For AJn!!S and Hugh

Rrst pubUshed In Great Britain In 200'1 by Milr:hell Beazley, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group Limited,

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Copyright @ 2001 Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.

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Index Hilary Bird All righl' .,..."",tL .~ P"~ ~f lhi$ bo"~ ""'Y be II'p,O)du,<>d 0' WiUted In ".Y '~rm er by ~'Y m •• rI$ ek:clronl, or mediMiCllI. Includlnl pJ'OlrKOPVi" •• r cording or by o.V 1., ..... ,leln "'''.11" and rotnevul system. williG"' lh. prior ... Itt •• 1',,,,,,11;';00 of lb. pllbtl,ncr.

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1il2 Henryk Tomaszewski

1114 Jan Covers


Henry van de Velele Will Bradley

The New Poster Graphics for Retail

The Suffrage Movement Eric Gill


Push Pin Studio Herb l.uballn

Pop In the High Street Psychedelic Graphics The Underground Press Chinese Graphic Design Roman Cieslewicz Cuban Posters

t70 Grapus


World War I Posters E. McKn Isht Ka uffer A.M. Cassandre

Oe Still

EI Llssltzky

Alexan der Rodchen ko B<luhaus

Laszl6 Moholy·Nagy Herbert Bayer

Jan Tschkhold

The Ring Photomontage Alexey Brodovitch Art Deco

Studio Boggeri Karel Teige

Ladislav Sutnar Hendrlk Werkman National Identity

176 Pentagram
t80 Wlm Crouwel
182 Jan van Toorn
18~ Gert Dumbar
186 Hard Werken
188 Muriel Cooper
190 Wolfgang Weingart
192 Dan Friedman
194 Bruno Monguzzl
196 lkko Tanaka

204 April Greiman

206 Style Magazines

210 Javier Mariscal

212 Vaughan Oliver

214 (ran brook Academy of Art

216 Emigre

218 Tibor Kalman
220 Erik Spleke rrnann
100 222 Neville Brody
102 Herbert Maller 224 Why Not Ass odatas
104 Saul Bass 228 Jonathan Barnbrook
106 Paul Rand 230 Eiko Ishioka
110 Clpe Pineles 232 David Carson
Lester Beall 234 Ott +Stein
Leo Llonni 236 Sheila tevrant de Brelleville
Bernard Villem ot 238 Adbusters
118 Abram Games 240 Design/Writing/Res~arch
120 F.H .K. Henrion 242 Cyan
Design Magazines
lUf Josef MUlier-Brockmann INFORMAnON
126 Bru no Munarl
128 Olle Eksell 244 Bibliography
1)0 Design for Transportation 248 Museums and Design Collectlons
134 Ivan Chermayeff 249 Glossary
136 Massimo Vignelll 250 Index
1)8 Robert Brownjohn 255 Acknowledgments
Yusaku Karnekura Visual communication is an inextricable part of human history. It has existed as long as there has been the need to make marks or leave traces, to communicate through signs and symbols rather than the spoken word. In the contemporary world the activity of organizing Signs and symbols, or words and images, for public exchange is recognized as graphic design ~ a specialist area of the broader fleld of design.

$0 me h tst oM es 0 f gra phi c desl.g n begi. n wit h pre h istorl c cave paintings and go on to ccnslder, along the 'Nay, Egyptian hieroglyphics. Chinese calligraphy. medieval manuscripts and type design 0 f the eighteenth century, This bo ok Concentrates on twen ti eth- century g-rap h I c desl gn. wh I ci1 sta rted with th e d ivi 5 lc n of labour brought about by Industrialization ..

Today graphic design embraces printed material From the smalles~ ephemeral Item ~ a stamp, label or ticket ~ to publication design in the form of the Interiors and extenors of bocks and magazines. It also includes poster and advertising design, as well as traderna rks, logos and symbols. Then there are extensive systems of In ronmatlon design - slgnage In Ihe built environment, exhibi tions and corporate Identities for camp antes, all often developed In close association with architect ural pra.ctlces. Graphic designers can also be Involved In multi-media design, whether in areas of traditional print media or in screen-based design for film. computer and television.


It is believed that the American typographer William Addison DwigginS flrst coined the term "graphic deslgn~'ln 1922, In order to distinguish different kinds of design for prlntln g. Before th is the mec'hanlzatlo'n of printing processes had coincided with the emergence or advertising as a malo r form of prl nt culture to propel the market For goods. In the mid- and I.ate nineteenth century ~he demands of a mass market had encouraged a prollferatlon of specialist hand-workers to su pply the printing presses. These workers were responsible for a wide range of illustrations executed In a variety of Hgurative styles In wood engraving as well as In the more recent technl ques of lithogra.phy and photogravure. At nrst the graphic arts were closely aligned to their technical base in craft skills. Later, however, the need to coordinate activities an d to advise a client on the best appropriate solution. led to a se paratlcn between plan and execution. The Intermediary was the graphic designer - someone who would receive Instructions from a client. devise drawings and plans and then Instruct lechnidans,. typesetters and printers to realize tnedeslgns.

The enthusiasm cap urcd In this photograph spea ks of Ihe optimism at the BauhallS SCllool of art, doslgn and archltaetuta. Established al the end of World War I In W~lm"r under the direction of the nrcnlte(l Wolter Groplu5, II b tame a seedbed for new deslgn, Including many xploral ry Ideas aboul modern graphic and typographic design,

The design rs discussed in this book worked in a variety of contexts. Some, such as Will Bradley, Eric Gill, Hermann ZapF, Herb tuballn, Erik Splekermann and Jonathan Barnbrook. have been employed by type foundries, applying their spedallst knowledge of calligraphy, lettering an d typography to devise new typefaces or adapt exlstlng' ones for changl ng technologies. Others were taken 0 n by a particular company. This was so for Peter Behrens, artistic adviser to AEG. the world's largest electrical company before 1914; or Massln, art director for the French publisher Gallimard For 20 years in the middle of the century. Still others joined advertlslng agendas, but by far the most common model was that of the Independent designer. Most deslgners Featured In this book established thel r own studlos, while others Fa rrned partnerships. In both cases the lndivl dual designers' names acted as a form of shorthand label for a group of staff, equipped with a variety of skills suited to the interdls!:ipllnary nature of graphic design.


In the early years the expression "commercial graph its" had pejorative connotations. It imposed a hierarchy In which the nne arts, appa rently not associated with commerce, slood above the applied arts, which were at the service of commerce, Towards the end of the century such assumptlons became hard to sustain, as it was by now clear that all arts are part of an economic system, However, much energy had to be spent convincing the public

that the activities of graphic design were w I'thy of attention.

Professlonallzatlon of graphic design Involved establishing organizations for Its promotion, The lead came In diFt'erent ways from Europe and the United States. In the latter the American

I nstltute of Graph tc Arts (AlGA) was founded in New York In 1914, making It the oldest organ Izatlon cenee m ed to promote the activities of the "graphic arts". Many of the deslgners In this book have been high-profile members of the AlGA and redplents of Its gold med nls, amon g them Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour ChW8St and Massimo Vign ill. The aims of the AlGA were to Improve standards through debate, education and good practice, Advertising was a particularly sensitive area, where visual excess and fals@ claims had led the public to distrust 1t as "quackery".

It was decided that to give awards and to treat advertising as art would Improve the situation by bestowing greater significance o~ the activity. Advertising was 0 f prime Interest to the Art Directors Club, founded In New York In 1920, An annual exhlbltlon and publication served to promote the best of creative standards In design anci art direction. Again. many of the designers In this beck were elected to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in recognition of their achievements.


In Europe the entury opened with many publications devoted to the poster, at that time the most visible and prestigious genre of graphic art. In Paris Roger M~r); published the periodical tes Maitres de L 'AfflclJe from 1695, I n eluding the work a f famous painters who Were also design I ng lithograph Ie posters For theatre, concerts and consumer goods. He championed their collection by museums and private enthusiasts. This was Followed by the publication In England of The Poster (1898-1901) and In Germany of Dos Plakat (1910-21).

During the interwar years more specialized publications Indicated that. graphic design was gaining strength. Journals such as Arts et Metiers Grephiques (1927-39) and Gebmuchsgraphlk (t924-44) took e wide 1 nterest In beck, poster and exhlbltio n design. It was not until after 19115 that the term "graphic design" WaS broadly ado pled to deflne the educatlo nal and pro Fes,iollai activity - a stage when degree courses in Graphic Design and Illustration were established In many parts of the world. During the period a generation of international magazines reviewed graphi design, among the most prominent being Graphis (19 ... 4-) and Neue Graphik (1958-65) from Switzerland, Print (1940-) from the United States and TypograplJlea (1958-65) from Britain. This increasing awareness of graphic design coincided with major technological change. Design for film an d Ie levis Ion dema n ded an

Moser, a member of the Vienna

Secassfon, made the magazine a ,ewel motlf In tills poster exhorting the public to take the 11/ u s ttiett» Ze/lUng, The deccratlve deslgn is typical of lhe Secessionist tyle. An

Important element 15 the woman's dress, which renects the aim of Secessionist designers to harmonlze the domestic Interior, woman's

clolhlng and graphic design,

Kamekura was among the flrs! Isp~ne~e designers to Introduce mederntsm to hls country and to subsequently become an internationally r~{ogniz"d graphic deslgner, The poster exploits the apparent simplicity of two symbols: the red sun of the lapanese flag and the Ave rings of tho Olympic symbol, both anchored by the words "Tokyo 1964"',

amphasls on systems. "Visual communication" became preferred as an all-embracing term that avoided the underlying assumption that graph lc design activities were nsccssarlly for print on paper.

Whel1 the Apple Macintosh computer was launched in 1984 it opened up graphlc design to a much wider grOLtp of users, who were now equipped to develop the new field of desktop publishing. The Impact of the computer Is further discussed In the section "Design In the Digilal Age". From this time changes

In typography and graphic design reflected a renewed excitement about the interact! 0[1 between typography and other forms 0 f artistic expression, as article In magazines such as Emigre (198Z-) and Eye (1991-) revealed .. Instead of a dherl ng to the

arlier, over-reductive definitio[l of the graphic designer as a problem-solver, Ihis recent movement interpreted typography and graphic desigh as part of a wider cultural practice with references in film, music, style, fashion and Hne art.


This book employs recogn lzed thematic headings to define graphic design I n common wl Ih other Fields of artistic and design activity. Accordl ngly, style labels such as Futurism, Constructivls m, Surrealism, New York School, Pop and postrnodernlsm are used as markers to indicate how graphic design is part of a broader visual and ftlstle language,

The century opened with the idea of graphic design as "A Ni2w Profession". Initiatives Were made to improve the standard of design for print in the Design Reform movement In Europe and the USA. Pioneering individuals moved from painting' or architecture to deffne what graphic design might be. The second section. "The New Design and Artistic Experiment", xplores the extremely rich cultural activities of the interwar years and the impact of modernism In design and architecture on graphic design, At this lime many Ira Ined artists a bandcned Basel painting In their belief that design could be democratic. The Bauhaus, the school of design a~)d architecture chat ran for a re\~tively short period from 1919 I n Weimar until its closure in Serlin in 1933, epitomized this belief. The school was a seedbed of ideas that informed subseq uent design for commun icatlon.

