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C U G A N
L D A M D
A E R O
THE FOUNDER CLAUDE GARAMOND came to prominence in 1541, when three of his Greek typefaces (e.g. the Grecs du roi (1541)) were requested for a royally-ordered book series by Robert Estienne. Garamond’s Greek font, Grecs du Roi, was used as King François I own personal font. Garamond had also published his own typefaces as well as his own new italic typeface.
aramont first roman font had been requested upon for the publication of the book “Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae” by Erasmus. Garamond’s main influence for his first roman font was taken from Aldus Manutius’ roman font, which gained recognition by King François I to commission Garamond for his own exclusive lettering to be created. Garamond based these types on the handwriting of Angelo Vergecio, the King’s Librarian at Fontainebleau, as well as that of his ten-year-old pupil, Henri Estienne. Garamond’s italic fonts were influenced by the Aldine italic, which he felt complimented his roman types. According to Arthur Tilley, the resulting books are “among the most finished specimens of typography that exist.” Shortly thereafter, Garamond created the Roman types for which he would most be remembered, and his influence spread rapidly throughout and beyond France during the 1540s. In 1545, he entered the publishing trade in a partnership with Jean Barbé, a Parisian bookseller. The first book Garamond published was called, “Pio et Religiosa Meditatio” by David Chambellan. His fonts have been widely copied and are still produced. Since Garamond’s work was copied often, it was hard for him to benefit financially off of his typefaces. However, Garamond was not lost due to the fact that the French National Printing Service in the 19th Century had called upon having their own typeface be a work of Claude Garamond, and here started a new revival era for Garamond’s type. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived revival, but it was not only through the French National Printing Service. There were others after World War I that had recreated Garamond’s fonts, such as American Type Founders, a type designer Frederic Goudy with his own recreation in 1921, Garamont, Monotype from England offered theirs in 1924, and lastly there was Linotype’s entry of Granjon. Even long after there was another notable interpretation after the Second World War called Stempel Garamond by a German foundry called, Egenolff Berner. After, Paul Beaujon, an assistant librarian at the American Type Founders, visited the North Library of the British Museum and found that all of the 20th century Garamond fonts were all based on Frenchman Jean Jannon’s type. Garamond’s typefaces left his name with greatness for having a comeback at the end of the sixteenth century throughout the seventeenth century as well. 1510: trains as a punch cutter with Simon de Colines in Paris. 1520: trains with Geoffroy Tory. 1530: Garamond’s first type is used in an edition of the book “Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae” by Erasmus. It is based on Aldus Manutius’ type De Aetna, cut in 1455. 1540: King Francis I commissions Garamond to cut a Greek type. Garamond’s ensuing Grec du Roi is used by Robert Estienne in three sizes exclusively for the printing of Greek books. 1545 onwards: Garamond also works as a publisher, first with Pierre Gaultier and later with Jean Barbe. The first book he published is “Pia et Religiosa Meditatio” by David Chambellan. The books are set using typefaces designed by Garamond.
