Typography: late 20th century.
Table of Contents 1970s
19 80 s
This book was created by Helen Stigge and Feipu Song. It was published November 2015. It is set in Helvetica Neue, a 1983 reworking of the original 1957 font designed by Max Meidinger. Helvetica is a realist san-serif typeface.
I LY LB AS ED FO
LT O SI
DE BA R DE SEL SI GN SCH OO
TH MU E R NC ISE AI OF TI ON DIG PO I TA ST LC SC OM R IP AD T OB E
LR AN NE D VI LL E BR O
1960s: the world in a grid system
1961 Construction begins on the Berlin Wall, dividing East and West Berlin
1966 The Beatles play their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco
1967 The United Kingdom decriminalizes homosexuality
1962 Andy Warholâ€™s first solo exhibition was displayed in New York
1965 The Shalom Meir Tower, the first skyscraper in Israel, is built in Tel Aviv
1968 Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the second successful human heart transplant, in South Africa, on Philip Blaiberg, who survives for nineteen months
1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas
1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin
1969 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon
swiss and their love for sans serifs
I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU.
Helvetica Helvetica is a font of such practicality and, its adherents would suggest, such beauty that it is both ubiquitous and something of a cult. The typeface even inspired a compelling and successful movie (Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica), whose premise is that on the streets of the world, the font is like oxygen. You have little choice but to breathe it in. Helvetica began life in 1957 as Neue Haas Grotesk, a comprehensive modernization of Akzidenz Grotesk from 1898. It was conceived by Eduard Hoffmann and executed by Max Miedinger for the Haas foundry in Munchenstein, near Basel, and renamed Helvetica (an amended form of Helvetia, the Latin name for Switzerland) in 1960. It was licensed to other, larger, foundries, Stempel of Frankfurt and then Mergenthaler Linotype, and from the mid1960s it began to gain a reputation
overseas, particularly among the design executives on Madison Avenue. The range of weights was restricted initially to light and medium, but when italic, bold and others were added, the face we recognize today began to colonize the world. Lars Muller, a Norwegian designer who wrote a book about the font, has called Helvetica ‘the perfume of the city, while Massimo Vignelli, who first advocated its use on the New York Subway in the 1960s (more than twenty years before it happened), believed its versatility enables the user to say I Love You in a variety of ways, ‘with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy…with the Extra Bold if it’s really intensive and passionate’. And its appeal is global.
“Giselle, Basler Freilichtspiele,” photolithograph, 1959.
“Das Holz als Bau Stoff” linocut, 1952.
Hofmann was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1920. After studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich, he worked as a lithographer in Basel and Bern, and opened a studio in Basel. In 1947, he began teaching at the Basel School of Arts and Crafts after meeting Emil Ruder on a train and learning that the school was looking for a teacher. Hofmann would remain there for 40 years. In 1968, he initiated the advanced class for graphic design, and in 1973 he became head of the graphic design department. He first taught in the United States at Philadelphia College of Art in 1955, and shortly after began teaching at Yale University, where he played a key role until his resignation in 1991. In 1965, he published Graphic Design Manual, a distillation of the essential principles of his rational
approach to teaching design. Nearly half a century later, the revised edition of this pedagogical classic is still in print. Hofmann saw his designs, in part, as didactic demonstrations of these principles. The posters he created in the late 1950s and 1960s for cultural clients such as the Kunsthalle Basel and the Stadttheater Basel possess great typographic and photographic purity of form. In Hofmann’s 1959 poster for the ballet Giselle, the stark white typographic tower of the title—note the intermediary dot of the “i”—holds the blurring halftone of the dancer’s pirouette in a state of dynamic balance and grace. A promotional poster for Herman Miller titled “Furniture of our Times” becomes a visual meditation on shapes for sitting on, visualized as a collection of near-abstract silhouettes.
During his 40-year career Bass worked for some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, and Martin Scorsese. He became well-known in the film industry after creating the title sequence for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm in 1955. For Alfred Hitchcock, Bass designed effective and memorable title sequences, inventing a new type of kinetic typography, for North by Northwest, Vertigo (working with John Whitney), and Psycho.
Bass also designed some of the most iconic corporate logos in North America, including the original AT&T “bell” logo in 1969, as well as their later “globe” logo in 1983. He also designed Continental Airlines’ 1968 “jetstream” logo and United Airlines’ 1974 “tulip” logo which have become some of the most recognized logos of the era.