The section "Mld'Century Modern" covers the consolidation of modernism as the official style for graph ie design at a Ii me of worldwide political disarray. Modern sans-serlf typefaces, photographic ill ustratlon and I deas fro m mode rn art were a II thought of as strategies thai would encourage international communication. As n approach, modernism lnformed the commissioning by art directors for clients in publishing, advertising and publicity design for multinational companies. Escaping tile totalitarianism of Europe in the 19305, many


Emlgr Fonts, based In Callfornfa, is a digltlll type foundry, typef!Jce distributor aM publisher founded In 19811 In response 10 the Introduction of lhe Apple Macintosh computer. Tlw compDny grew quickly, making available, by the end of the century. lSi' original lypeface des I gns by m any CO rite m per" ry

d signers. It wa iust one part of the highly significant Intervsntlon of \f@nderLons and Llcko In contemporary grallhic deslsn.

modernist graphic designers crossed the AtlantiC. Indudlo8 Sutnar, Moholy-Nagy, Lion nl, Bayer and Telge, a nd helped to lntroducs the style to the lncreasingly sophisticated and professional atmosphere of corporate America. After World War II modernism was re-exported to the rest of the world, partly perceived as an American phenomenon, with important centres Forming most notably In japan and Switzerland.


III a professional sense. graph Ie desl gn has been largely a

product F the "first world" and is profoundly associated with an industrial and cornrnerclal base. Many of the celebrated figures in this boo It hal' worked for national and international companies, their work a participation In the global economy. There are also Independent voices. exceptio ns who refused to pia V this role. The Constructivist designers EI Lissiu:ky and Alexander Rodchenko were both Involved In the great experiment to Rnd a graphic language suited to a new communist society In the Soviet Union during the experimental years under Lenin in the early 19205. In later decades Polish. Cuban and Chlnese graphic d sign, discussed In the sectlon "Pop, Subversions and Alternatives". did not conform to the model of Western-style ind ustrial graphics, with

its concern to sustain market valu s. Oeslgners in these countries. a number of them at odds with the dominant political syst rn,

tu med instead to graphic design as a form of cui rural enrlchmem.

Many graphic design ers in the West have likewise been unhappy with the model of acquiescence and support for the political status quo that was evident thrc ughoUI the centu ry, In the 19605 social and polltical unrest was manifest In the

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This poster displays many characteristic Ideas of the French graphic design collective srapus, 1'1'110 w~re committed

to work 01 an engaged. pclltlcal nature. Geny·Chambertin. a well·known brand of champagne, is cross-referred to an I mage of a Mo'oIO~ cocktail' In an anneuneernent for a play performed by th radical Theatre of the Red Hat. Details of the

p e rfo rmance a ra given In an urge n t, scril)blecJ style.

underground press and in moves to found alternative societies. In a political reaction against capitalism. th work of John Heartfleld, the famous German designer of the Weimar era who used photomontage as a po I ltlcal weapon In his struggle against the rise of Nazism. took on renewed significance. The french collective Graplis grew out of the climate of pOlitical radicalism

I n the Paris 0 f 1968, accepting commlss Ions only [rom groups whose causes they supported and producing work that extended the principles of collage and montage. Also springing from the radicalizati on of the New Left, feminist dsslgn practice encouraged alternative approaches to graphic design. including site-specific installations based on scclal issues, as in the work of the American designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville.

Much graphic design of the 19805 and 19905 lurned to acad mtc debate on the character of word and image, informed by French cultural theory, sem lology and post-strurturatlsm. The phrase "typography as discourse" usefully summarizes this emphasis on meaning and the subsequent exploratlon of the linguistic character 0 f design.


The choice facing the graphic deslgner in the late twentieth century seemed 10 be at least twofold. Many designers retained the idea that graphic design could improve the visual environment. This Q utlo ok, usually describe d as "late modern", represented continuity with the founding alms of graphic design. Meanwhile postmodemlsts, by contrast. suggested that there had been a category redefinition, that a fundamental break with modernism had occurred. They chose to celebrate pluralism of style and diversity of audience in reaction against what they perceived to be the over-reductive tend encV o.f previous design. As the

century dosed. this crltlcal perspective was mirrored In a collaboration between the Canadian-basad "cultural jammers" Adbusters, led bV Kalle tasn, and the British graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook. Asked to create a huge billboard for the annual AlGA conference 111 Las Vegas, attended by 3000 designers. they selected a text by the American graphic designer Tlbor Ka lman: "Designers, stay away from corporations that want you to tell I tes for them."

Taking stock at the beginning of a new century, it becomes dear that graphic deSign Is a we ll-astabllshed genre of design with its own set of Intellectual debates. Its own culture of journalism and criticism, and a thrivin g, active response to the changing deman ds of new tech nology. Graphic design continues to fulfil Important social and cultural roles. while also offering a space for reflection. contestation and subve rslon.


Graphic design was a new profession fora new century. Its emergence was underpinned by major technological changes, and while these had their roots in the previous century, it was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that their implications for the design process were realized.

For a modem communication system to. emerge, an infrastructure of mechanized priming, in k and paper manu Facture and speciali5tmac~lnery ror felding, blndillg and stapling was necessarv, This was prompted by 1J huge change in the pattern of liFe .or urban pep ulatlons In tl1e late nineteenth centu ry that may be summarized as a ccllectlve move to modemlty. The

m 19riltlon of people to towns and cities to find Industrialized

wo rk, th e growth .0 f rail wa y na tw I) rks a n d tne stea dy in ere ase in the mass market fer consumer geods were linked to ether lrnportant changes, Modern communlcatlons became dependent on reproductlon, at ~rst through print and tater in the century tllFeugh.radie,. televlslcn and film. Books, magaalnas, posters and advertisements bega n to be produced on an unprecedented scale, forinstru.ction,. education and entertainment. This led, for econo mlc and practical reasons, to tile ccncentranon .oF large' state printing houses in cltles.

The responsibility to train yeung workers fer the graphic trades and Industries had pre~lously belenged to [he guilds, but new trade schools and colleges of art and design took on the task. The model of desl gnsducatlon was largely based on wh~l was known as tile "South Kensington system", named after the area of Len don where the British government established the Scheol of Design in l837. A network 0 F similar "branch schoo Is" was subsequently set up in manufacturing towns and cities

th roughout the country. Matters 0 f taste and aesthetlcs were taught alongslds technical skills. An understanding of ern amen t was considered fUndamental to all branches of design and the best way to reform tBStR. Mest active in this campa:tgn were Henry Cole, the Faun der III 1853 .of the Soutn Kensington Museum (later the Victoria and Albert Museum), William Morris, Owen Jones and lotm Ruskin. Their Influence was Pelt scross many parts of Europe, where slrn llar arts arid crafts schools arid museu m 5 we re so on es ta bllshed .

The example of William Merris is i ndlsp ansa ble to an undsrstan ding of the Arts and Crafts rnovemen t between 189.0 and 1.914. An a.\l·reun d designer, Morris worked in textiles, wallpapers and Furnlltlfe, and made an lrnportant contribution to printing. The assthetlc . of Monis and his follewers was drawn frem medieval am and shewed a preference for natural motifs and colours, ~guratlen and high pattern. In 1891, towards the end of his liFe, Morris established, with T.]. Cobden-Sanderson,

Rhe d'S d sign Is characteristic of the Introduction of Arts and Crans ideals to the mod m commerclel poster. EmpMsl on tho harmony of the composition Is Elchlcved through the choles of coloured Ink s and tile a rm reach I os Into th e te~l,

the K lmscott Press to publish limited editions, He advocated hand-set type. woodcut tuustrauons and decorated Initials, all integrated to embody the "book beautl ful". A flurry of small privat€ presses sprang up all over Britain. Europe and the USA. But while Morris was against the machine for what he saw as its degradation of human labour and the Impoverishment of design, not a.1I his followers denied themselves the opportunity to work with mechanized processes. Many carried out his aesthetic prtndples but adapted them to mechanical reproduction.

A fundamental reform of design could only be possible if the typefaces available at founclrles were improved. In this advance the way was led by Germany. where a designer such as Peter Behrens would be commissioned by major companies to design several lrnportant new typefaces. A similar pattern followed In

the United States with Will Bradley. Bruce Rogers and Frederic Goudy and In srnern with Eric Gill, Edward Johnston and others.

If one leading impulse for the emergence of graphic design came from the Arts and (rarts reform of typography. another came from the poster movement. Here connections between the graphic and flne arts were emphasized. As it emerged. the new peste r sha red a visual language with Symbolism. Art Nouveau and the Secession. all movements that stressed links between the various fme and applied arts. Re~ctlng against neoclassical and neo-baroq uahlstorldsrn, these versions of the ~new art" veered towards new techniques and materials, advocatil1g an aesthetic simplicity. In the fleld of posters the t chnlque of lithography was particularly Important as it offered artists the opportunity to visit print workshops and draw directly on the especially prepared stone. In some cases artists integrated their own lettering into designs for posters. bringing aesthetic harmony to the medium.

The sense of composition amon!! deslgners In Europe and America was profoundly affected by their interest In the visual arts of Japan. The asymmetry of lapaness woodblock prints. their Rat colour, emphasis on single female figures and balance between foreground and background excited modern designers.

A series of lnternational exhibitions provided a venue for much comparison and competition between the various, nations' art industries. and posters wert! a central part 0 f these events. The exhibitions in Paris In 1900, Turin In 1902, St Louis In 190{, an d Brussels In 1908 simultaneously encouraged national distinctiveness and lrrternatlonal awareness.

By 1914 the book and poster arts were about to be subsumed into a greater whole: graphic design. With the outbreak of World War I. however. this syntheSiS was delayed and the full emergence of the-graphic designer would have to walt until the 19205.


Et 1868-19'10

a Important figure in German Arts and Crafts movement and linked with Jugendstil

a Trained as painter in Karlsruhe and Dusseldorf a Artistic adviser to AEG electrical company a Pioneer industrial

d signer with later

ca reer as architect

Peter Behrens, a self-taught architect and designer, was a prolific and outstanding figure of the German lugendstll movement at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Originally from Hamburg, Behrens studied painting in Munich. Inspired

by the British Arts and Crafts reform Ideals of William Morris and others, he designed a villa in Darmstadt's artists' colony in 1902. This was praised as a "Gesamtkunstwerk", a total work of art, conforming to ths contemporary Ideal that all aspects of design should be glvel' equal attention and be coordinated in the same style. The same prindple was to Inform much of his later work.

