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the speaker creates through voice &


gesture of






his thoughts.”



perform optically what


“typographical design should

m rkovich

lazar l


the counstructor, 1920

Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919

WHO IS EL LISSITZKY? Lazar Markovich Lissitzky was brought into this world on the twenty third of november, 1890. he grew up in in a small Jewish town and the city of Smolensk during the rule of the Russian Empure. As a young boy he expressed an intrest & talent in drawing, and was soon teaching students by the age of fifteen. After completing his studies in architectural engineering, in 1919 he was invited to teach graphic arts, printing, and architecture at the People’s Art School. With Kazimir Malevich as a educator at the school as well, the two developed and executed the Suprematist movement and eventually created the UNOVIS where Malevich guided the group into creating a suprematist ballet. After UNOVIS split apart, he began working as a cultural representative of Russia and moved to Berlin, where he continued to develope his graphic design career.

WHAT DID HE DO? El Lissitsky executed a large portion of the ideas that Malevich came up with when the two were developing Suprematism due to his experience with lithography and printing presses. He integrated letters with images through a system that matched the color of the characters in the story with the word referring to them and was able to combine the rigidness and precision of architecture into the world of design.

anatomy of type










font: russian designed by: manfred klein




imPact oN tyPoGraPhy

In Lissitsky’s graphical work, he reaches out to the audience to make them participate and learn from the piece. The universal understanding of shapes and geometry added to the simplistic beauty of his pieces. Even with a language barrier, the political message can still be understood across the board. His books, posters, and designs of all forms greatly impacted the future movements that were to come in the twentieth century. His connections in Germany granted him a welcoming audience at the Bauhaus. Where both the Constructivist movement and the Bauhaus were easily related to each other through the combination of art and design. Using a system of matching colors of elements and symbols with specific words to reinforce the connection between the two. His architectural background gave a precise and unified feeling to all of his pieces.

Early carEEr El Lissitzky past trips to Italy, Switzerland, Balkans, and Germany created connections across cultures and granted the approval to be in charge of retrieve information about Western Culture back to the State. He was a brilliant cultural ambassador of his home country at that time. Soon his connections with the State and beliefs began to mix his art, resulting in the political message that is found in his work. To convey and promote the Constructivist social structure Lissitzky supported, he brought it into the artistic domain. He utilized the combination of an understanding of engineering, architecture and art to great his pieces. Today, the final products of Lissitzky’s work remain for other human beings to look at. To look into his work is not to just get an understanding of the piece, but more to get an understanding of how he made it. What was important to him was the creative process of making the book, producing the propaganda or ad, arranging a printed page. Lissitzky’s expertise was sought after by the painter Marc Chagall to teach at

the Vitebsk Academy, along with the painter Kazimir Malevich. Together, Malevich, his students, and Lissitzky brought Suprematism style geometric forms into street decorations, design and architecture. During the Russian Revolution, they determined that the new movement had to be political. With his turn towards Suprematism, Lissitzky abandoned the uniqueness and expressions of his Jewish heritage for the clean and compelling; drawing parallels to the new regime’s distinction from the previous. As a team, Lissitsky. Malevich and students, created a department within the school called Unovis, meaning to “assert the new.” This emerging movement paired with the rise of the Soviet Union gave Suprematist movement to gain momentum to become famous. Without Malevich, Lissitzky would lack a direction without Malevich as he was the one with the proposals. Without Lissitzky, Malevich would not be able to develop all his proposals into a fully completed and comprehensible artwork at the time.

Graphic design



the four fundamentals of arithmetic, 1928

union der sozialistischen sowjet-republiken, 1928

broom magazine, vol. 5, no. 4, 1923

khorosho! oktyabrskaya poema, 1927



fo h. t c rm Th on is str fi ni of sy uc sh a m ts ex e n b is d, yt ol a n t h of ing al in is n ew a in re g ot sy bu ne th ad wh a mb ic re ol ilt w e w y by up wo or ma h cog w i i w on rld ld - de s a ni th za h ay a , w it , l i r of nd hi is alr ea ble s pe w ch a s ea dy op hic is ym dy le h be bo . ” ex i n l is g ts





Masters Book: El Lissitzky  
Masters Book: El Lissitzky