Born in Paris, France in 1490, Garamond started his career out as an apprentice for the Parisian punch-cutter and printer, Antoine Augereau in 1510 . It was during this early part of the 16th century that Garamond and his peers found that the typography industry required unique multi-talented people. This way they could produce fine books. Many of the printers during that time period were able to master all or most of the artistic and technical skills of book production from type design to bookbinding. Claude Garamond was first to specialize in type design, punch cutting, and type-founding in Paris as a service to many famous publishers. After a decade of success with his types all over Europe, King Francois I of France demanded that Garamond produce a Greek typeface, which later became known as “Grecs du Roi”. The three fonts were modeled after the handwriting of Angelos Vergetios, and cut the largest size first, on a 16 point body. All three original sets of Royal Greek punches are preserved at the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris, France. In 1545 Garamond became his own publisher, featuring his own types including a new italic. His first book published was Pia et religiosa Meditatio of David Chambellan. As publisher, Claude Garamond relied on his creativity harnessed by reasoned discipline to produce superbly well crafted products. He modeled his book publishing style after the classic works of the Venetian printers who catered to the absolute elites of high society. He admired and emulated the works of Aldus Manutius. Garamond insisted on clarity in design, generous page margins, quality composition, paper and printing , which was always accentuated with superb binding. Because of the soundness of Garamond’s designs his typefaces have historical staying power, and they are likely to remain the day-to-day tools of professional typographers, as long as wertern civilization survives. Reading a well set Garamond text page is almost effortless, a fact that has been well known to book designers for over 450 years. Claude Garamond’s contribution to typography was vast, a true renaissance man. Creating perfection in the type that he crafted his life will live on through his contribution to typography. Garamond is the original typographic naming disaster--a source of ongoing confusion. There are many types called “Garamond”, almost to the point where garamond has emerged as a category among serif text faces. What most of the Garamonds have in common is that they are more-or-less accurate revivals either of type cut by Claude Garamond in the late fifteenth century, or of type cut by Jean Jannon in the mid-16th century. The basic story is this. A French punchcutter of the fifteenth century, Claude Garamond, was held in high esteem. In the early twentieth century the producers of matrices for machine setting were keen to revive or recut historical typefaces, and several versions of typefaces named for Garamond, and supposedly based on his typefaces, were produced: by ATF in 1918, by Lanston Monotype (drawn by Frederic Goudy) in 1921, and by English Monotype in 1922.
How do graphic design and craft cross over in your work? How does one inform the other? I came to craft from graphic design background. The idea of CMYK stitching came up in my mind not because I love cross-stitch, but because I am a graphic designer and I know how printing process works. “I only started using cross-stitch because it suited my idea of visualising colour structure.” What I love most about craft is the slow, meditative process of making. Stitching can be a tedious process but I don’t mind routine. How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art? I define my work first of all as typographic illustration. It can take many forms, from super big wall art to an editorial illustration. I love to work to a brief and work with my clients. Forget the stuffy reputation a bit of cross-stitch may have, because Evelin Kasiko is singlehandly dragging it into the contemporary arena. Originally from Estonia, and having developed a love of craft during her MA degree at Central St.Martin’s, she is now crafting some of the most staggering work I’ve seen in a long time. Almost unbearably precise and time-consuming, we couldn’t help but sit her down and quiz her about her practice in the lead up to her new show, Craft Meets Music, opening this month.
EVELIN KASIKOV is a graphic designer and author of CMYK embroidery. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, she now lives in London and works as a book designer and graphic artist. She studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2008 with an MA in Communication Design. During her MA she developed an interest in craft, and has since then created stitched illustrations for clients including NIKE, The Guardian, BBH, WIRED and The New York Times. Her approach to craft is analytical and firmly rooted in her graphic design background. She uses typography, grid systems and design techniques to challenge the preconceptions of embroidery. Always modern, always graphic, her embroidery is hand made yet mathematically precise. Experimentation with digital and analogue processes plays a big role in her work. Taking an old technique such as cross-stitch and giving it a modern graphic twist results in strikingly original work which has received coverage in design books and magazines worldwide. Alongside her graphic stitching work, Evelin designs books and has worked with leading publishers including Laurence King, Bloomsbury and Phaidon Press.Craft and embroidery in the context of graphic design and typography. What initially captured your imagination about graphic art and contemporary textile design? Evelin Kasikov: I first became aware of of ‘graphic art’ during my BA degree at the Estonian Academy of Arts. It was a fine art course with a focus on printmaking. But there was also a small unit called something like ‘applied graphic art’. We had briefs to design posters, set type on letterpress and come up with book layouts. “I probably didn’t think of it as ‘graphic design’ at the time but I loved it much more than etchings and dry-points!” Then I won a competition for stamp design, it felt like a big achievement for a student, to have work commissioned and published. I think this first commission made me realise that I could be a graphic designer. What or who were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work? It’s hard to say if my upbringing has influenced my work, neither of my parents are artists. But I have drawn as long as I can remember. What was your route to becoming an artist? (Formal training or another pathway? I did a Fine Art graphics BA at the Estonian Academy of Art, but after graduating I started working as a graphic designer in advertising, which mid-nineties was really exciting. After ten years I quit my job and moved to London to study for masters degree at Central Saint Martins. I graduated from MA Communication Design course in 2008. There I focused on personal work and got really excited about the idea of craft and embroidery in the context of graphic design and typography. Tell us about your chosen techniques? I use traditional cross-stitch technique but in a contemporary textile design context. I enjoy combining mathematical precision with handmade craft. Preparing the design in Illustrator is big part of a project. I take great pleasure in working out the grid and the integral structure of the piece. Nothing is random. For instance I recently did two wall installations for an ad agency, two different designs but both based on 25 mm square grid unit. For a 3 x 5m wall this is a high degree of accuracy.