In the field of graphic design Behrens was most I mportant For his early Symbolist prints published In small art journals, his typeFace designs and his wad, for the Berlin electrical manufacturer AEG. All of this was largely undertaken between 1900 and 1914: after World War I Behrens worked malnlv as an architect. In the belief that, with the turn of the century, the arts were In need of regeneration. German type foundries commissioned Behrens to design typefaces which would express the new spirit of the age. It was also hoped that these might help put Germa n Industry on a co mpetitive faa ting with

Franc . Controversially. agalnst the German tradition of setting texts In Gothic script, Behrens- was keen to base designs on roman typefaces. He lnflected these with calligraphic quail ties more associated with German letterl ng. The first of the designs was Behrens-Schrift of 1902, a distinctive, elongated letterform compatible with Jugend.til decoration. Kurslv followed in 1906, and Behrens·An tlqua was available in 190B. The latter, a "roman I n a German

splrlt'', was used extensively In B hrens's designs for AEG.

In 1907 Beh rens was appointed artistic dlrector to AEG, a major man ufacturer of generato rs, cables, lisl1t bulbs, arc lamps and other electrlcal goods for domestic and industrial use. This was among the most celebrated appo lntmen Is I n design 11lstol)l, as it hera Ided the bl rth of the corporate Identity. Behrens's responsibilities grew from overseeing trade pamphlets and advertising to organizing

displays at Intern atto nal exhibitions. He redesigned AEG's trademark as a hexagonal motif, reminiscent of a honeycomb, which he then applied to the designs of new products, such as electric kettles, fans anc lam ps, This led to a visual consistency in all AEG goods. which brought instant recognition by the consumer. Extensive

use of Behrens-Antiqua gave the company's Identity 11

dean, sober appearance and brought AEG pr ise for Its systernatk ordering of product Information. Behrens's architectural 0 mee In Serlin also oversaw the construction or new Factories and workers' hOusing for AEG.

The classicism of Behrens's designs, with their striking use of symmetry, geometry and strong black and white contrasts, was praised for giving AEG a look which was artistic yet rational. This approach became associated with much modern German design fo r the rest of the century.





Bell1ens·Antlqu~ (Roman) typeroce. deSign d [or th Kllogspor typ· foundry.

wes an elegant IYDeloce that Behrens later used in his own designs. N~w typefaces were eonoun eo Internationally I h rou gh be c kl m. su (11 a, th Is.

The 0 ur che Werkbund's e.;:hibltion in Cologne In 1911; was an Ill1portant climax to the organization's Initiatives to display Ihe oulstantllng sesrhertc qualities of German lndustrlal goods. On the eve of Wor1d War I, however, sehrens's design was considered 100 aggressive and withdrawn, 10 be replaced by a more moderate design by Fritz Ehmck .

thls design develops from an

arrangcreont of concentric

circular mouts around a strong central. xl , sugg sting the radlatlon of light provided by ~leclrlc1ty. Behrens took up the post of artistic director to i\EG (Allgemeine ElekLrl!lt~tS Gesells(haft) of Berlin In 1907, As well as deslgni ng ll1e products themselves. he W~5 responsible (or lhe enlire

gr pnlc output of this major Industrial company:


VOIl de Velde took g'e~1 c~'e In h Is seier-lion or I ypef~ee5, chapter Initials, paper, Inks" nd binding, IIQ designed many of the ornamental panels and

lett rforms for Nietzsche's Ecce

Homo, published by lnsel Verlag Of L Ip!lg in 190B, and

for a larger compnnlon velum , Also Spmch larcllhuslf~,


IIl1n de Velo~ de51gned this poster lor ;rapon "gg·whll. mncentrato in 1898. It was c lebrated as the nrst application of Art Nouvoou lcr a readily available

com merctal product.

(30 1863 1957

(30 Lead ing Belgian Art Nouveau deslgnei who lived ill Germany 1904-17 (30 lrnpouant theory of line and ornament in applied art and design a Art Nouveau posters and book designs

Henry Van de Velde, whose career was established before the full emergence of graphic design, is best known as a designer and architect. Born in Belgium, he spent much of his career in Germany, where. from early in the twentieth century, his teaching played an important role in the foundation of modern ism. In the field of graphic art he designed posters, packaging and books in the Art Nouveau style.

Va 11 de Velde studied palnu ng at An twerp Aca demv from 1881 to 1884 and then under Carolus Duran In Paris. After settling In Brussels he joined the postimpressionist group Les Vlngl, who, Inspired by G uguln and his con! mpcranes, were Interested in appiying the new aesthetic ideas of Symbolism 10 the applied arts.

Van de Velde was an artlculate designer who, thrcugttou t a long career, wrote a considerable number of essays

and offered many statements about his work. In 1894 his essay "Deblaiemenl de l'Arr" (Clearing the Way for Art) mad a plea for the unity of the arts. Typically for an artist of his generation. he was influenced by th

writings of John Ruskin and the wallpaper and textile designs of William Morris.

In 18~5 Van de Velde built his own house In uccle, nea r Brussels, in which his des ign pri ncl pies were tested in 11 yariety 0 F disciplines. Thro ugh exhibitions, he was Introduced to a wide pu bile ~ nd he was commlssl oned tly Samuel Bing to design part of his new gall ry, l:Art Nouveau, Which promoted the latest style In Paris. Later he designed the interior of the Maison Moderllc for Bing's rival, Julius Meier·Graefe.

In his early pa loUngs and prints Van de Velde developed ths abstract potential of organ ie lines In ornament. He was especially interested In the way a line could convey en('!rgy and force while defining both negative and pOSitive space.

In 1904 Van de Velde was appointed Professor 0 F the School Q f Applied Arts (later the Bauhaus; see pp6D-3)

in Weimar. Germany. in a flew building to his design. While in Weimar he was also assoclated with Count

Harry Kessler, For whose Crartach Press he designed

some Important limited editions of the philosophical works of Friedrich Nietzsche. In keeping with their content. the design of the books embraced more than tne simple organization of the text. Nietzsche, basing his Id eas on the com In!!' together of artistic forms In opera, advocated the Idea of the Gesemtkunstwetk; the

111 Val' de Velda's early work th re were strong Imllarilies between his use of line and

ornamem in gruphi' design and In L11 other klndg of design he exeC(11 . d, such as th st;llned·glass panels for the Maison p, Otlet In Brussels, This

work 0150 points tho WDV to a later stage In hts career, when h b arne an Importanl archllect and Interior deslgnet


prinCiple tha t all the components of an a rtwork cal' cohere within a greater whole. If Van de Velde's book. designs represented a response to Morris's medlevallzlng aesthetic, they a lso suggested systematic approach to the ell tire design process that was high Iy in fluential for twentieth-century dsslgn.

Van de Velde made clear his Fundamental position

on deslll'n In a famous debate with the German architect Hermann Muthesius which took place at the Cologne Deu~sche Werkbund exhibition in 1914. Muthesius advocated standardization In design. whereas he supported Individual artlstl autonomy. Van de Vel de's later architectural career, in Belgium. the Netherlands and Switzerlalld, saw the completion of several major projects. most notably the library of Ghent Un iversity and the Krlliler-MUlier Museum in Olterlo.


In the daslgns Br~dley produced In 1904-5 fo r \ he II me rlc a n Ty ~e Fou n de I'S CO.'5 series of monthly magazines ihe Printer Man's loy, he d row 011 his d ep knowledg of early English and Amerlcan Colonial woodcuts.







AMERICAN Type Founders

Bradley Is assndated wilh tho nrst nowerlng of IIrl NOI.!V au in America. The shared sources of

Ihe style were lapanesc prints

and Ihe I;ngllsl1 grallhlc artist lIubrey Beardsley, whose work was known through Tho Studio, an Illustrated magazine of nne and applied art, Br~dley'5 use of this slvle Is exempllfled by this poster, published bv Scribner's Sons In 1895.

Et 1868-196~

@ Influential American Art Nouveau typographer and poster artist

e S If-taught in design Et Pioneer of artistic printing in United States e Decorative illustrations in magazines and books

Printing and the graphic arts underwent

rapid change in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Will Bradley, more than anyone, took the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement, the new style of Art Nouveau and a strong interest in Japanese design and assimilated them into American graphic design to prepare it for the new century.

Bradley was born In Bosto n but grew up in Mkhig~n, where he was Introduced to the skills of printing at an early age. Apprernlced at the age of 12 to a general printer, he later b came a foreman of the local newspaper. He was therefore self-taught in matters of design. His ideas and Inspiration were drawn fro m his own magazines an d books, and from readl ng In libraries about Japanese prints and the theories of decoration of

Owen Jones an d Christopher Dresser. The most profound inspiration came from William Morris, whose Founding of II private press and use of nature <\5 a basis for ornament made a great impression en the young Bradley.

By 1886 Bradley had moved to Chicago, II thriving commercial city In the midst of reconstruction after the greal fire of 1871, and in 1893 the venue of the World's Columbian ExpOSition. He established himself in the specialist community of typographers and printers, designing covers for Chicego's foremost trade journal, Tile Inland Printer, among other publications,

Bradley's lllustrative style depended on asymmetric, curvilinear ornament with contrasting black and white areas, The year 1B94 marked the beginning of Art Nouveau In America, and Bradley and Edward Penfield became its most recognlzsble exponents. Bradley's main

i 21
... worl( was for magazines, des Ignl ng bath covers and Interiors. He also designed several paste rs for pu bllshers and other commercial companies in the new style, often depicting the fashionable new woman In natural surroundings. His nrst book comm Ission, for Herbert

Ston e at Harvard University Press In 1894, was to des ign the cover, title page, page decorations and a poster for When Hearts Are Trumps, a volume of verse by Tom Hall.

The technique of colour lithography for printing large-stale posters was being rapidly Improved I n the last decades 0 F Ihe nineteenth centu ry, an d a poster craze swept the United States. The fashion for acquiring posters, especially by the French artists Bannard, Cheret, Steinlen, Toulouss-Lautrec and others, prepared the ground for Bradley's designs, which received Favourable reviews as exemplars of the new style.

Bradley's design for this pester for the leading American publishers Stone & Klmlloll uses conlrasllng asymmelrical and curvilinear Forms of n t

colour. The mmpnny was noted for commissioning nne printing and gr>lpl11c design.

Bra dley was also a serious typographer, and he

fo unded his own press, The Wayside Press, on moving to Springfield, M ssachusetts, In 1894. He published his own writings in Bradley: His Book, all art and liter ry magazine. Here he showed a broader Interest In the history 0 f prln tl ng than was possible I n the ria t gra phlc work, He was a keen advocate of the USe of Caslon typeface and studied early Colonial printing. These Influences emerged in The Chap Books, a series of 12 lournals published for the American Type Founders Co.

