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Herb Lubalin and Jonathan Barnbrook are both one of the most prominent designers of their time. Herb Lubalin was an American typographer. His achievements included advertising, editorial design, trademark, typeface design, posters, and packaging during the 1950’s and 1960’ s. He collaborated with Ralph Ginzburg on three of Ginzburg’s magazines: Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde, and was responsible for the creative visual beauty of these publications. He designed a typeface, ITC Avant Garde, for the last of these; this distinctive font could be described as a post-modern interpretation of art deco, and its influence can be seen in logos created in the 1990s and 2000s. Johnathan Brannbrook is a British graphic designer, film maker and typographer who plays a role in the digital revolution of today.


In the 1950’s Typography was hand set metal type of the

Gutenberg day but the introduction of phototype made

metal type a thing of the past. In phototype systems, letter

spacing could be compressed to extinction and forms could

overlap. A wide range of type sizes was available. The in-

troduction of phototype gave designers a playful direction

in typography. words, letters, pieces of letters, additions to

letters, connections and combinations, and manipulation

of letters were used in order to form typographic expression.

It was the rise of the electronic and computer technology. Graph-

ic designers in this period such as Jonathan Branbrook were

TECHNOLOGY IMPROVED AND EXPANDED THE now able to create page layouts. Typesetters operated text and

CREATIVE POTENTIAL OF GRAPHIC DESIGNERS BY display typesetting equipment; production artists pasted the ele-

MAKING IT EASIER AND FASTER TO MANIPULATE ments into position on boards etc. Apple Computers and Adobe

COLOR , FORM, SPACE AND IMAGERY. Systems were responsible for the popularity of computer graph-

ics. Adobe developed the PostScript language for printing, and

Aldus developed PageMaker, page layout software, enabling

users to create their own documents without having to use a

graphic designer or professional printer. Soon designers were

busy creating typefaces for the new systems.

Tourette & Manson Typefaces - Designed by Barnbrook

Avante Garde Gothic Typeface - Designed by Lubalin

Lubalin was influenced by his discontentment with the limitations metal type presented. The visual organization of type took connotative meaning and the use of decorative and novelty typefaces were explored. Herb Lubalin incorporated all these possibilities into his work. Developing metal typefaces would cost large amounts of money. One would have to hand set the type but in large quantities of the different weights required. Visual space and surface became his primary considerations in his compositions. Jonathan Barnbrook’s major influence is 20th century history and contemporary politics. He describes as a major influence to his work an inner anger which is a response to all the unfairness that is in this world. He works with companies like Adbusters. The bi-monthly magazine edited by Kalle Lasn based in Canada, are an anti-advertising publication and website that seeks to expose the harm that advertising and large corporations do to us.

Herb Lubalin was responsible for creating the typefaces Avante Garde, Hess Gothic Round, Pudgy Puss, Serif Gothic, ITC Ronda, and ITC Lubalin. In 1964, Lubalin formed his own design consultation firm named Herb Lubalin, Inc. It was during these years that he collaborated with Ralph Ginzburg on Eros, Fact and Avant Garde where he served as creative director and designer for these publications. Avant Garde, which was not originally designed as a commercial typeface, has tight-fitting letterforms. The combinations reflected Ginzburg’s desire to capture “the advanced, the innovative, the creative.” The characters fit was so perfectly tight that they created a futuristic, instantly recognizable identity for the publication.

Bastard is a black letter typeface created in 1988 when the com-

puter made it possible for designers to create typefaces easily,

faster and conveniently. Branbrook said that he found the black

letter forms interesting because of the similarity in shapes and

JONATHAN BRANBROOK DESIGNED THE TYPEFACES how the characters differ ever so slightly from each other. the

BASTARD, AND EXOCET, MANSON, MELANCHOLIA, name of the typeface of exocet was a play with the balance be-

DOUBLE THINK, VIRUS, TOURETTE, MORON. tween creating peace and starting a war. the letterforms were

precise, dangerous and looked beautiful all the same. Branbrook

defined his typefaces as a synthesis of many different things de-

fined by the time you are working in.

Echelon & Manson Typefaces - Designed by Barnbrook

Ronda EF Typeface - Designed by Lubalin

Typography Expressionism in the 1950’s involved figurative typography. Letterforms became objects, and objects became letterforms. The technology of this time was the metal type, which soon began to fade away with the introduction of phototype. Lubalin was influenced by his discontentment with the limitations of metal type. He cut up words and reassembled them. Type was compressed until letters joined into ligatures and enlarged to a varied number of sizes. Letterforms were joined, overlapped and enlarged. Lubalin explored the creative potential of phototypography. He used special lenses in order to expand, condense and outline letterforms. With this hands on approach, Lubalin explored scale, white space and visual flow throughout his compositions. The digital revolution gave designers freedom to design, create and distribute typefaces. It increased experimental, new, original and unusual typefaces.

Lubalin practiced design as a visual means of giving visual form to a concept or a message. He showed how beautiful type could be. He abandoned traditional typographic rules and practice and looked at alphabet characters as both visual forms and message communication. Branbrook sketched things roughly and used the computer to further construct his typeface concepts and ideas. The computer finesses his drawings and builds up from there. as he designs his typefaces, he tries to undermine the power and authority of typography within the idea in order to reference ideas from history.

A recurring theme of Barnbrook’s graphic design is the series of

Barnbrook practices design as a way to communicate the personal responses to noted political events, that often follow or

different things in society and uses it in a way to change develop detournement methods. He describes as a major influ-

the way we perceive things and inform our choices. He sees ence to his work ‘an inner anger which is a response to all the

it as a chance to tell the truth through printed words or unfairness that is in this world’.He has stated his ambition to use

at least to interject between them and the viewer. ‘design as a weapon for social change’. He believes typography

is about cultural exchange between people and the transference

of meaning between two beings and in order to do so, one must

be interested in culture, in life and be positive about it.

Tourette Typeface - Designed by Barnbrook

Avante & Ronda EF - Designed by Lubalin

Type as Culture and Politics  

The assignment was to create a book comparing and displaying the type of two chosen typographers. My solution was to compare and contrast th...