I have background in graphic design and my current work stems from my long-term fascination with printed matter. I started to experiment with handmade graphics during my MA at St Martins, to explore the space of print outside commercial practice. As part of my MA project I developed CMYK cross-stitch technique, which is transforms printing technology into handmade form. Craft is an interesting medium for me, but my embroidery is detached from what it is usually defined by. I work with handmade techniques but my work is analytical and rational. It is free from decorative and feminine associations of craft and this is exactly what makes my work different. Are you a pretty patient person away from your practice? Yes I would say so. The patient and time-consuming methods of creating my work reflect very well who I am as a person. As well as similar language, Estonians share the same personal characteristics with Finns: we tend to be shy and introverted. Finns have a joke about their personality: an average Finn will stare at his feet while talking to you, but an outgoing Finn will stare at your feet while talking to you! What can we expect to see at your new show, Craft Meets Music which opens this month? Craft Meets Music is a joint exhibition, together with jewellery designer An Alleweireldt.
At the age of 71, with a career that spans almost half a century, KAREL MARTENS is active as ever. When I meet him in his industrious Amsterdam studio at the water last week, he’s busy reviewing changes to the extended third edition of Printed Matter\ Drukwerk that is soon going to press and should be available this fall. There’s a couple of computers on a small desk, and rows of shelfs are filled to bursting with books and archival boxes. A prominent space is taken by a small oldfahioned printing press and an inkstained workbench filled with tools. HL: Throughout your work you’ve experimented plenty by manipulating the printing industry’s standard CMYK protocols. You’ve recreated images through type, developed your own strategies to create patterns, but you hardly ever used symbols as such. Until recently, where the halftone dots are replaced by layers of various vector elements. What caused it? KM: A birth announcement for my grandson (2002, Zeno) seems to be a moment in my live that I start to work with icons. The desire had been there for some time. Every designer or student seems to rediscover the crude halftone at some point, but I’ve always thought how nice it would be to create different shapes instead of dots. My father’s typewriter always fascinated me. I’d hit a button and the letter ‘a’ appears. But that ‘a’ might as well be a bird or another picture, something I’ve developed with Roelof Mulder for Emigré magazine (1992, Starface font made out of moviestar’s faces). HL: Many people would like to know the secret… KM: Well, it’s relatively simple, and I’m sure others have discovered how to do it as well, but I’m not going to tell you anyway! This assignment (2001, façade Cultureel Centrum) is about the perception of separate colours at close range and the mixing colours that one percieves at a distance. The fact that you can create a third colour out of two. The problem here was to translate this idea (that was developed in Photoshop) into prints on large glass panels. Screenprinting proved to be too expensive, but after a while I found a company that could print on taransparent material. As they needed vector outlines, this caused a neccesity to come up with a workable system to make that technical translation, which we finally did.