In 1904-5 as "0 campaign of type display and publicity".

In later life Bradley became art editor of a series of prestigious magazines. Between 1910 and 1915 he worked on Good Housekeeping, Metropolitan, 5uccess, Pearson's and the National Post, and then for William Randolph Hma.rst before retiring In 1925.

The modern artistic poster was an invention of the last years of the nineteenth century. Bafore this, letterpress posters for bill-posting in the streets had emphasized the text, and goods had been sold or events advertised by using the principal means of persuasion: words, set in a wide variety of typefaces.

The tech niqueof lithography encouragedchan ges.

Lithographic prtntlng Is described as a n autographic medium because whet is printed is a direct record of the lines cJrawn .by the hand 0 f the lithographic artist or master printer. The process .• Invented by tho German Alois SeneFelder between 1796 and )799, involves drawing in chalk on a Mat surface; this was lnltiallv done on a specially prepared stone an d later on nat rubber sheets that w~re compatible with rnechanizad presses. Artists could visit the prln ters, either to instruct the master printers or to work directly on the lithographic plates. Lithography attracted artists, who valued th~ mark-maklng qualities of the rneelum. The new poster was also distinctive In that It a Ilowed the copv-llne, or text. an d plctorla I schemes to be Integrated in an anlstlc whole,

This was the case In Paris, for example, where designers and artists such as Jules Ch~ret, Th~ophlle·Aloexandre

Stein len, Hsnri de Toulouse-Lautrec end Piell!! Bonnmd devised lettering that enhanood their pictorial compositions.

The Iden city a f the peste r depended on the close aS50cl~ tlon between the gr~phic and co mmerclal a rts. In the 1880s and 18905 posters we~ just as likely to be used to advertise a portfolio of prints or a contert as they were to sell bicycles, sewln g- machines or soap. Th Is new and powerful status was celebrated by the poster's advocates as part of the modernity a F co ntemporary lire, but equally it was stmng'ly crltldzsd by its detractors, who believed that Rna art was end.a.ngerecl by commerce.

Colour lithography also offered tremendo us possibilities for verisimilitude, an d the technlqus wasused fa r sophisticated reproductions. The most celebrated example of this was an advertisement for Pear's soap, which popularized the painting Bubbles by the Royal Ac.ademlclan lchn Everett Milia Is when II was converted Into il poster In 1886, Such pktoriallsm became

commo nplace in posters advertls ing- transportation (see PP1)O-3) and many other industrial. or domestic goods.

From the l8]os a prollfaratlonof illustrated posters could be seen in the streets of major towns and cities in Europ~ and No rth America. an n a undng thaatrlcal performances and musicals, brande d rcodstu fFs, new fa rms of travel, domestic goods anci clothing. In response to the welter of styles on display, designers associated with the nne arts or In association with the Arts an d Cra fts reform rnoveme nt deveto ped new styles of "artistic" poster, In lhe hope that these would stand out from the rest .. In France there was a dose assoclatl on batwesn pai ntars and poster art, whereas In the Netherlands, Germ any and Belgium It was more often designers and archltects who turned to poster deslgn, seeking to instil values of good taste and appropriateness of form and typography.

As eMly as 1881 the Magazln~ of Ad suggested tha t visitors to the cltlss could witness "the stree t as art gal.lerles". By 1m plication, posters became a means to dlssem lnare vlsua I Ideas to th ass unfamilia r with the art g<lllery. This idea wou Id remain for decades a leitmotif In commentaries ongr.ap'l1ic a rt and design, and often provided an Incentive to Improve the quality of designs,

However, not everyone was so enth uslastlc abo ut Ihe spread of printed images across the town and co untrvslde. In tend on In the 1B905, for exa mple, Ihe Society for Checking the Abuse of Public Advsrtisln g met to monitor issues of artistic style and' the location 0 f posters. They

hel d the Ylew that these modes of persuasion were too Forceful, and that 0 utdoor advertisements pressntada

Form of vtsual pollution. In many French and German ci ties this problem was addressed by using poster columns to encourage an orderly and artistic dlsp lay.

To Further the promotion or the poster a number of magazines were also launched a round this time, Including Les Maitres de L 'Afflche in Fra nee (1B9S), The Poster I n Britain (1696) and Das Plake! in Germany (1910). The spread of posters was also fuelled by private collectors and societies, and examples began to be acquired by the print collections of major museums of the decorative arts.

The poster boom led the acerbic Austrian writer Karl Krauss to comment In 15109: "Is there life b ~yond the poster?" - a comment strangely p resclenr or postmodern debates about whether there Is life beyond the media.

The date of appearance of publications dedicated to the poster reMected the respective degree' of commitment

This poster deslgned by Stelnlen for the Parlslnn IIthogl<iphlt primer CIMles Verneilu. ~~Llate, modernllY

wi th conternpurarv gm phic stvtes 10 celebrate the colourful v~rlety of 'sl reel !fe'.


Transatlantic oc~~n liners wer~ a popular subject lor prestlglcus chromo-lithographic posters, In 1111. case, d,e design ill crranged as Q IrJplvch with a formal mere often used ror painted nlla'1liec@s.

The very best umbrella man ufacl u rer EJtabliJhed 185!


of countries to innovation and development of the form. First came Japan and France in the 1870S, while Britain, BelgIum and the United States followed In the 18905. Germany, by co ntrast, did not gain recognition for contributing to the history of the poster until the early twentieth century, with lugendstll designs and the Berlin poster school. The latter, a loose affiliation of poster destgners who tended to work for the sam art printers, Hollerbaum and Schmidt. came to be defined by a sha red approach. They produced the Sachplakat - literally, "object poster" - In wh lch a single, high Iy lit object was depleted In a manner that emphasized the product's brand name. Such an approach cou Id be used internationally, as it crossed linguistic boundaries.

One of Germany's most papular poster artists was Ludwig Hohlwein (187Lf-1.949), who worked In B similar style in Munich. This tradition was continued between the

C pplello, a proline poster arust based In ,rance, speclalleed In posters Which. like this example (I a It) , interpreted tho power of the brand rer an Intematlo~al market. He II nkad the n,,1 8eneratlo~ of Arl Nouveau designs with Ih~ modern Interwar poster.

A photograph of a stre I scene In the United Statas In the 1930S (below) shows the haphazard luxtaposltlon of posters on blllbQ~rds and i:lulldln8s Illat was characteristic 01 the period. Afler World War II televis ion look an ever-lnrreaslng share of advartlslng.

wars by various poster artists, notably teonettc Cappiello (1875-1924), who designed more than 3000 examples.

The geography of poster art con tlnued to 5 hlft for the rest of the century. By the late 19~OS Switzerland was acknowledged as "the classic country of poster advertising". In France the Alliance Graphlque of A.M. Cassandre (see ppso-:.!), Jean Car1u, Charles tcupct and Paut Colin continued the dialogue between fine and graphic art. These afflthlstes worked In th e convention of highly

individ ualized, autograph styles of posters, employl ng a wide j'epertolre of graphlc Ingenuity, Ou rln g the second

half 0 F the centu ry, however, the poster gave way in ma ny parts of the world to advertising in wldsr-raachlng media, such as radio and television, Notable exceptions were China (see pp 164-5). Poland (see PP166-7) and Cuba (see ppl68-9), where distinct poster traditions evolved, often for particular artistic or political reasons.

Ludwig Hohlwsln was the most successful poster designer In Germany during th. Interwar period. His trang fig~ratJ"e style depended on striking contrasts and silhouettes. as In this aclvertl5emont For COCOB.

Lucl, Il B rnhard ploneered the S~'hpI8kllr. or "oble,! ~()S! r", In the early yeors of the twent:lelh century. The formula <I ep e no e d on ~ 51", j ~ htfnrward Iconic !uxlaposllion of name and obletl.


guarantees of qualltv, promising that the customer would I. Salnsburv show a coordlnated approach

receive goods free from contamination. to lhe shop rroru In place by lhe eady

However, the hange in scale of distribution, brought centurv, Graphic design was also applied

about by Industrialization and the railways accelerated to patkaglns "nd delivery blcvcles,

new techniques of salesmanship. Singer stamped its name Oil Its sewing machines In the 1850S as sales Increased

a 1'0 s the United States. Over the following years more mundane goods, such as soaps and biscuits, appeared with imprints of their company or signets and trademarks. Th e move to encourage trademarks began with the Un Ion des Fabricants In Paris in 1872. Five years later the United States Trade Mark Association wa formed.

In the a rea of foodstuffs. technology enabled goods previously sold loose as staples to be packaged hygienically In ways that could withstand distribution. The paper-bag 1118 hlne was patented In 1852 by Fra nels Wall , who went on to supply America through the Paper Bag Machine Company. Machines for printing and ernbcsslns designs on metal fa r deeors ted tins were developed In the 18605, followed by cardboard technologies and automatic canning and bottle-making. Aluminium foft was invented in 1910 and cellophane in 1913.

Man ularturers stressed thai the label or package was not just an advertisement but an integral part of the

For most consumers at the begin ning of the twentieth century by far the most usual way to come across graphic design was when shopping. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth, huge changes in the ways goods were prepared and presented for sale were introduced. Whether customers were aware of it or not, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and advertisers were involved in a process of specialization that permanently altered the way we encounter goods.

Before 1914 a designer was sometimes involved In th is change, a Ithough in most cases designers remained anonymous and were not recognized as Individuals. Packagi ng was nothing new. The Chinese are known to have had labels 2000 years ago. Engraved labels for textiles exist from the sixteenth century Clnd patent

medicine bottles carrying the maker's name moulded i nto

the g I ass we re used In the e I gh te e n th cen tu ry. A II ac ted as Designs ror ll1a Brili s I, groce ry reta uer


object as a newly defined commodity. Goods sold by

middlemen were given names, or "brands", that were not those of the distributor or the manufacturer. Among the earliest w s Ivory soap for Procter & Gamble in 'l88\.

Until Art Deco (see pp80-3) in the 1920S the

modernity of goods was not alwavs the obvious sales

strategy. Instead assc clancns with traditlon and quality

appeared most noticeably In advertisements for new

products. References to products' success in the universal exhibitions attested to their value. The "science" of

advertising and the psychology of marketing were

introduced to university syllB buses In the ea rly 1900S in the Unites States. wher journal such as Profitable

Advertising and The Inland Printer covered the conjunction

of interests of the printer, retailer and advertiser; it was not until the interwar period that an equivalent specialist

press emerged In Europe.

