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introduction in the design field that ultimately caused Emigre to become so widely reputed and infamous. Their supererogatory criticism brought with it vast exposure for the magazine and in turn, initiated the wide spread circulation of the experimental and non-traditional work featured in Emigre out into a mass audience. If Emigre was a circle; then design and typography at the time was a square. Their work was vilified and assailed by traditionalists for disseminating visual incongruence, stunting and abusing communication. The fundamentally imperative word instigating many of the tremendously impassioned debates sparked by Emigre was in fact, communication. It was the experimental and amalgamating nature of the themes of Emigre that blurred once very clearly defined lines; lines between art and design, typography and art and artist and audience.

One of the most eloquent and apt examples of this was Emigre's interest and exposure of the Hypnopaedia pattern illustrations; quite simply, these patterns are created by orbicular rotation of a single letterform and then repeated to create a unique pattern. It was what the Hypnopaedia pattern illustrations represented that became such a befitting paradigm for one of the primary factors in the controversy. These patterns were acknowledging and giving legitimacy to the abilities of letterforms to be multifaceted, including being art forms themselves. Emigre never rejected the value or place for systematic theoretical approaches in typography and graphic design. VanderLans and Licko acknowledged and gave recognitiion to the importance of typographic principles but instead endeavored to create a visual forum that was completely disencumbered from any stringent structure or preconceived ideas as to what something “should” look like.

Emigre Magazine 1984–2005 Bibliography: 1. AIGA. Emigre. 2. Blackwell, Lewis.

20th Century Type. California: Gingko Press Inc., 1998 3. Shaughnessy, Adrian. How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2005 4. VanderLans, Rudy. Emigre: Nudging Graphic Design, ed. Rudy VanderLans. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003 5. VanderLans, Rudy and Zuzana Licko. Emigre Magazine. California : 1984-2005,


The text type is MrsEaves by Zuzana Licko for Emigre. The shapes and designs on the poster are an example of the Hypnopedia Patterns and their visual aesthetic value. The six different letters used are as follows,




Alexandra Grossman, RISD 2009. Section: Jen Magathan.


Profile for Jennifer Magathan

RISD Portfolio  

Student work, teaching portfolio from the Rhode Island School of Design

RISD Portfolio  

Student work, teaching portfolio from the Rhode Island School of Design