Film Symbol: The Man with the Golden Arm, 1956. From Top Left to Bottom Right: Logo: United Way, 1972. Symbol: Celanese Symbol Sculpture, 1965. Logo: Minolta, 1980. Package: Dixie Cups, 1969. Logo: Girl Scouts, 1978. Package: Wesson Oil, 1964. Logo: Quaker Oats, 1969. Ohio Blue Tip Matches, 1963. Logo: Dixie, 1969.
ROAD SIGNS AND AKZIDENZ GROTESK: At the time when Switzerland was giving birth to Helvetica and Univers, and Englishman called Jock Kinneir and a South African woman, Margaret Calvert, were creating a parallel revolution in Britain. If you do any driving in Europe, in Britain or Ireland, Spain or Portugal, Denmark or Iceland, you will be entirely familiar with their work. For it is their lettering, Transport, that is used on almost all of these countries’ motorway signs. It appears, too, in places as far afield as China and Egypt and Dubai, for signs with English translations. And Kinneir and Calvert did something else important: they established that it is a lot easier to read lower case letters than capitals when travelling at speed. Calvert fell into her career by accident. She was at Chelsea School of Art, not quite deciding between painting and illustration, when a visiting lecturer noticed her diligence. This was Jock Kinneir, a well-regarded designer who had just set up his own business. Impressed with Calvert’s work as a student, in 1957 Kinneir asked her to help him with a larger project with similar themes: the signs at the new Gatwick Airport. In his initial report, Kinneir list a few typefaces that might work, among them Gill Sans. But none proved ideal, so he started from scratch, much influenced by Edward Johnson’s letters for the London Underground. Calvert remembers the end result as ‘a rather inelegant but nevertheless very clear’ hybrid between Johnson and Monotype Grotesque 216. In 1957, Anderson was appointed chairman of the committee to advise on motorway road signs. The first stages of what was to become the M1, between London and Yorkshire, was under construction, and there was a lot of new information to display at speed. Anderson’s committee appointed Kinneir as their design consultant.
They look at other possibilities, not least another German face called Akzidenz Grotesk, an early sans serif from the end of the nineteenth century. One contemporary designer as described Akzidenz as being ‘both approachable and aggressive at the same time,’ which may be just the qualities one demands of a sign: the clear type reads well from a distance but its thin, consistent and rather monotone letters don’t detain the imagination long. In Britain and America, Akzidenz Grotesk was usually called Standard, a suitable name for something with such little personality. It was to become a key inspiration for both Univers and Helvetica, but its main use in the first half of the twentieth century was for trade catalogues and price lists. It is one of the most significant faces without the name of a recognized designer attached, seemingly being designed by committee at the Berthold foundry, before being modernized and enlarged in the 1950s by Gunter Gerhard Lange. The letterforms were specifically designed to enable drivers to read place names as swiftly as possible, and the duo had found a simple truth: word recognition was easier and faster when upper and lower case combined.
Poster for the Printing Firm Cliches-Offset Schwitter AG, 1964.
( 1 9 2 0 – 19 96 )
Born in Basel in 1930, Gerstner did a foundation year at the Basel School of Arts and Crafts, and was then apprenticed to the studio of the advertising designer Fritz Bühler. There his supervisor was Max Schmid, who went on to head design at the pharmaceutical giant, Geigy, where the new Swiss graphic design developed as a house style. Chance and enterprise gave Gerstner the finest teachers and the most inspiring and fruitful connections. He wasted none of them. He visited Cassandre in Paris and came to know Tschichold in Basel. He joined Hans Finsler’s photography course in Zurich. As the youngest member of the Swiss Werkbund design association, he met Max Bill and Alfred Roth, the veteran architect who edited the monthly Werk. Pressed by Gerstner to report more on Swiss graphic design, Roth gave the 25-year-old a whole issue of the magazine to edit and design. That November 1955 issue was a turning point. Swiss graphic design was presented, for the first time, as a logical development of Modernism. His design of Werk was radical, too. Gerstner used a complex grid to accommodate the varying proportions of the work reproduced and he ranged the text left, unjustified, – a novelty attacked by some of the pioneers. The founding fathers of graphic design admired by Gerstner were all painters, more artists than designers.