'" .,11--== ~


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:In ,688 the America"

en I re p re" eu rAsa Ca n d ler bouglll the .r~'lpa and name of the drink COGl·Cola, The bold

,caHigra pblc trademark and the boltl~'s distinctive shape enhanced 1\$ Identity. The original designer ollila beute Is unknown. bUI the Indtl5trl~1

.. , ... ,: ...... '11

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I" i '~; It· L

I.~L ~ • .'. _ I,'P' ( ~ ,"~~

designer R~ymond Loewy later modified the shape.

Boot. Number ~~vBn was an Inexpensive range of cosrnetks lntrccuced by BDot., (I, e e rill shlli B h-s rreet chem i51, ill the height· 01 the pcpulerlzatlon 01 rnake-up, The packaged esl S n, by Ba rri nge r, W"II i s and Monn",' Ltd. em phil sized the

traclt: on of tlw company as well as assertlng tile modernity of (hiS brend'.

A uniform approach to lhls product's Identity, embraclng' both bottle and box, lltustratas the protesslcnallzattcn 0'[ pa.~ka2ing des ign that hacl occurred by the middle or ~he tenl.ury. Once a deslgM W~5 deemed ,uue5sful.IL could be r~lained with an Iy minor mQdlficalio~ for manv ye~rs. assertlng ll'~ enduring

wan iLh of the brand I n the rnarketptace,


The campaign for women's suffrage ln Britain intensified greatly between 1907 and 1914, raising awareness that to gain the vote was

an essential stage in the development of female emancipation. The movement was

the first identifiable stage in the twentieth century when women as a group def'ined representation and questioned social convention through popular graphic means. The visual arts, and in particular ban ners, posters and leaflets, were a central part of the strategy for campaigners, and the forms of visual representation em ployed revea I the complex nature of the struggle.

The Reform Act of 1832 had seen the enfianchisement of middle-class men, or one-fllth of the popul tlon, In spite of attempts by several groups in the second half of the nineteenth century. an equivalent recognttlon of the rights 0 F women was resisted by successive governments, even when furth Sf Acts in 1867 and 1884 increased represen tatton to the majority of men. Amon Il' ~he most famous campaigners were Millicent Fawcett, who was president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Sodeti s (NUWSS) from l897, and Emmeline Parlkhufst, wh founded the Women's Social and Politic I Union (WSPU) In 190;' A third group, the Women's Freedom Leagu (\NFL), emerged when the NUWS5 split in '907.

The situation for women remained unchanged after vears 0 F struggle and attempts to lobby members of politics I parties were always diverted, but the ca mpaign escalated until many forms of direct action were taken, The WSPU was thl" militant grnup, In 1905, at an 1"1 etlan meeting at the Manchester Free Irad Hall, Christa bel

P 11khurst and Annie Kenney disrupted events by heckling. The Dally Mail Invented the term "suffragette" as a diminutive of the suffragist, and even though the name was Initially disparaging, it stuck and was adopted to describe those who believed In "deeds not words",

No single designer represon ts the full variety of strategies among the Suffragette artists. Inst ad designs reflect a complex set of drturnstances and their work ranges from Pre-Raphaetite depictions of wornen, to

r pre ntauons sl m liar to contem porary adv rtl Ing Of children's illustrations, and lmltatlons of poputa r prints

from chap books. I n response an tl-suffraga campaigns used si milar graphic strategies to provoke ridicule, Middleclass women had gained access to arts and crafts schools In the last years of the nineteenth century on an unprecedented seal . Therefore there wene many skilled and talented women who could join artists' groups.

The Artists' Suffrag League, a suffrage society for professional women, was Formed to assist the NUWSS, and gave prizes fol' posters for the cause, Vlsua I metaphor was abundant In both pro- and a ntl-Suffrage campaigns. The SufFrage Atelier, "An Arts and Crafts Society working For the Enfranchisement of Women", moved from the fine arts to the graphic arts In support of the Women's Freedom league. A guldlng principle was the cheapness and appropriateness of the means of reproduction. The WSPU. by contrast, had only a few individual artists associated with its cause, and It preferred direct action and public spectacle.

11 was not until 6 February \916 that the Representation of the People Act beca me law. All men over the age or 21 received the vote, as well as all women over 30 who were "householders, the wives of householders, university

grad nates and occupiers 0 f property wo rth £5 per year" In 1!.128 women gained the vote on the same basis as men.

TypiGlI 01 tho Suffr<lg~ Atelier Is the use of a popular graplrl, forl11 to draw attention to Inequality between the sexes, Tne cartoon fonnat, familim from magalines, is used 10 explain ciliferen~es In lnherltance laws for men and women,

An Artisls' Suffrage League postcard depict d scene Rdapted rrom tne MIld Hatter's Te~ Party, part of Lewis C~ rren's book AIiGe's Adv~l1ture.ln Wanderland. As Alice found herself confounded by irraiion~'iI'I. so tills messag slludes 10 the paradoK ccntrorued by women who w~r~ acllve In tha feminist srrunle 10 be glven the vole.

Tile design of this poster allowad It to be adapted I announce lhe various events of the Mists' SLlffl'llgc Lague, The depiction of the fiiure draws on the medtevallzed fem~le baauty ossoctated with the Arts and Crofts movement.



lV, NuM/f. Il.ffJ. in"fI'1.MIr.dJ!J' 10 The DuChi!S!: I.s U!I 1"8" for cake,"

l1ri",,'1 UoIUll •• -Til t'li why she woa't gOt any I "

w. R" U~f/" 1'1 Bul. thll young lad,y luu n'01. Ilikod ror (U),)I'. I,

"r,'rl,.h r.raN ~ U Llio.cUes AS Mk'", flihnn'lo hu.vo, and Indlild 33 don It, ask don~t. want! '.


... ..,


e 1882-19'10

& British sculptor, letter cutter. lypeface designer and illustrator e Studied lettering at Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

G Instilled with Arts and Crafts principles

G Designed lnfluentlal Gill Sans typeface

G Ran private press

Eric Gi 11 was a sculptor, letter-cutter, typeface designer and Illustrato r, whose most Important contribution to graphic design was the typeface Gill Sans, which changed the face of British typography in the mid-twentieth century.

Gill studied lettering at the Central School of Arts and Crafts In London, wi'll h, under the directorship of the architect W.R. Lethaby, was an important source of Arts and Crafts Ideas. Gill was taught by Edward Johnston, who was responsible for the revival of the art of formal lettering In England. While Johnston mphasized penmanship, Gill applied these ideas to letterforms In ston e and established a career as a stone- and letter-cutter.

Gill's life breaks down into periods when he was a mem eer of established artlsf and religious communities - he convert d to Catholicism In mid-life. These settings provided an important environment for his understanding of the unity 01 art, spirituality and life. He was at Ditchllng, Sussex, from 1907 to as a member of the Craft Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic; then, from 1924 to 1928, at Capel-y-ffln, In the Black Mountains of south Wales, where a group of artists and craftsmen joined him; and from 1926 at Pigotts, a farmhouse nea r High W/combe, Buckinghamshire, where he set up a press with Ren~ Hague.

In 1925 Gill was asked by Stanley Morlso n. typographic adviser to ths Monotype Corporation, to design a new typeface. The result was Perpetua. a fine las leal alphabet, aspiring to the tradition of caslon and Baskerville, and its Italic variant, Felldly 6925-30). Gill started work In 1927 an a second typeface for Monotype, an adaptation of Johnston's Ra Ilway type, Based 011 the Roman alphabet. it was derived from exact mathematical draWings produced by Gill. although Monotype's mechanical advisers madeImportant mcdlftcattons, for lnstance to the ascenders and descenders, More than 20 versions In the Gill Sans series were developed. Like many other sans-serif typefaces, Gill

Sans did not work well for text. but it was very effective for forms and timetables and was made fa rnous by the distinctive book covers of the

publisher Penguin. Gill's ideas on typography and the graphic arts became known through All Essay all Typography (1931) and hls Autobiography (1940).

Gill had several associations with members of the private- press movement, At Dilchling he collaborated with Hf11lfY Pepler at the St Dominic Press, and later he worked with Robart Gibbings of the Golden Cockerel Press, In est notably 0 n The Four Gospels of 1931. A celebrated example of the

combination or pictorial Image, hand-drawn lettering and typography. this was exceptional in his output. lVpica Ily Gill's figures have elongated

The fo~r GOSpelS contained 64

Illustrations and I nltlal lett IS trom wood engravlng5 b~ Gill. lt was printed by Ule Gotder1 Cockerel Press III an edhlcn of

faces and simplified facial character, and his treatm ent of d re pery stresses the linear movement of the designs. The Integration of decorated capitals. illustrations and his Golden Cockerel type resulted I n his distinctive conservative In odernlty.

Sao in '931.




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I.g 1M neor end of ~he _hoe. 1'11.1\ hl~ I.rt hon" fin'., s an d thumb, Qt(h e s It With IIIHlght hand .bo", two Inoh", wl.hln the rurth.n .dg" 0' t~.

I.Up'" l'ell".11

s~cc~, neal' tne u~~er corner, and ~bQut the length of his ~humb below dl .. near "dg'" of ehe sheet, & being. It nimbly eo the tymp.n

1,.,~1~ ~~!rIa"

and at the same time twists his bod¥ agall'l befere the tympan, on Iy rrrovl filg h Is right foot a little


12~p't, lc .. lk (rom II, 11m 1101'01> forwards und., the comh p/onk; .0'/0< Iho .h •• , r. ,.""nr I. tho Iympon, «up/'Mmg Je Id b. white ""per) h. nimbly dl'".,'011 j1·plhlllllloc:

the t1llg~rs of /Ils tIthe ~and under the further '~'P" T1<1I" edge or the sheet neer the ~pper cornet; pnd U PO NTH E CO R -