Karel Martens (born 1939) finished as a student at the Arnhem School of Art in 1961. Since then he has worked as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in typography. Alongside this, he has always made free (non-commissioned) graphic and three-dimensional work. As well as designing books and other printed items, he has designed stamps and telephone cards. He has also designed signs and typographic façades for a number of buildings. Karel Martens has taught graphic design since 1977.
His first appointment was at the Arnhem School of Art (until 1994). He was then attached to the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (1994-99). From 1997 he has been a visiting lecturer in the graphic design department at the School of Art, Yale University. In the same year, together with Wigger Bierma, he started the Typography Workshop for postgraduate education within the ArtEZ, Arnhem.
The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 1996 was awarded to graphic designer Karel Martens for his entire oeuvre. The committee responsible for awarding the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art recognizes Karel Martens as a versatile designer who has created a firm niche for himself in graphic design in the Netherlands. His products are characterized by traditional workmanship and simplicity. Glamour is not his style - he prefers to exploit plain, honest techniques and materials, a feature which is always evident in his choice of paper, letter type, colour and format. At the same time, Martens enjoys the confrontation between form and contents which always results in an exciting product, bearing the hallmark of quality and care. Among his clients have been the publishers Van Loghum Slaterus (Arnhem) in the 1960s, and the SUN (Nijmegen) in the years 197581, PTT Nederland, and various government institutions. In 1993 Karel Martens was awarded the H.N. Werkman Prize for the design of the architectural magazine Oase.
An Interview with Karel Martens
In 1996 he received the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art; as part of this prize, a monograph on his work was published: Karel Martens: Printed Matter. His work has been nominated three times at the Design Prize Rotterdam: 1995, for the HL: What did this discovery mean to you at the time? design of the standard series of telephone chip-cards for PTT Telecom (this received an honorary commendation); KM: Haha, well, feelings of thriumph of course! There’s 1997, for the book Karel Martens: Printed Matter; 1999, for also somewhat of a danger, because now I can use it the design of the façade of the Veenman printing works at in for all kinds of applications like the pattern design Ede. In 1998 at the Leipzig Book Fair, Karel Martens: Printed for Maharam (2008, fabric design developed with KM’s Matter was awarded the gold medal, as the best-designed daughter Klaartje Martens) and other things. book ‘in the whole world’. Over the years his books have featured regularly in the annual Best-Designed Dutch Although these designs are linked with earlier letterpress monoprints that were published in Counterprint Books competition. Martens enjoys the confrontation (2004, Hyphen Press) as well. Also, the façades in Haarbetween form and contents which always results in an lem (2002, Philharmonic concert hall) and the tile proexciting product. ject in IJburg (2010, in process), were created by using similar tools. Karel is very pleased with the fact that he has been able to do this for å living for all this years.
At the Chicago Design Museum opening party on June 10, as attendees celebrated and congregated around banks of displays, designer Marian Bantjes stood aside, circling a table and slowly ripping up flowers. Delicately tearing petals and leaves to make a floral mosaic that spelled out the word “sorrow,” she was the picture of the concentrating artist.
