Grammy for his design for a Talking Heads‘ boxed CD set. His work has appeared in publications all over the world, as well as on billboards and buildings, and in installations, videos, and photographs that have been featured in museums, galleries, and in other commercial and public sites in the US, Europe, and Asia. Born and raised in Austria, Sagmeister earned his graduate degree in design as a Fulbright fellow at the Pratt Institute in the Brooklyn, NY. He teaches in the graduate department of design at New York’s School of Visual Arts.

It is very important to embrace failure.


/MariaN Bantjes

D e t a i l s

“ 10

TYPO /no. #1 2o12

i´ve drawn for as long i can remember

Vanity & sanity Nobody would describe Canadian illustrator-designer Marian Bantjes as an overnight success, but her career trajectory over the past five or so years has been positively meteoric compared to her first twenty years of professional practice. Bantjes has achieved international prominence as an individual with a recognisable personal signature that shines through all her work, from intensely commercial work for brands anxious to capture the decorative Zeitgeist, to equally intense personal gestures; from collaborations (with Stefan Sagmeister, Pentagram and other celebrated designers) to commissions for magazine and time-consuming pro bono projects. Marian Bantjes was born in 1963, and grew up in Saskatchewan. She dropped out of art school after a year and in 1983 ‘fell in’ to a job with book publisher Hartley & Marks, where she did general jobs and helped with paste-up at its typesetting sibling, TypeWorks. An aptitude for computer typesetting (on XyWrite) slowly developed into an understanding of typography and design. In 1994, she co-founded Digitopolis in Vancouver, and the design practice grew quickly, producing mainly print-based work. But after eight or so years of this, Bantjes dropped out once more. Her partner bought her out, while retaining her on contract for a further year. In July 2003, Bantjes struck out on her own, moving to an isolated property on Bowen Island, in Howe Sound off Vancouver. Such a radical change of practice and lifestyle had a cost: after surviving for a year on savings Bantjes was obliged to take out a loan. She sent out posters to editors, writers, designers, potential clients, collaborators and cheerleaders, and spent time on the Speak Up blog (, where she was made an Author in November 2003. Eventually, the first paid commissions trickled in. She describes her self-promotional Poster #1 as the turning point, both aesthetically, because it encapsulated the direction she wanted to go in, and in terms of recognition: it caught the attention of designers and art directors. Since that time she has made work for clients such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Wired, The New York Times, Wallpaper*, Seed, FontShop, Houghton-Mifflin, Knopf Books, Young & Rubicam/ Chicago, and in collaboration with designers and art directors such as Sagmeister Inc, Michael Bierut/Pentagram, Winterhouse, Bruce Mau Design and Rick Valicenti. She has also designed a typeface, Restraint, which won a Type Directors’ Club award in 2008, and not-for-profit projects including posters for the educational charity Design Ignites Change. You can read ‘Surface to space’, her feature article about origami, in Eye no. 67 vol. 17. She is currently taking a year away from commissioned work to complete a book of illuminated essays for Thames & Hudson. Several of her pieces are part of the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian), New York, and she became a member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique

Internationale) in September 2008.

What’s your earliest graphic memory? I can remember scribbling on walls … probably when I was two or three. I remember a book with little drawings in the margins, one of which was of some beetles (and this is how I imagined The Beatles, as a band of beetles like the drawings in the book). When my mother died, I reclaimed a package of old drawings and writings, and was overjoyed to see them again. When did you first start to make stuff, and when did it occur to you that you could do it as a grown-up? I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember, and written as long as I could write. My mother was very good at encouraging us to be creative – her favourite thing to do with kids was provide a big roll of paper and some pens/crayons/paints/whatever. We also made a lot of things: out of papier mache, clay, toothpicks and my favourite; cardboard boxes. Mum really frowned on anything that was a kit or had a prescribed outcome. I went to art school for a year before dropping out. I did for a while think I could be a ‘commercial artist’ (I’d never heard of a ‘graphic designer’) though my concept of what that was, was vague – except that it involved earning a living, and was less prestigious. At some point I gave up on this idea of being an Artist. Then I fell into typesetting and my path was laid. How did you learn about typography? At the publisher Hartley & Marks, I helped out with paste-up and they trained me on XyWrite, a word-processing program that was a lot like HTML. I learned typesetting as a set of rules. First I was recreating a pencil-drawn, marked-up layout from the designer, so what I made had to be what was specified; then there were basic rules about typography (how you treat small caps, how you kern, etc.). Then I learned about margins and gutters and balancing pages and avoiding widows and orphans … My job was to get it right, and I enjoyed this immensely. This is rare now. Most designers leave the ‘tedious details’ to juniors. If my career falls apart, I would love to work as a typesetter again for some really good designer. It’s very satisfying. When I taught introductory typography, this is how I taught: right and wrong. But I was largely clueless about design, designers, history, theory, all of that. Then in 2004 I was asked to teach a class in typography. I felt it was important to teach it from a historical perspective. I had two weeks to prepare, so I was learning and preparing my notes all at the same time, trying to stay ahead. And some of it I did know. I’d heard these names, I had some sense of the age of various typefaces, but it had been like having half a puzzle, and all the other pieces just fell into place.

11 11



TYPO /no. #1 2o12

For more than three decades Paula Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design. Iconic, smart and unabashedly populist, her images have entered into the American vernacular. Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early '80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity for The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have re-imagined the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of dimensional graphic design. Her graphic identities for Citibank and Tiffany & Co. have become case studies for the contemporary regeneration of classic American brands. Scher has developed identities, packaging for a broad range of clients that includes, among others, The New York Times Magazine, Perry Ellis, Bloomberg, Target, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New 42nd Street, the New York Botanical Garden, and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. In 1996 Scher's widely imitated identity for the Public Theater won the coveted Beacon Award for integrated corporate design strategy. She serves on the board of The Public Theater, and is a frequent design contributor to The New York Times, GQ and other publications. In 1998 Scher was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and in 2000 she received the prestigious Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. She has served on the national board of AIGA and was president of its New York chapter from 1998 to 2000. In 2001 she received the profession's highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of her distinguished achievements and contributions to the field. She is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich; the Denver Art Museum; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She has lectured and exhibited all over the world, and her teaching career includes over two decades at the School of Visual Arts, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art. She has authored numerous articles on design-related subjects for the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, PRINT, Graphis and other publications, and in 2002 Princeton Architectural Press published her career monograph Make It Bigger.

/paula scher


It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds.

TYPO /no. #1 2o12



Next issue


20 13




Typo Magazine