~;:%!I<the.hee(thu'ln bat~ his !>and., I(lY! N ER 'OF TH E TYM

the further side and two extreme '""""'"."'. ,

corners of the sheet down even J. J 0 H N SO N S

~~~~,,;he further side and extreme TY PO G RA~~~,,~.

~ --

, urther corners of the tym~ '"",T1,'''''

pan sheet; butheisoareftJl P R I NT I N G

.1~'~l, ~O~.l'

trnat the upper corner of

the sheet be first laid even

A sample sheet of Gill Sans

S rlf. 1928. sllowlng Ibe cllang & In til design from 8, polnt II ~hl to 36'polnt titling, Gill Sans became the most popular sans-serif typeface

In Britain between me wars,

II w s used on tlrnetables,

advertlsernents and, most

.evocaljvely, byPenguln Boo'" for the cover deslgns 01 Il9 series of paperbacks,


Th is wood engraving 15 lypl,al 01 tho prcclslon of II"e In Gill's lnfnrmal work, Gill moved 10

PigOlts, near High Wycomb ,

In 1928 and produced this

map 10 guide vlsltors, One of the buildings housed the press thai Gill astabllshad wllh Re~e Hague, 0I11er bullc!ings 1"~lucled a wor"'hop. where h did sculpture and Inscription letlering, and his studio. where 11 drew nd made

woo den grsv I ngs,

With the a pproach of the twentieth century, Vienna became the site of a vibrant reaction against the established artistic order. In 1897 the young painter Gustav Klimt, convinced that the time was ripe for a new style, led a group of artists, known as the Vienna Secession, who broke away from the city's KUnstlerhaus, a gallery firmly associated with academic and historicist traditions of art.

The group Included the architects losef Hoffmann and Jose ph Maria Olbrich and the artist·des Ign erg kclomnn Moser. MI~hael Powolny, Alfred Roller and Carl Otto Czeschka. 111 seeking a consciously new style that was In tune with the avant-gards of othar major EurGpean cities of the ti me, the Secession lsts were part of an In ternatlonal quest for a n appropriate design for the new century. Generally rejecting the overabundance of floral ornament

In the contemporary French Art Nouveau, they turned instead to a controlled sense of !fne and decoration. rich materials and strong references to classlcs I fo rms and symbolism. This style was epitomized by the Secession exhibition building of 1897-8, designed by Olbrich.

A forum for Secessionist Ideas was the journal Ver Sacrum (Sacred Spl·ing). which published essays, poems and exhibition commentaries from 1898 until 1.903. This journal was a very conscious form of graphic expression. It revealed CI highly aesthetldzed approach 10 page layout. with the use of metallic and coloured Inks. wide borders, and a dsar sense of the open page, decorated Initials and chapter headings, as well as a variety of papers, including transparent insertions with discreet watermarks and other novel decorative devices.

In 1903 the Wiener Werkstl!tte (Vie1111a Workshops) opened as an extension 0 F the Secession. These were led by Josef Hoffman n and Keleman Maser, with the financial assistance of the banker Fritz Warndorfer, and their declared aim was, In Hoffmann's words. the "pursuit of art and quality In all the era Ft'O". The Welkst~lte set out to produce limited lines 0 F furniture, metalwork. textiles, glass and ceramics. Inspiration came in part from the Arts and Crafts movement of William Marris and others, although In Vienna there was a greater sense of luxury than ernong tl1elr British counterparts. In the llald of graph Ie design,

the Werkstlitte provided companies and individuals with

posters and advertisements. logotypes. postcards and bookbinding, winning acclaim in each of these areas.

Secessionist posters advertising the group's work are among the most striking graphic designs of the first decade of the century. Exhib ilion s were publicized by a highly stylized, decorative deSign, usually in exaggerated vertl cal format and showing a fem ale figure with suggestions of richly print d texules. The leltering and motiFs were designed as unity. In many cases the blcck-stvte lettering was partly Inspired by that of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (see PP36-7) and the Glasgow Four, who were known through their success at Turin's International exhibition of 1902 and were subsequently commissioned by Wl!rndorrer to design an Interior in Vienna.

However, the distinctive lettering movement in Vienna was mainly attributable to one Individual, Rudolf van tarisch, who taught at the city's School of Applied Arts. Many ecesslonists were taught by him and others knew his work and his books ()ber Zierschriften 1m Dlenste der Kunst (I deas on Lettering In Decorative Types in the Service of Art) of 1899 and Unterrl,ht In omsmentster

Graphic Items were available In the WienN Werkstliito shops. in particular poslcard series. Highly decorative designs wllh full colour and distinctive blaGk outlines, like thls example (opposite) by the Austrian-born artls I oska r Kok QS ell ka, 0 n e n allude to fairy tales.

Several membel'5 o( the group designed prestigious pesters hI a distinctive vertical fonm~t for the important exhibltlons of lhe Vlenn~ Secession. Hel'e Mosar has made the motif of the Arl NOUVB5W women almost abstract, The design bears comparison wlth the 1'10( of Charles Rennie Mackin\!l5h of

Ih arne lime.


Schl'iff (I nstrucllo n 111 omcmenta I Lettering] of tS107,

At first he had criticized the Secess lonlsts' posts rs as Illegible, He encouraged them to make their lettering more controlled but without losing Its cha racterlstlc energy. Among' the exercises larlsch taught them was filling a square with the letterforrn, to help develop a fin e sense of figure nd ground. The square was a consistent motif In the Secession style, and it appears in, for example, Secessionist stationery and the monogram "WIN" of the Wiener Werkst~tte. This distinctly linear approach to form was a feature I n the decoratlon of objects across various media, includ ing tableware, texti les and architecture.

In addition to the obviously "designed" graphic works of th Werkstlltte, another distinctive form of graphic output was their highly decorative illustrations. Series of woodcut and lithographic prints were published as postcards Dr book Illustrations In richly coloured, dense

Koloman Moser, a leading

flgure In the cstabllshmern of lhe Werkst~tle, studied painting and than design. Ver Sacrum (Sac re d Sp ri ng) wa 5 the cu I tu co I magallne thai promoted the

Vi enna Socess i 0 11 nil d th Q

applied am, A fiMly produced publl anon tllustrated by

m mbers of the group, it speci~li7.ed in poetry and aesthetic phllo50phy as well as promoting the new aesthetlc wny of life.

designs, 0 ften of a medlevallzl n8' character. Among th e most not" ble o.F the Werkstlit1e designers of lithographic prints was Carl Otto Czeschka. The Illustrative work produced In Vienna had much In common with the illustrations and prints of artists associated with the Munich )ugendstll. Through these projects, other new artists were Introduced to the Viennese group, such as the young early Expressionists Oskar Kol<oschka and Egon

sch lele, who both went on to become famous painters.

The distinctive graphic designs of the Wiener Werkst1ltte belong to the years bela re t!,l14, end so are part of their nrst phase. Later, at the height of their success, the Werkstlltte were seiling designs In many media through shops in Paris and New York. as well as in Vienna. Throughout the 19205 the workshops continued to produce goods ill a variety of styles. but, faced with rnountlng flnandal difficulties, they closed in 1932.











~ ~







f .

Hellmann onel Mas r designed I h~ dlS1lndlve Idel1tlly or Ihe Wiener WorkstMlIe. whtch was aoplled to all items of stationery. It was based on a repealed "W" and tile lettering was br ad, anglilar and higlily stylized.


[] JliOWO-R.ADOMS!t []

5500STOO]t 'l' ... GL. 8RZ1!tJOUNG





LEI PllliERSfft. '+0

,·"""' .. '· .. 'I .. ' ''' ,,, .. , ,, ,· .. , ,· .. • l '' '' n ,


, ... , ... • .. •••• .. - ...... 'f .... ••• .... ~·~·- .. •• .. , ... • .. ··- .. -,----· ........ • .. •

The Kohn~ were leading manufacturers or modern furniture. Wiener Welkst~IIE

designers took 00 commlsslons for fabric and Iurnlture designs for tho company cs well as rJ~slgnlrlB Its publicity mal I1RI.

36 .

.... • ~I"TJ·-r.. ........ f.,t .11"lt'-I~"'·n'.'''-'' til".!." .... t.I'1IJl-I-u~ft_ ... M ~ ... I.~r t..I.J,. ".

AI~KBnder Koch or Darmstadt published this perspective of ~ dll'If1~ room In the Haus elnes kunstfraundes (Art·Lover's House) In 1901. Mackintosh's scheme for the house won first

prize In a cornpetttlon organized by Koch In tile magBzlne tnnenDekomllon. The house was

built retrospectively In the 19905 in Bell"h Duston Park, GI~sgow. The drDwlng shows a version of Mackintosh's famous

hi gh·back chairs and the recurrent this lie motif .

G 1868-1928

a Developed individual version of Art Nouveau a Stylistic cohe renee across designs in diverse media

a Distinctive posters

a Later career as painter

The S cotti sh arch lts (t and des lgne r Charles Rennie Mack! ntosh is best known for his furniture and architectural designs. But he also produced graphic art in the form of posters and inscriptions. as well as highly stylized lettering on his architect ral drawings. His graphic work played a very important role in broadening recognition of the so-catted Glasgow style.

As a you n g man Mackintosh was nticed as a draughtsman 10 the arch i teet Ioh n Hutchlso n and then to the larger Glasgow practice of Honeyman & Kepple. where he met Herbert MacNair. The pair attended

venlng classes at the Glasgow School of iI.rt, where the principal, Francis N8wbery, Introduced them to the sisters Frances and Margaret Macdonald. MacNair and Frances

married in 1899,. Mackintosh and Margaret a year later. The two couples established a studlo, teklng an decorative designs far clocks, embroidery, book illustration, furn Iture, light fittings and jewellery, and became known as the Glasgow Feur.

An Important Inspiration For the group was The Studio, a magazine launched In 1893 to promote new art. In particular they took From the figurative styles of Aubrey Beardsley and Ian Tooro p, adapting thel r attenuated, willowy women with motlfs of nowers, often thistles, and gentle greens, greys, pinks and purples.

The style was at Its height between 1896 and 1911, a period when Mackintosh was also especially successful as an architect. He won the competition to design a new building for Glasgow School of Art. lie also produced designs for houses, a church and a school, as well as

Macklnlosh'~ lettering stressed vertical
and square formats. and he made us of
unusua Ily high strokes on E. F, ~ and H.
es In thls hand-lett red motto of 1901
~ (above). The c mposltlonol !'eel was
" 01050 to that Of (he Vienna Secesslonlsls
& Josef Hoffina nn and kclcman Moser.
~ Typified by Mackintosh. the Glasgow
~ stvle us d ~o",1 motifs and elongated
.~ fernale forms In common '111111 Art
[ Nouveau In other centres. Tile ~ngulal'lly
.t; and stylized geometry of d signs like
D this poster wer!! distinctive (lero. 37
Ilo several Interior schemes for Miss Cranston's tea rooms in Gl~sgow, before leavl ng Scotland and esta blishlng hlrnself as an architect in London. His tlrst contact with London had been during an unsuccessful contribution to the Arts and Cra Fts exhibition In 1696, when the Glasgow Four received a hostile reception. Howev r, their work was more favo urably reviewed elsewhere in Euro pa,

Mackintosh's graphic work was not as proliAe as his other design work, yet it was an important aspect of the Glasgow stvle, particularly hls stylized lettering. His graphic designs combined familiar Art Nouveau motifs, but he also gilve them a tautness of line and

geometrical emphasis that added to their distinctiveness.