And he, too, has had a continuous career as an artist. His first book, published in 1957, was a survey of the school of concrete-constructive abstract painting to which he belongs. The small, square Kalte Kunst? [Cold Art?], as it was titled, included his guiding lights, Max Bill and Richard Paul Lohse. Bill was probably the earliest to devise controlling grids for organising text and pictures; Lohse had devised one for the monthly Bauen+Wohnen in the 1940s. As an element of their typographic grids as well as their paintings, both Bill and Lohse used the square. The square generated the grid he devised in 1957 for Markus Kutter’s experimental novel, Schiff nach Europa [Ship to Europe]. It is an exercise in styles: conventional narrative; play script; conversation that becomes loud argument; newspaper journalism, etc. Gerstner’s typographic language varies dramatically, but is disciplined by the grid – rigorously imposed, but flexible in use – and the restriction to only grotesque fonts. In this example of ‘integral typography’, the type makes the image.
HERB LUBALIN Coming to terms with Herb Lubalin’s work takes you quickly to the heart of a very big subject: the theory of meaning and how meaning is communicated—how an idea is moved, full and resonant, from one mind to another. Not many have been able to do that better than Lubalin.
of Art Directors, he has also been a publication designer of great originality and distinction. He designed startling Eros in the early 60s, intellectually and visually astringent Fact in the mid-60s, lush and luscious Avant Garde late in the same decade, and founded U & lc in 1973 and saw it flourish into the 80s.
Typography is the key. It is where you start with Lubalin and what you eventually come back to. However, “typography” is not a word Lubalin thought should be applied to his work. “What I do is not really typography, which I think of as an essentially mechanical means of putting characters down on a page. It’s designing with letters. Aaron Burns called it, ‘typographics,’ and since you’ve got to put a name on things to make them memorable, ‘typographics’ is as good a name for what I do as any.”
But it is Lubalin and his typographics—words, letters, pieces of letters, additions to letters, connections and combinations, and virtuoso manipulation of letters—to which all must return. The “typographic impresario of our time,” Dorfsman called him, a man who “profoundly influenced and changed our vision and perception of letter forms, words and language.”
Lubalin was a brilliant, iconoclastic advertising art director—in the 1940s with Reiss Advertising and then for twenty years with Sudler and Hennessey. Recipient of medal after medal, award after award, and in 1962 named Art Director of the Year by the National Society
Lubalin at his best delivers the shock of meaning through his typography-based design. Avant Garde literally moves ahead. The Sarah Vaughn Sings poster does just that. Ice Capades skates. There is a child in Mother & Child, and a family in Families. If words are a way of making meaning, then the shapes of their letters give voice, color, character and individuality to that meaning.
Top: Eros, Spring 1962. Bottom right: Magazine Cover: Saturday Eventing Post, 1961. Bottom left: The Next War..., 1972.
VCRs become commerically available
Watergate Scandal occurs, leading to public distrust of the government
The Yom Kippur war lasts 19 days and leaves approximately 18,500 dead
Negro History Week becomes Black History Month
The Sex Discrimination Act is passed in the UK, making sexual discrimination illegal in the workplace
The Terracotta Army, dating from 210 BC, is found in the Shaanxi Province of China
Hugh Stubbinâ€™s Citicorp Center revolutionizes the incorporation of solar panels in office buildings
The Sony Walkman is invented
The Dinner Party, a feminist art piece by Judy Chicago, is finished
1970s: basel and swiss style.
Emil Ruder was a Swiss graphic and typographic designer. He emphasized the importance of forming the correct balance between form and function. He believed that type loses its purpose when it loses its communicative meaning.Therefore, readability was the dominant concern. Ruder was sensitive to negative space, both on the page and between and inside letterforms. Like many minimalist designers, Ruder used a grid structure to create a systematic overall design that brought all elements (typography, photography, illustration, diagrams, and charts) into harmony with each other while still allowing diversity within the design. He also realized the creative potential of Univers, and how the unity of proportion within the letterforms could be used to create interesting design. Using Univers, he and his students explored contrasts, textures, and scale possibilities in commissioned and experimental work. In 1967, he published Typography: A Manual of Design, which had a world-wide influence on the methodology of typographic design and education.
Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing.
Left: Cover and Pages from Typography: A Manual of Design, 1967. Right: Pages from Typography: A Manual of Design, 1967.