An Interview with Marian Bantjes
A renowned Vancouver-based designer who has worked for clients such as Penguin Books and The Guardian, and a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), Bantjes turns fonts and phrases into something kinetic, where tightly wound letterforms spring loose. Her book “I Wonder,” and forthcoming monograph, showcase a career focused on rich ornamentation and constant exploration, from almost heraldic lettering to a piece for Stefan Sagmeister’s “Things I have learned in my life so far” series made with sugar, inspired in part by her fondness for breakfast cereal. “I keep trying to do new things and follow what interests me, and it can be very hard to drag clients along with me”
“I keep trying to do new things and follow what interests me, and it can be very hard to drag clients along with me,” she says. “Most people are shockingly unimaginative, and want me to do the same thing I’ve done before. The people who have trusted me to do whatever I want have always been really happy, as far as I know, and I’ve absolutely done my best work for them.” How did you come to typography? I didn’t. I just got a job. I was 18, and I needed work, and I saw a little job posted in a bookstore for a publishing company. And I applied for it and got it. It started out mostly filing magazines; quite quickly they trained me in pasteup and layout, and I became a typesetter, and learned a lot about typography. Typesetting is not a creative job, it’s basically following a designer’s directions exactly, but you learn the do’s and don’ts of typography, and you become an expert on how things are done, and some designers know more than others, and you add to that. Of course, they’re not going to handle all the details, like how you balance pages, rivers and things like that. You work really closely with type. You learn all the lingo and the whole thing; so over the period of ten years, I became an expert. When did you start experimenting? Not until much later. I became a type snob. The typesetting that I was doing before was just for books. It was very conservative. Once I started my design company, I started doing different kinds of things, business cards and brochures, which require more decisions about what you do with type. That was a new learning curve. A craft instead of an art? That’s a close analogy. It was a craft I knew very well. But I had always been very conscious of doing things right. Even as a designer, I didn’t break the rules very much and, if I did so, I did it very carefully. When I went out on my own, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t really know. Something happened, and I can’t explain it, but somehow my knowledge in typography, and an interest I have in ornamentation, they just sort of came together in a spontaneous way. And I started working with type in much more adventurous ways, and ways that I never would have dared to before, eventually making my own lettering. I’m not one of these people who goes around taking pictures of signs or identifying type. I’m not as much of a type geek as people might expect.Do you always feel the challenge to do something very ornamental, to top something, or does simple ever work? That’s an interesting question. I do have a love for modernism, I love it so much, and I do have some ideas for some things that I’ve wanted to do that are very simple. But I have a double mental block about it. On one hand, I feel certain responsibilities to the people who like my work, to continue to do that, and on the other hand, simple seems so easy. I seem to exist on making things difficult for myself. It seems like cheating or something. Which is not to say I don’t respect other people’s work. When I look at those John Massey posters (on display at the Chicago Design Museum), I don’t think it’s easy, I think it’s so beautiful. When it comes to my own work and myself, I need to sweat it out. Do you ever see yourself doing other types of design, like icon design? “Icon design doesn’t interest me. It has to be clear” It would be very frustrating for me to do that. I’ve done a little bit of illustration and stuff. Early on, I, when I figured out what I was doing, and I put the typography thing together, I was an illustrator, just not the kind that can draw you a cat. And now, I think about segueing into the kind of illustrator that can draw a cat. A lot of your work has a childlike sense of play, like the macaroni art or the sugar art for Stefan Sagmeister. What informs this sense of wonder? What interests you outside of art and design? All sorts of things. I’m interested in science. I don’t know if I have a problem-solving mind.
“Even though I myself feel very comfortable leaning towards the scientist point of view rather than the self help section, neither the show nor the film are strictly scientific. It’s very much a personal project.”
SS: “In psychology there are tests to see if you’re sane or not. And so from a purely scientific level yes it can be measured and yes I did do those tests and yes I was sane.
SS: “I would say that, strangely and unexpectedly for myself, I was probably the most creative on antidepressants. A lot of people have come up to me and told me they’re on antidepressants and I’ve literally heard every possible answer, negative and positive. “Nobody really knows why or how they’re working. We don’t even really know if they do something. There is authoritative research in the UK that shows the entire group of antidepressants has such a little difference from placebo.
“But I know of course the craziness in Dali was a branding and marketing gimmick that he used very deliberately because he was a fairly meticulous person otherwise he couldn’t paint those extremely ridiculous and carefully planned out paintings. In that space, craziness has a similar sort of annoying overuse as creative and it’s just that kind of terminology just loses everybody’s interest because it’s used so broadly. “The eclipse is ok but the eclipse is special only because of its rarity. If we were to have an eclipse every morning, and a sunrise every couple of years, oh my God people would go nuts for that sunrise.