A special Issue of the art magazine Ver Sacrum was cevoted to Glasgow, and Fritz Warndorfer, the banker sponsor of the Wiener WerllstMtte (see p P3 2-5),

commissioned a musk-room interior From Mackintosh. The architect also won a cornpetltlon, part of Ale~ander Koch's Zeirsc/lrif/ fUr Innen-Dekoration in 1901, for the design of the «House of an Art-Lover".

Other contemporary designers applied the Glasgow style more prolifically in areas of book design,

illustration and typography. They Included Jessie M. King and, most signiftcantly, Talwi n Morris, whose extensive worll as art dire tor to the major Glasgow publisher Blacki.f & Son from 1893 was shown alongside that of the Glasgow Four I n contemporary Europea n deSign journals. In many ways the real fulfilment of Mackintosh's letterl ng carne at the end of the century, when Erik Spiekerman n and Meta Design (see P p220-1) created the typeface Glasgow, which was used for the UK' City of Architecture a nd Design for 1999.

After World War I industria! production was severely disrupted and the commercial application of design could not resume at its normal rate. For many designers the conflict had created a tabula rasa on which the world could be built anew. As a result the interwar years witnessed a futl integration of experimental artistic ideas within graphic design, and art and design schools became a laboratory

fo r tes ti ng the fu n d a menta Is 0 f desig n la n gua ge.

Before 1911\ ltalla n Futurism had celebrated the cornlng of war through the apoce Iyptic vision of machinery an d factories colliding in paintings and poems. This dissonance continued In the work of the Dadaists In Zurich, Berlin, Porls, Baroelonfl and New York. Their manifestos disrupted the co nventlonal syntax of the p ri nted page in w hat we re so me 0 f th e IfTI os t exp erl menta I typographical arrangements of the time, FUlurlsts and Dadaists explored the prl nclple of slmultaneity_ In recognltton that the eye can take in Imme dlate messages across a page, texts were arranged apparently arbTtrar1ly. onec f !.he Futurist Inspirations came from seeing advsrtlslng hoardings from a passing train: the equivalent 0 f typography in motion, Raiding ehe compositor's tray, artists, designers ano poets experlrne nted with letterforms and the arrangement of words, emphas iling or distorting meaning.

The end of World War I marked a change in senslbi lily in art and des lgn, Encouraged by the successful political revolution in Russia of 1917 an d several attempted revolu.tions elsewhere in Europe, many yo ung artists and designers pledged allegiance to th.e working classes. The hardship of returnlng soldiers, wl1lch was exacerbated by the wi dsspraad destruction of the built environment during the waf, led to an urgen! need for housing. Respon.dlng to the crisis, architects embarked on social projects to provide mass housing and functionalist furnlrure,

In~ernatlonal. visual ccmrnu ntcattcn was also identilied as a priority. Designers held that this could encourage International understanding and hoped that a bstract geometrv, simplified sansserif typefaces and photographv or photomontage could combine as a universal visual language that would transcend differences of culture and class. They came together in groups that ignored natte nal boundaries, as in the t92~ Co nstrucnvlst Congress In DUsseldorf; to which designers from aomanla, Scandinavia, SwitzNland, the Netherlands, Germany and the Soviet Union contributed. Such meetings gave rise to small perlcdlcals and

rev i ews, lu rth e r pro m ollng exp er i men ta I d es[g n Id eas,

The most concentrated versions of modernist graphic design were' based around the Dutch [ou mal Of" 51111, and the art and design schools the Bauhaus In Germany and the VKhUfEMAS (Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops) In Moscow.


This poster ror the second part of the film Di~ frau ohne Nomen [The Woman Without a NllIllC) shows all the ~lemQnts M th~ "new design" as developed In ths 19205 by designers Interest d In defining <1 mccornlst graphlc languamo. rschlchotd de!,i Is elements from the narradve. "prOlected" from a single vunlshlng

point. His choice or typeface, primary red Ink and photomontage all mark I he design style as distinctively new.

Although the rhetoric of the new graphic design invoked the machine, Individual designs were nOI always a mechanized

prod uct, McKnight Kaul1'er and Cassan d re, for exe mole. used the manual airbrush to suggest machine- like precision in their posters.

By far the most popular variant of modern graphic design was Art Deco, a style retrospectively named atter the Exposition lnternattonale des Arts Decoratlfs et mdustrlels Modames, held In Paris In 1925. Less extreme than the new typography, Art Deco was associated with film, fashion and luxury goods.

Also in France. the psychological meaning of visual language was Investigated by the Surrealists after 1924. The luxtapcsttion of unexpected elements was initially a disruptive strategy intended to expose latent sexuality and psychological unease. However, it could equally be used by graphic designers to Ir1lrigue the customer looking al an advertisement and cause surprise at the unexpected, as part of a developl ng psycho logy of retailing. Modern ldeas of unexpected juxtaposition were especially appllcabte to fashion photography. and In thls spirit Alexey Brodovitc~ introduced Surrealist photography to the United states through bls magazine art direction.

The path of modernism w s disrupted and displaced by the advent of totalitarianism In Europe, In 1933. on the coming to power of the National Socialists in Germany. graphic design r'l1igrated to Switzerland, or Italy. where Mussolini continued to approve of Modernism then moved further afield, most characteristically via Paris and London to the United Slale . M8ny of the designers discussed In this chapter took Ihls path, among them Moholy·Nagy, Cassandra, sutnar, Teige, Matter, Brodovitch, Bayer and Zapf. In New York they were welcomed by the Museum of Modern Arl. whose exhibition policy promoted European modern Ism. Other deslgners were taken up by sympathetic art dlrectors and quickly appeared as cover artists for high-profile magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Fortune. However, Moholy·Nagy's New Bauhaus school in [h ieago Was short-llved, closing after year.

The transfer of the I deas of modernism to the pragmatic, commercial climate of America did not lead to a seamless adoption of all of its principles. The ideological commitment to a n w SOciety express d in Europe durin g the 1920S had Informed many of the aesthetic values of early modernism. However, removed from its original context. the style at times became a set of borrowed mannerisms. Its central characteristics - a tendency towards simplification; use of signs and symbols as vlsual shorthand; use of a grid; a bright, associative visual language with parallels In modern art - would be transformed in the United Slates Into a visual language lor corporations, lust as much as For individ ual design experiment.

The Futurist movement was announced to the world in a founding manifesto, published in the French newspaper ie Figaro on 20 February 1909. Eleven points of actio n summoned young artists to reject the museum-minded approach to the culture of the past and to embrace modern technology, speed, the machine and war: "a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace".

The leader of the movement was the ltallan writer and poe t Filippo Iommaso Marlnettl. Visual artists associ ated with Futurism in eluded Umbelto Borrionl, Carll) Carra, Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini, In pa in tLng, for wh lch the movement Is "est known, the Futurists concentrated on urban subjects. which th~y depicted through rmgmented and Facetted rcrmsrernlntscent of Cubism. What most distinguished such works was the concern to depict speed an d simultaneity through II nes of Force, repeared motifs and the inclusion of typographical elements, all emblems of a hectlc world of a dverUslng, cafes an d rall ..... ay statlons,

Marinetll's rna nlfestos were plan ned as pMI of a provocative cultural program me. I'le organ lzed futurist events In major European cities from 1910 to 19l4, when poetry lind musk recitals accornpanlad sxhl bltlons of the visual MS, As he made dear In the "Destruction of Syntax" mani Feslo of 1913. the written and printed wo rd were central to Futurism: "I :inltiate a typographical revolution aimed a t tile bestial, nauseating idea 01 the book or oassetstand D'Annunzlan verse, on seventeenthtentu ry handmade pa ps r bordered with helmets, Mlnervas, Apollos, etabors te red lnltlals, vsgetables, mythological missal rlbbons, epigraphs, and reman numerals. The book must be the Futurist express ion of au r Futurist thought. Not only 111at. My revolution is a Imecl at the 50 -called typographical harmony of the page, wh lch is conlrary to the nux: and re ffiux, the leaps and bursts of style thai run through the page."

Later I n the same manifesto Marinelli prcctalrned:

"On the sa me p~ge, therefore, we will use thre€ or four colo urs of ink, or even twenty difFerent typefaces if necessmy, For example: italics fol' a series of 51 mtlar

swift sensations, bold face fa r the violent onomatopoelas, and so on. With this typographica I revolutlen a nd this

multi-coloured vmlety In the letters I mean to redouble the express i v e Fe rce 0 f wo rd 5."

This was the most radical acknowledgement of the possibilities of typographical sxparlment to alter the understand ing ef la nguege that Ilad yet been 1!11 ace In the new century. It opened the way fa r Marinelli and other Futurists meta ph orically to raid the cornp csltor's tray for greater Impact In a series of small publications. Marinetli's first book, Zang Tumb Tumb, published In 1914, was an attern pt to convey the Battle of Tripoli in typographic form. He was particularly harsh towards paralle I experirnen IS by the Frenc.h poet Mallarme, who aimed to break down the co nve n tlonal syntax of poetic Ia nguage, dism issln g his work as a "precious aesthetic" and "static".

The commercial adoption of Futurism occurred I.argely In tile 19205, led by Fortunato Depero, who craated covers [{lr Vaniry Fair magazine and aclvertislng design For Camparl, as well as 'his own remarkable Iypogra phlcel experiment, the book Depem futurista 6~:;17).

In rhts "exptoslve" Movel, l,ubllsbec:J I" MII~M In '9'9, Marlnet~, the leader M the Futurists. dlvldsd Ill. person~IILI' cl ~rln8 World War l Into eigl'l different souls,

wn I ,h are des crl bed In e i I1h I cha 1)1. e rs,

.. ..

. ,






'" ...





UPUSIVO .§ .f.l




,. ~ ,




. .. m.lVI •• Jo

• ElliEION., ""·"'UII:III'I". <II .. I"OI!!"IA" lIIuliilO • QOI'II.O V'UilII!II.IIl,. .1

Thl IS ,I I"lel version Qi

M. rln urs 1111)) lext Word /11 rreedom, bound In lin pi t tl) celebmte hi. enthusiasm far

tee hno logy. Th e des 1 gil e I; D'Allllsola, was more systematic In his arrangement Of text than M<lrlneUl, but nevertheless

conveyed an excitement ot "Iypographic arch ltectu re" with words ov~rl"yed "ml ~Qt 111 dlff~rcnt dlrectlons.

G D~pel'O [olned the FU(UfrS~ In
2- Rome ln 11)14. fhls rematkabte
~ book, with a boltad (Over,
-" il(ted as a sell-portrayal,
0 showing t1X~I1,ples of oepero's
~ dcslgns, oepcrc ernployed tho
.; typographic dynamism of
~ I'ulurism In advenlsemenrs,
~ pesters onCi mag~l.lne ccvers as

'" well ns I" ",11;111: m~nlresl~S, In the hlstcrv of graphic design, posters of World War I are usually acknowledged for introducing a new, heightened level of psychological persuasion .. The colour llthogtaphic poster had been perfected in the years up to 1914, and before cinema or radio could supersede them, posters were the major form of mass visual. propaganda. War posters drew From the visual traditions of their respective countries and consequently indicate strong national styles. But, because they needed to address shared concerns of public morale and war effort, many also lnd kate common techniques .of visual persuasion.