SCHULE FÜR GESTALTUNG BASEL The first wave of “Swiss” was strongly identified with the Swiss designers of Zurich—Muller-Brockmann and Gertsner—applying Bauhaus early modernist ideals. Their strict minimalist codified expression of functional messages could be described as Classic Modernism. No sooner than the Zurich Swiss became established in the United States, a second, more mannered form of “Swiss” developed that could be called Late Modernism. Work from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel was a far more experimental and complex , adding many “nonfunctional” design forms. Coming from a school where students and faculty had the luxury of time and experimentation, many rules were broken and the time was taken to develop the sensibility to a high level of aesthetic refinement and complexity. The irreverent Wolfgang Weingart rebelled against the minimalism of his predecessor, Emil Ruder, in the late 1960s and initiated a body of work with his students that pushed early Modernism’s constructivist experiments to their logical extremes. Enlarging on the earlier Swiss issues of structure and composition, he explored increasingly complex grids and typography in experimental compositions that became quite painterly. Yet the typographic play was mainly about the grammar of typography, and neglected semantic expression. This highly formal work was not very conceptual and has been criticized as merely decorative in the final analysis. Depending
on one’s critique, this movement could be labeled baroque, mannerist or even decadent Modernism. The Basel school’s faculty and graduates began to come to the U.S. in the mid 1960s, with a real impact realized in the early 1970s when young American graphic designers ‘in the know’ began to migrate to Basel for postgraduate training in graphic design. By the mid 1970s some of this complexity began to embellish basic American “Swiss” graphic design in the form of bars and rules and playful mixing of type sizes, weights and faces in an essentially formalist agenda. As classical ‘Swiss’ discipline was gaining followers and even before Basel became an influence, Robert Venturi shook the U.S. cultural scene with his 1965 polemical treatise, “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture”. Although most graphic designers remained unaware of his premises for many years-- and many may not yet realize his profound influence-- his challenges to Modernist dogma sent shock waves rippling throughout the architecture and design world, stimulating new work that came to be called “PostModern.” His arguments in favor of historical pre-Modern architectural forms and crudely energetic commercial American vernaculars eventually contributed to a new phase of American graphic design.
emigre. The late 20th century prompted the creation of digital type foundries. Perhaps the largest of these is Emigre Fonts, founded 1984 by Zuzana Licko and her husband Rudy VanderLans in order to distribute their own typefaces. Emigre Fonts and other foundries in the Bay Areas in the 1980s wanted to challenge traditional typefaces and create fonts inspired by the new digital era that were art pieces themselves. Licko designed the first bitmap fonts, called the LoRes family, in 1985. Fonts such as this helped free typography from the constraints of functionality. Emigre also published Emigre Magazine, which ran from 1984 to 2005, featured innovative typefaces and posters; eye-catching photography; offbeat profiles of writers and artists; and wide-ranging critical essays on subjects like the Bauhaus movement and the legibility of font. The Emigre Fonts is still active, and houses more than 300 fonts in its library.
Left: “Kunstkredit Basel 1976/77” Worldformat poster for Kunsthalle Basel, film layering, 1977. Middle: United poster for a Kent State University student’s photography exhibition, 1975. Right: “Kunstkredit Basel 1980/81,” Worldformat poster for Kusthalle Basel, 1981.
Weingart was born near the Swiss border of Germany, in the Salem Valley, in 1941. He enrolled in a two-year course in applied art and design at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart in 1958. There he discovered the school printing facilities and, at the age of 17, set metal type for the first time. After graduating, he undertook a rigorous apprenticeship as a typesetter at Ruwe Printing in Stuttgart, where he met house designer Karl-August Hanke, a former student at the Basel School of Design. It was Hanke who became a mentor to the young Weingart, introducing him to design being done outside of Germany, particularly in Switzerland, where Ruder, Armin Hofmann and Karl Gerstner were making work that would come to be referred to as International Style.
during his time at Ruwe, his work possessed a spontaneity and deliberate carelessness that transcended the precepts of Swiss design of that period. Even at this early stage in his professional development, Weingart’s innate understanding of the limitations of perpendicular composition in lead typesetting, coupled with the strict technical and aesthetic discipline of his apprenticeship and his inherently rebellious nature, drove him inexorably to pursue a more experimental approach. A dropped case of six-point type served as the basis for his round compositions. He scooped the type up from the floor and tied it up to form a disc. By printing both the faces and the bottoms of the bodies of the metal type sorts, he achieved the illusion of depth. The discs became spheres.
Although strong evidence of Swiss orderliness could be seen creeping into the simple letterheads and business cards that Weingart designed
One of the most widely known symbols in the world, in Britain it is recognised as standing for nuclear disarmament – and in particular as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the United States and much of the rest of the world it is known more broadly as the peace symbol.
