3 April

The reception of Die neue Typographie seems to have been quiet.  There was very little advertising and no discussion of the book. However, in 1930 Die neue Typographie was described as ‘almost out of print’, and in 1931 it was described as ‘out of print’, showing that the book was cleary a success. By 1929 Tschichold announced there would be a second edition.

In October 1925 the magazine elementare typographie spread the knowledge of The New Typography. It had originally been attacked and criticized, but it was soon becoming accepted.

At this time, the future of modernism in Germany wasn’t promising – economically and politically. Around 30% of the population was unemployed and life was becoming very politicized; violent and extreme. In January 1933 Adolf Hitler was chosen as the Chancellor of Germany, which led to freedom of expression being lost. 

26 March

Tschichold stated that asymmetry is an expression of modern life, and it seeks to bring control to the revolutionary movements. He felt that axial symmetry was dishonest and it negatively impacted the clarity of the text, whereas the new style shows the artists control. (Eskilson, 2012)

25 March

‘The essence of the New Typography is clarity. This puts it into direct opposition to the old typography, whose aim was ‘beauty’ and whose clarity did not attain the high level we require today.’

The term New Typography was first used by Moholy-Nagy in 1923, in a catalogue that accompanied the Bauhaus exhibition. This exhibition caught the eye of a young German, Jan Tschichold, who soon became a leading voice in the introduction of the New Typography. 

Search for common ground. A comparison between modernist and postmodernist typography.

In my essay I intend to compare modernist and postmodernist typography to see if there is any common ground shared between the two. Areas I will cover include key figures, key typefaces and the social, cultural and historical events that led to the movements.  

19 March 2013

Jan Tschichold was a typographer, book designer, teacher and writer. Tschichold converted to Modernist design principles in 1923 after visiting a Bauhuas exhibition. After this he became a leading advocate of modernist design, he published his book Die neue Typographie in 1927. This was a manifesto of modern design. He favored Sans Serif typefaces and non-centered design.

15 March 2013

One of the most common postmodernist themes is deconstruction, which was developed by Jacques Derrida. It is generally applied to literacy but can be used for the other arts. Deconstructionism is the philosophical theory of criticism, usually of literature or film, it seeks to expose contradictions in a work by looking below its surface meaning. It arose in reaction to literary theories of structuralism, which had suggested that when words are understood within the context of a society then we could point to the specific meaning of a text. The deconstructionists disagreed with this; they stated that that the meaning of a text is different for every reader.

 Through deconstruction, a chaotic and unruly worldview is achieved. Postmodernism seems to be chaotic and contradictory and takes pleasure in irony and confusion.


14 March 2013

Wolfgang Weingart is an internationally known graphic designer and typographer. His work can be categorized as Swiss typography and he is credited as creator of New Wave/Swiss Punk typography. He is most famous for his experimental, expressive work that broke the mould of classical Swiss typography, and by looking at his work we can see his mastery of typographic rules and how he breaks them. He began teaching at the Basel School of Design, where he was appointed an instructor of typography in 1963. Whilst he was there he taught a new approach to typography that influenced the development of the New Wave, deconstruction and the majority of graphic design in the 1990’s. Weingart took Swiss Typography as his starting point, and blew it apart. Never intending to create a style, yet it spread around the world. 

12 March 2013

A name that is synonymous with Postmodernism is the graphic designer David Carson, it has been suggested that he changed the face of design. When looking trough his work you can see a define style running through them, the raw use of photography, texture colour and vibrancy all create exciting pieces. The unconventional aesthetic of Carson’s work could be due to his lack of design training, or a reaction to the modernist movement. Carson seems to break almost all of the rules established by modernists. His work appears to have no structure, no order and lacks control. He took the modernist movement and totally changed it, in essence this is what the postmodernist movement is all about, and that is why David Carson is such a good example of design from this period.