AA: Which method did you find was most successful at improving your personal happiness? Which would you recommend to creative people?
“Words like crazy are overused to the point of meaninglessness. For example, Salvador Dali, not one of my favourite artists, apparently said: “The difference between crazy people and me is that I know that I’m crazy.”
SS: “My own experience is that variety in everything works. For example, a total eclipse is really exciting for me. But if I look at it from a design pizazz point of view, a sunrise is much more exciting, and is much better looking than a total eclipse.
“While doing the research, I found that whenever a scientist did personal research, I found it so much more interesting than when they talked about a study that they commissioned. Which logically makes no sense because of course the study is going to be better or more exact information than their own single experience, but noticing this in myself, I thought I’d do the same thing and just talk about my experience.
So the statistics basically are the icing on the cake and I very much cherry picked it. It’s very much from a personal point of view because the stuff that spoke to me, I quoted. The stuff that didn’t I happily ignored.
AA: Many of your paths to happiness involved being in other countries. Do you think true happiness requires a separation from the mundane?
SS: “It made me measurably happy because I did measure it.
“I’ve seen that, in the past, and this is not the first time I’ve realised it, by and large I am mainstream enough if I find something interesting other people do too. So I didn’t have to make a survey on is this interesting or not. If I think this is juicy other people do too. AA: For The Happy Show, you tried three strategies (meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy and SSRIs or antidepressants) to improve your own happiness, looking at techniques that make a ‘sane’ person happier rather than helping someone with mental health issues such as depression. How were you sure that you are a good example of a ‘sane’ person? Is there even such a thing?
AA: During your talk, you mentioned that doing new activities is one of the factors of happiness, and for you, the film and The Happy Show were new activities, as was the research. How much was the show about making yourself happy?
“At the time I didn’t really want to hear this, but after thinking about it I thought, yeah he has a point. And I was thinking what could it be that I would love to do but might also be useful to somebody else?
“The stuff that I quoted comes mostly from three people. One is Jonathan Haidt from NYU. The second is Daniel Jacob at Harvard, and the third is Steven Pinker also at Harvard. But neither the film nor the show are really about the statistics. I am not a psychologist and I am not an expert on what makes people happy. Not at all. But I can talk quite authoritatively about what makes me happy, because I’m a pretty damn good expert on myself. There is nobody better.
AA: As part of your research, you found that happiness is based 40% on doing new activities, 10% on the state of your life and 50% in genetics. Where did you get your statistics from?
SS: “I read roughly three dozen books and met many, many psychologists.
“At that point I had given a talk quite a lot on design and happiness that always generated a whole bunch of great feedback. I thought maybe making a film about this would be juicy, because it would force me to do the research, it would be a challenge because I’ve never made a film, and there might be the possibility that if I make it personal, other people might be able to relate to it.
“He thought that I should do something that’s somehow more useful. That I have a little platform and there is a responsibility that comes with that. And doing this furniture for our own studio was not a good use of my time.
AA: The Happy Show is all about what makes people happy. Why did you choose to explore happiness?
We sat down with Stefan after his talk to find out more about the exhibition, the reasoning behind it and the accompanying documentary. Of course, we couldn’t leave without throwing in a question about the naked postcard, too.
SS: “During my year in Bali, during my experimental sabbatical year, we made a whole bunch of furniture. The furniture idea was to explore something outside of graphics. Something that’s more three dimensional, and we needed furniture for the studio in New York.
This week, at the Reasons To Be Creative event in Brighton, designer Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh took to the stage to talk mostly about his exhibition, The Happy Show, which is currently touring the world.
“A very close friend of mine came to visit, and he looked at all the furniture prototypes and he basically thought this was a waste of my time.
Stefan Sagmeister tells us about The Happy Show, the possibility of it coming to the UK, and that naked postcard.
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