It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. He showed his preliminary sketches to a small group of people in the Peace News office in North London and to the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, one of several smaller organisations that came together to set up CND. The Direct Action Committee had already planned what was to be the first major antinuclear march, from London to Aldermaston, where British nuclear weapons were and still are manufactured. It was on that march, over the 1958 Easter weekend that the symbol first appeared
in public. Five hundred cardboard lollipops on sticks were produced. Half were black on white and half white on green. Just as the church’s liturgical colours change over Easter, so the colours were to change, “from Winter to Spring, from Death to Life.” Black and white would be displayed on Good Friday and Saturday, green and white on Easter Sunday and Monday. The first badges were made by Eric Austen of Kensington CND using white clay with the symbol painted black. Again there was a conscious symbolism. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artifacts to survive the nuclear inferno. These early ceramic badges can still be found and one, lent by CND, was included in the Imperial War Museum’s 1999/2000 exhibition From the Bomb to the Beatles. 21
Subway Sign System: New York City Transit Authority, 1966.
Graphic Program: Knoll, New York, 1966â€“1978.
The Vignellis, Massimo and Lella, stand at the peak of their profession. During the past 20 years, their design output has been prodigious in quantity, far-ranging in media and scope and consistent in excellence. Equally important is the influence they have had and the difference they have made. Their work has led by example. They have contributed to design as individuals. For their accomplishments, Massimo and Lella Vignelli have been chosen to receive the AIGA Gold Medal for 1982—the sixty-second such award in a distinguished series that began in 1920. Upon the occasion of the major retrospective of the Vignellis’ work exhibited at Parsons in 1980, The New York Times critic Paul Goldberger characterized them as “total designers.” They and their office have indeed done it all: industrial and product design, graphic design, book design, magazine and newspaper design, packaging design, interior and exhibit design, furniture design. Massimo and Lella work together in two ways: he concentrates on what they call the “2D”; she handles the “3D”. He’s the visionary: “I talk of feelings, possibilities, what a design could be.” She the realist: “I think of feasibility, planning, what a design can be.” The Vignellis were both born and educated in the industrial, more-European north of Italy, he in Milan and she in Udine, 90 miles away. Massimo’s passion was “2D”—graphic design; Lella’s family tradition and training were “3D”—architecture. They met at an architects’ convention and were married in 1957. Three years later, they opened their first “office of design and architecture” in Milan and designed for Pirelli, Rank Xerox, Olivetti and other design-conscious European firms. But their fascination with the United States, which took root during three years spent here after they were married, eventually grew strong enough to lure them away from Italy permanently. “There is diversity here, and energy, and possibility,” recalls Massimo, “and the need for design.” He cofounded Unimark in 1964, which ballooned and collapsed as the corporate identification boom of the late 1960s hyperventilated, then ran out of breath. In 1972, their present office was formed: Vignelli Associates for two-dimensional design, Vignelli Designs for furniture, objects, exhibitions and interiors. Not only do the Vignellis design exceeding well, they also think about design. It is not enough that something—a chair, an exhibition, a book, a magazine—looks good and is well designed. The “why” and the “how,” the very process of design itself, must be equally evident and quite beyond the tyranny of individual taste. “There are three investigations in design,” says Massimo. “The first is the search for structure. Its reward is discipline. The second is the search for specificity. This yields appropriateness. Finally, we search for fun, and we create ambiguity.”
Vignelli design, in both three dimensions and two, is highly architectural in character. Massimo’s posters, publications and graphic designs seem to be built in stories, separated by the now-familiar, bold, horizontal rules. Basic geometry is respected. The investigative design process moves from the inside out: “The correct shape is the shape of the object’s meaning.” The Vignelli commitment to the correctness of a design has taken their work beyond the mechanical exercise of devising a form best suited to a given function. They’ve always understood that design itself, in the abstract, could and should be an integral part of function. More than a process and a result, design— good design—is an imperative. “Everything has its own order,” they’ve said. “You can’t take a piece of music and scramble the notes. You can’t take a piece of writing and scramble the words. You can’t take a space and scramble the chairs around.” Both in the example set by their work and by their personal commitment of time and energy, design has no advocates more passionate or effective. Both teach, write, lecture, serve on juries and boards, contribute their talent and cast to worthy causes. Unabashedly urban and urbane, their participation in the world of design is enthusiastic, inquiring, generous. The Vignellis are true believers: “When we were young and naïve, we thought we could transform society by providing a better, more designed environment. Naturally, we found that this was not possible. Now, we think more realistically: we see a choice between good design and poor or nondesign. Every society gets the design it deserves. It is our duty to develop a professional attitude in raising the standard of design.” That sounds serious, and the Vignellis are serious about design. But it is seriousness of purpose conveyed most often through exuberance. When either Massimo or Lella says the word “design,” it is pronounced with a capital “d”: “Design.” As individuals and professionals, their commitment to design and their accomplishments in design have rewarded them well. The Vignelli office continues to thrive and assignments come from an ever more diverse range of clients. Graduates of their firm have set out on their own and established well-respected practices. Only a few of the best and brightest are hired out of the schools each year. Their calendars are crammed; their pace formidable. “The reward?” asks Massimo, paraphrasing the question. “Why, the reward is to do all this!”
