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Tschichold had converted to the new modernist design principles in 1923 after visiting the first Weimar Bauhaus exhibition. This exhibition has left a huge impression on Tschichold and his work. Tschichold had been influenced by black letters and scripts from a young age, and then, suddenly, he came across sans-serif typefaces, that were made of simple shapes and straight edges. This changed the way that Tchichold thought about type, and in which he used simplicity to create his designs. Other layouts of this time were sloppy, and always formed to the same old structure. Overnight Tschichold’s work began to have a well designed structure and composition. Add to this plenty of white space and use of shapes, Tschichold created something special. In a special 1925 issue of “typographische mitteilungen” enLeeds Art Gallery 28th March 2011


The New Typography

titled “elementare typographie”, Tschichold introduced important typographic rules that he had learnt from the Bauhaus exhibition.

DIE NEUE TYPOGRAPHIE A review of Jan Tschicholds most exiting exhibition


hen visiting Jan Tschichold’s latest exhibition at the Leeds Are Gallery I remember a blur of asymmetric, simplified layouts and bold typographic structures. The complex

angles of type and vivid use of shapes create some remarkable work. Jan Tschichold has been a pioneer of the “new typography”, when he abandoned traditional typographic rules, and began creating abstract works that changed the way the world thought about typography. Jan Tschichold is one of the most distinguished typographic designers of the 20th century.

He worked as a teacher and a

writer. He has designed many typefaces, his most famous being “Sabon”. He also wrote many books on his theory of typographic design, his most noted book is the “Die Neue Typographie”,

in which Tschi-

chold analyzed typographic design and justified asymmetric compositions as important elements to typographic structures. Tschichold was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1902. From a young age Jan Tschichold was interested in typography, and layout design. He was the son of a sign writer, and was trained in calligraphy, this may explain why Tschichold has such a vast understanding of typographic design. This mastery of the arts set him apart from all the other skilled typographers in his time, inevitably they had trained in architecture, or the fine arts.




After this Tschichold released a book called “Die Neue Typographie”. This book was a manifesto of the modern design principles that he has recognised. Tschichold prohibited serif typefaces, and only agreed with the use of sans-serif typefaces. He also favoured asymmetrical, n on centred design, and codified many typographic design principals. This book was followed by a series of manuals on the principles of modernist typography which were a great influence in Germany. Today “Die Neue Typographie” remains a classic, and influential book on modernist design, however Tschichold began to abandon his rigid beliefs from 1932. Tschichold began to move back towards classicism in print design. He later condemned “Die Neue Typographie” as too extreme. In the late 1940’s Tschichold lived in England where he oversaw the redesign of various paperbacks published by Penguin Books, leaving them with a standardized set of typographic rules. Tschichold made these books stand out as he allowed the nature of each work to dictate its look, with varied covers and title pages.

good taste is often erroneously rejected as old “ Today, fashioned because the ordinary man, seeking approval of

his so-called personality, prefers to follow the dictates of his own peculiar style rather than submit to any objective criterion of taste - Jan Tschichold

This piece of work is taken from Tschicholds most noted book “Die Neue Typographie”. In this work Tschichold uses a mixture of bold and standard typeface weights, and bold thick shapes to create a peice of typographic art. Tschichold cleverly uses the size of the type and the weight to establish a clear heirarchy in the design, drawing the viewer to look at the most imprtant pieces of information first. Tschichold only uses black and yellow, two colours that have a high contrast. The light background emphiseses the black type. Tschichold always favoured non centred design, this piece is no different. Tschichold aligned the left column f type to the left, and the right column also to the left. The space around the right column

My Conclusion Tschichold pushed the boundaries of modernist typography and sparked a revolution. In my mind, without Jan Tschichold’s bold, abstract designs, we would still be using traditional typographic rules. Type would be nothing more than just a means of communication; whereas Tschichold converted it into art. Tschichold chose to put form before function, yet was able to still able to portray a strong meaning in his work.

draws the readers attention to that type. However the text at the bottom of the page is aligned to the left. This overcasts on the type on the left. Due to the fact that this piece if text seems out of place draws the eyes attention. This is also helped with selected bolf words, and the negative space around it.

Grafik Magazine - Tschichold