1980s: design, technology, adobe.
Over 700 million people watch on TV as Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married
750,000 people rally against nuclear weapons in Central Park, NYC
Ronald Reagan announces that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will be made available for civilian use.
The NASA space shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launch, killing all crew members
Tyholtt책rnet, a 124 metre high radio tower with a revolving restaurant, is built in Trondheim, Norway.
Carhenge, a full-scale replica of Stonehenge, is built in Alliance, Nebraska
Benazir Bhutto is elected prime minister in Pakistan, becoming the first woman to lead a Muslim nation
The Berlin Wall falls, effectively ending the Cold War
Apple launches the Macintosh, the first personal computer to be sold without any programming language
Logos: Stafford Fabrics, 1942. Westinghouse, 1960. NeXT Computers, 1986. United Parcel Service (UPS), 1961. Esquire Magazine, 1938. Yale University Press, 1985. American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 1962. International Business Machines (IBM), 1972.
PAUL RAND (1914–1 9 9 6 )
IN 1986, STEVE Jobs was a guy trying to launch a start-up. Having been ousted from Apple the year before, he and a small band of employees were in the early stages of building a new computer company called Next. Jobs had invested millions in the venture, and his reputation as a visionary business leader was staked on its success. The group was still working out key details about its products. But Jobs was certain about one thing: He needed a logo from Paul Rand. Perhaps more than any other single designer, Paul Rand was responsible for defining visual culture in America in the decades following World War II. He radically transformed advertising, blowing away the dust of the Depression era and pioneering a new, modern approach to selling products. He helped convince some of nation’s biggest corporations that good design was good business, crafting indelible logos for the likes of IBM, UPS, and ABC.
Everything Is Design, an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York on display through July, collects over a hundred examples of Rand’s work, including magazine spreads, book covers, and product packages in addition to advertisements and logos. In every form, the work reflects Rand’s conception of good design, one which seems utterly obvious today but was largely foreign—at least in America—before Rand demonstrated it so convincingly. It was a simple idea: Graphic design can, and should, be both beautiful and functional.
Both: Pages from The Face Magazine, 1988.
NEVILLE BRODY (1957â€“)
Neville Brody is a British designer who first made his way into the public eye in the early 1980s with his record cover designs. Brodyâ€™s innovative styling of The Face magazine completely revolutionized the way designers and readers view a magazine. Despite his aversion to commercialism, his magazine layouts were imitated until they were no longer unique. Brody eventually began exploring designing typeface, which lead to projects such as FUSE, a regularly published collection of experimental typefaces and posters which challenges the boundaries between typography and graphic design.
postscript: PostScript is a software language that consists of reproductions of conventional typefaces. It was created in the mid-1980s as a way of combatting the issues of digital reproductions of traditional typefaces. The problem with digital reproduction lies in the scaling. The typefaces that were being recreated were designed for metal type. The metal pieces would be pressed into paper and the ink would spread on the page, resulting in thicker letterforms. However, digital reproductions were printed using laser jet or offset lithographic printing and had no ink spread, leaving letterforms that appeared thin and unstructured. PostScript typefaces fixed this issue by creating a bitmap, or an outline or vector of the letterforms. The typefaces were then optically re-aligned. The letters
rendered visually larger than the traditional versions, with an increased x-height in relation to the ascender height, as well as making the lower case letters more rounded and open.These tweaks made the type have the correct weight and feel to match the traditional typeface. The introduction of the PostScript software language represented a considerable move forward in digital type design. When it was released commercially in 1984, Steve Jobs urged Adobe to adapt it to use as the language driving Appleâ€™s laser printers. In March 1985 the Apple LaserWriter was the first printer to ship with PostScript. This sparked the desktop publishing (DTP) revolution that grew out of the 80s.
the rise of digital communication: The invention of the personal computer and the widespread accessibility of the tools of desktop publishing allowed for a creative surge to hit the design world in the late 20th century. PostScript made the recreation of traditional fonts into digital fonts easy, and Adobe Illustrator opened the gates to new typefaces that had a life of their own.
Adobe Systems was founded in December 1982. It was started as a way of producing a simpler software language, called PostScript, for creating digital fonts. In 1986, Adobe Illustrator was developed for Apple Macintosh as a commercialisation of Adobeâ€™s in-house font development software. Illustrator allowed designers more accuracy and adaptability by using a BĂŠzier curve and vector-based drawings. Illustrator and PostScript changed the exclusiveness of the type industry. Soon, anyone with a computer and Illustrator could quickly and cheaply create a typeface that could be distributed digitally,. In 1988, Photoshop was created as an add-on to
Illustrator. Adobe had very little revenue expectations from the program, however, it is now considered a necessity in the design world. The next program released by Adobe was Acrobat. Acrobat allowed people with different fonts or software to easily share documents digitally. Adobe InDesign was added to the family in 1999; InDesign was more than a page-layout application--it was the hub of a fully engaging publishing strategy that spanned print, web, and wireless communications. Today, Adobe is the leading software company for designers, with more than 30 applications that span across all avenues of design.
Wim Crouwel is a Dutch typographer, type designer, graphic designer, teacher, and museum curator and director. He has a lucid and systematic design approach that relies on the use of a grid. While his design is logical and minimalist, it is infused with his experimental spirit. He emphasizes the designer as an objective problem solver who is tasked with finding solutions through research and analysis. Crouwel’s designs stand out in today’s cacophony of graphic material because of their clarity and simplicity. The typography that Crouwel has designed is recognized as being radical, modular letterforms. Crouwel pushed the boundaries of legibility, although he would counter this by pairing his typefaces with easily readable san serifs.
WIM CROUWEL (1 9 2 8 –)
Top: Clednar for April and August 1964, Wim Crouwel Bottom left: “Leger” poster, 1957, Wim Crouwel Bottom right: New Alphabet, developed by Wim Crouwel
“Of course design is about problem solving, but I cannot resist adding something personal.” -Wim Crouwel
PHILIPPE APELOIG (1962â€“)
Parisian designer Philippe Apeloig interned at Wim Crouwelâ€™s design firm Total Design in 1983. There, he was able to work with the latest tool on the market--the computer. Using the core of Swiss design (the grid), Apeloig was able to experiment with the contemporary and experimental uses of
typography. He is influenced by Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, as well as theatre and dance. His interest in dance prompted him to think of the letterform as a choreographed body.
31 Left: Poster for Le Saut Hermes au Grand Palais Design, Jumping International CSI 5, Paris, 2013. Right: An American in Paris, Chatelet, theatre musical de Paris, 2014.
â€œA matrix is nothing to be afraid of.â€? -Lo-Res Family credo
lo-res family. The Lo-Res type family was designed by Zuzana Licko for Emigre in 1985. It is a pixelated design with that was created on the newly-introduced Macintosh computer with a crude public domain software. The Lo-Res type variations have a strong and decisive character. Although they are most effective when used at headline size, they can also function well when used at small sizes for print work.They can be used at smaller sizes because their
modular proportions maintain open counters and ensure that there are no delicate details to drop out and fill in. Like other bitmap fonts, it is usually considered by designers to be a cute computer effect and relegated to a special effect status; however, their usage is gaining popularity due to the continued use in electronic gadgets other than PCs, such as cell phones, pagers, and microwave oven panels.
pixel-based fonts. Pixel-based typefaces are specifically designed as bitmapped type and are designed to the pixel. These typefaces can degrade if they are used at a different size than they are intended. For instance, if a character is 15 pixels high, on a 72-dpi screen, the characters will be the same height as a 15 point typeface, with 72 points an inch. However, on a 96-dpi
screen, a 15-pixel tall bitmap font will appear smaller, about the size of an 11-point type. Therefore, careful consideration must be taken to ensure that the characters are scaled for optimum legibility. Pixel fonts are useful for small on-screen text because they can be designed to maximize legibility when pixelated.
A Wyse WY-60 serial terminal displaying Dynix via Telnet.
THE DIGITAL AGE FROM FONT. THE SOURCEBOOK This book was very informative about how typefaces became digital and how designers began to use computers to design, making graphic design as a trade more accessible. Tice, Bruce, Nadine Monem, David Pearson, Alexander W White, Will Hill, Domenic Lippa, Ed Fella, Teal Triggs, Sybille Hagmann, Peter Bi’lak, Danny Marieke, Sam Winston, Charlotte Jane Lord, Muriel Moukawem, and Aimee Selby. “The Digital Age.” Font. The Sourcebook, 173-181. London: Black Dog Publishing Limited, 2008. LO-RES BY ZUZANA LICKO I decided to go straight to the foundry to research the Lo-Res family. The creator of the font wrote the piece, and it was clear she was trying to sell it. Zuzana, Licko. “Lo-Res.” Emigre. Accessed October 29, 2015. http://www.emigre.com/EFfeature.php?di=101. MEGGS’ HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN BY PHILIP B. MEGGS
This book was very useful as a general reference source and to get specific information about Emil Ruder. Meggs, Philip B., and Alston W. Purvis. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. 5th ed. Somerset: Wiley, 2011. TYPORAMA | THE GRAPHIC WORK OF PHILIPPE APELOIG BY DAVID WATSON Although this source is about an exhibition book of Philippe Apeloig, it also gives general information on him. I found it very useful for seeing high-quality images of his work. Watson, David. “Typorama | The Graphic Work of Philippe Apeloig | Exhibition Book.” Typetoken. November 26, 2013. Accessed November 4, 2015. http://www.typetoken.net/publication/typorama-the-graphic-work-of-philippe-apeloig-exhibition-book-—-musee-des-arts-decoratifs- paris-until-30-4-14/. WHEN A WORD’S LOOK COUNTED AS MUCH AS ITS MEANING BY CHLOE VELTMAN I used this source as a way of getting the background of Emigre, but also as a way of understand the time in which it was formed and the impact of the foundry. Veltman, Chloe. “When a Word’s Look Counted as Much as Its Meaning.” The New York Times. January 9, 2010. Accessed October 29, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/arts/design/10sfculture.html?_r=1. WIM CROUWEL BY DESIGN MUSEUM I used this website to look at Wim Crouwel’s work and get a general overview of his career. “Wim Crouwel Profile.” Design Museum. Accessed October 26, 2015. https://designmuseum.org/designers/wim-crouwel. JUST MY TYPE BY SIMON GARFIELD Simon’s book thoroughly examined fonts invented during different time periods throughout history, including introductions on the designers, art and design movements in that certain time period, and the development of the fonts. Garfield, Simon. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts. New York: Gotham Books, 2011. THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN TYPOGRAPHY BY KATHERINE MCCOY Heller and Ballance’s edition listed forty critical essays written by leading writers, and described the historical movements, developments, and stories that shaped the graphic design history. McCoy, Katherine. “The Evolution of American Typography.” In Graphic Design History 2001, edited by Steven Heller and Georgette Ballance, 7–9. New York: Allworth Press, 2001. MASSIMO AND LELLA VIGNELLI BY AIGA This article gave a brief introduction on Massimo and Lella Vignelli and stated why their works were important to the graphic design field. David R. Brown, Wylie Davis, Rose DeNeve. “1982 AIGA Medalist: Massimo and Lella Vignelli.” AIGA, March 1 1982. http://www.aiga.org/medalist-massimoandlellavignelli/. ARMIN HOFFMANN RICK PAYNOR Paynor mentioned in her article the importance of Hoffmann’s work. Rick Paynor. “2011 AIGA Medalist: Armin Hoffmann.” AIGA, March 1 2011. http://www.aiga.org/medalist-arminhofmann/.
SAUL BASS BY ART OF THE TITLE This article stated Saul Bass’s contribution to the field of graphic design and that his work touched many people. “Saul Bass.” Art of The Title. Accessed November 16 2015. http://www.artofthetitle.com/designer/saul-bass/. THE DESIGNER AS PRORAMER BY EYE MAGAZINE “The Designer as Programmer.” Eye Magazine. 2002. http://www.eyemagazine.com/review/article/the-designer-as-programmer. PAUL RAND BY KYLE VANHEMERT Kyle Vanhemert. “Paul Rand, the Visionary Who Showed Us Design Matters.” Wired, April 6 2015. http://www.wired.com/2015/04/paul-rand-visionary-showed-us-design-matters/. HERB LUBALIN BY DAVID BROWN David R. Brown. “1980 AIGA Medalist: Herb Lubalin.” AIGA, March 1 1980. http://www.aiga.org/medalist-herblubalin/. WOLFGANG WEINGART BY PHILIP BURTON Philip Burton. “Wolfgang Weingart.” AIGA. Accessed November 16 2015. http://www.aiga.org/medalist-wolfgang-weingart/. THE CND SYMBOL BY THE CAMPAIGN FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT “The CND Symbol.” Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Access November 16 2015. http://www.cnduk.org/about/item/435-the-cnd-symbol.
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Helen Stigge Feipu Song
History of typography