Britain's War Office established the Parliamentary Recruiting- Committee (PRO In August 1914. only weeks

a Fler the 0 utbraak of war. The Cornmlttea crganlzed the publication 0 F a vast number of posters until conscription was in trcdueed in January 1916 in response to mou fltlng diffi tulty In ancouragl ng you ng men to snllst. The output of war posters exceeded the numbers in the commercial adveftlslng campaigns of peacetime .. In addltlo'n to snllstrnant posters, the other major form was posters

in tended to encourage people to ronrrlbute to the war

e lfort :by buying war bonds.

Although World War I was the flrst mechanlzed, technological war, witnessing the Introduction of aeroplanes, artillery. tan ks ami Zeppelins, the ernphasia

of many posters tended to be on the re5ultlng human situation. Great play was made of th.e psychologi~al relationships with in soldiers' families. Of thalr relationship with future lea ders, Among the most famOU5was "D~.ddy, What Did YQ!! do in the Great War?" a poster by Savile Lumley 0 f around 1915 that depicted the domestic scene of a father being questioned by his daughter inl the future. It was unq uestioningly accepted that all male viewers

of the poster would rise to its challenge, with the

una mblguous lrnpllcatlon that children expected their fathers to fight. Such a strategy ·of playing on guilt and stereotypes In the public min d would subsequently become fa rrnatlve for advertisers In the Interwar years.

Another poster became the prototype of a series of ree ru I tnn ent po s til' rs, AI fred Leete's .. Yo u r Co u ,nt ry Need 5 You", This was flrst used sse london Opinion magazlna

cover: The pol ntlng finger and staring eyes of Lord Horatl I) Kltchener, Britain's Secretary of State for War. asserted s direct nne-to-one message. The image was subsequently adapted as a poster For the PRe with the additional words "God Save the Klngn In the United States a famous verslon of the poster "1 Want You for the US Army" was designed by James Montgomery Flagg .• with a depiction of UndB Sam derived from a self-portrait.

In COI1! rast to the emphasis 011 Aguralive and Ii teral depictions In the posters of the Allies, German and AU.stro· Hungarian posters tended to have simp ler designs, derived from the Secessionist and jugsndst: I movements, Their posters concentrated on wa r loans and war bends. In this area, posters produced for both sides tended to concentrate ei ther on the woman and families ~Iert at home or 0 n action in the neld.

Animal svmbollsrn has a long tradition I,n the gra phlc arts and during World War I it provided a familiar visual

ta to encapsulate stereotypes such as the German eagle, th e GalliC cock and the British lion. These appeared in Allied posters .. but. curiously. Germ,,m posters eli d not feature animal symbolism to a great extent until after the war, when poster desi gners presented ths extreme polltlcal opponents by ernplovlngexaggsrared animal types.




This Image WBS adapted a a reorultlng poster c.rryln g Ine same portrait of Lord Kltchener, Brltain's SECrctliry of Stele for War. It W~g ~ prototype of

en: live warrlm propaganda.

Fred Spear produced Ihls poster (opposite) for the Boston Committee of Publk Safety after the sinking 01 the Lusitania by " German submarine. The Ulllted States entered the war In April l~\l and posters were used to recrult troops .. with an estlrnered 2.;00 din: rent designs Issued.

Forceful animol symbolism is used here to represent U,e psrcelved dangers or anarchy to Gmmany. Wl1lth. afler defeat 111 the war, experienced e.xt,'eme political turbulence, Ba,ed In Munich, 1I1C

consarvatlve Enifelhaard was" painter, poster designer nd Illustrator and contributed 10 tl1e satirical Journal Simpllci5s/mus.

Duril1g tile war the respected and prolltlc Brilish arllsl Frallk Brongwvn produced ~Isual propaganda. 50m. crltklzad this 1)0 lei for us candid deiliction of one- to-one armed combat.


a 189] 11)68

G lrn portan l mudernlst graphic designer

a Trained tn Paris

a Understood and adapted Cubism and Futurism to design

of posters

a Majority of work in London, including acclaimed transport posters for Landon Transport and Shc!l-Mex

Edward McKnight Kau fFer, an American designer who l1ved for much of his professional life in London. made a major contribution to British graphic design in the interwar years.

He was a highly gifted artist who applied his understanding of modern styles of painting, particularly those associated with Paris, in a range of striking designs For important clients.

Kauffer stuoled for a few months at th", Art Institute of Chicago before being sponsored to travel to Paris In 191). He took the name McKnight in tribute to his SpOl1sor, Professor MCKnight of Ulah University. In Pa.rls, Kauffer drew In the museums and attended the Acad~mle Moderne. He became Immersed In the r. pid succession of art movements or Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Futurism. On the outbreak of World War I, however, it became necessary for h 1m to leave France, and he settled in London In 1914.

An overriding interest lor Kau frer was the poster, an d in '9~4 he p ubllshed a book on the sublect, The Art of the Poster. ~Iis first designs were painted landscapes, adapted as posters to advertise the destlnatlons offered by the London and North East rn Railway. By contrast, a 19'9 poster advertising a newsp~per, "Soaring to Success I Dailv Hera Id - the Early BI rd", was his first dlstil1ctively modern deslgn. In this Kauffer integrated a graphic symbol of flying birds with carefully chosen lettering, all placed in a distinctive vertical formal. The deSign r fleeted his awareness of Japanese prtnts, Like many artlsts and designers of his generation, he was Inspired by the simplicity of ccmposltlon a nd the strlkl nil' tJ51' of silhouette in such work.

An important challenge for Kauffer, with his strong commlrment 1'0 modern design, was to Identify like-mind d people who would commission his work. Unlike many parts of continental Europe, Britain showed little enthusiasm for modernism. An important professional relationship fo r Kauffer began in 1915, when he Arst worked

fo r Frank Pick, the publ icity manager for London

Transport, who was a strong advocate of improved links between art and Industry. Through Pick,


Kau rfar had tralnad In Par15 lust b rore designing 1I11s poster for London Transport. Ills

ramili. rfly wi til Cubism shows in the tre~tm~nl of tl1e dr~l1~ry anti background scene,




Kauffer's mature style was Introduced to e. wide public In the fo rrn of travel posters, of which he designed 141 for London Transport. Pick pioneered modern approaches to publicizing transportation services, especially the London Underground.

As part of his strategy for the design of stations and trains, he asked Kauffer and other designers famlllar with modernism to d sign post rs for display on stations. These stressed the attractlcns a f location, served by the Underground, such as department stores, museum, or coun try walks on the outskirts of the city, as well as the convenience and pleasure of this form of travel.

Kauffer also benefltad From the patronage of lack Beddlngton, advertising man aser of the ShellMex and BP petroleum company, and th is led him

This is one of a series of pesters, commissioned by I he Shell-Mex and BP

petroleum company from designers Indudlng Kauffor. whkh bore the stojon "You ten Be Sure of Sheil". While many of the deslgns were modern, tile formal relnforcad the separatlo n of word ilncl lmage and therefore r~11 counte r to tbe hopes of many graphlc deslgnars.


" e
... Kaulfel' was well aware of developments In the neW tYilograpl1y In malnland Europe. Influenced by these, this design uses vlsual shorthand and d 11'0(t JuxtapositiOn 10 co,wey its me S gil .

For his flrst modern poster. for the On/ly Her<llrJ n~w5paper. I(oui'fur used an

u nusual format and a strikingly plain backgrou nd. The rnorl] Wil5 lnsplrnd bv Japanes~ prints.

I n the Interwar years the Shell.Mex and BP p trol urn (OmpallY commissioned many designers. Kaulf r. 111 particular. was sponsored by the publicity manager, la(k Beddln~ ton, and produced posters In s veral styles.

, oaring to Success!


- the Eady Bird.


to deslgn another series of hlgh-prcflle posters In th

19305, In this ca mpalgn Beddington responded to criticism of advertisers for despoili ng Ihe co untrvslde by Introducing posters for use on the Sides of delivery lorries.

While always concerned to produce modern d signs In a variety of styles, Kauffer also felt a de p empathy with England. He expressed this I n his rom anti c Interpretations of landscape, which dr",w on a more trad I tlonal sensibility. Kauffer knew many figures from lilerary circles and designed book jackets for Gerald Maynell of the Westminster Press, Francis Meynell of the Nonesuch Press, and the publisher Fa bar. This work allowe (j him to pursue a more private approach to Imagery.

In the late 19205 and the 19305 Kauffer continued

to produce posters and book covers but also took on designs which 0 Pfered new oppcrtun Itles to wo rk three· dimensionally, devising interior designs, theatre sets and shop windows. 11e also d signed rugs for the Royal Wilton

carpet factory with his Future wif , Marion Oorn. His association with modern architects led to commissions for photo-murals, in wh ieh his Fluen cy with Constructivism and Surrealism was clear, in 1930 he beca me art director at Lund Humphries, 11 london publisher ~rmly committed to the promotion of modem Ism. He also assisted with a series of design exhibitions, several devoted to newly arrived emigre graphic designers from Europe, among

them Je n tschkhold (see pp6B-9) and Hans Schleger_

I<auffer's work was shown In an exhibitiol1 at the Museum of Modem Art, New York, In 1937. a sign of his International standing. In 19lfO, soon after the start of World War II, he returned to the United Slates, where he and Marlon Dorn established themselves in New York. He continued to design posters, working for the Museum of Modern Art, New York: the Greek War Relief Association:

American Airways, and the New York Subway AdvertisIng Co., as w II as for prornl nent Arnsrlcan pub llshers.

1;; " ,,,ul
:. I.

This poster was IJ rt of a campaign 10 encourage passengers to use London Transpcrt 10 enjoy cultural events. In tune with the Increasing lnterest In among graphl, d'lsigners and fashion

ph togr~phers, K"ui'fer Incorporated a SurreQlist luxlaposlLlon of a seutpturat hsad and an artist's palette.



AA BbCc Dd E[ Ff Gq H~ Ii Jj Kk LI MMNN



12'4567890 12}4~678Qo

cassandra Incorporated Florenl'~ pm_kll$lng design as a vital element or this early poster, The eh nge In colour of lhe Florent lettering, fro m black to white

as It crosses the background, ""BS a davlee he look trcm Cubist paintings.

e 1901-68

e Epitome of French

Peig-not was the most pop~l~ r of the Ihree IYpefares Cassandr designed. For this all-purpose lypeFace he retained the original form III lower and upper cases of many 01 the ICHefS, Inspired by th characters In Carolingian manuscrl pIS.

The. career of Adolphe lean-Marie Mourofl,

modern poster designer better known as A.M. Cassandre, coincided e Modernist designs for with the transition, in the 1920S and 1930S,

mainstream clients of French commercial art from a strong

a Designed three lithographic poster tradition to a fuller range

typefaces for type of graphic design. Of the work of a t rio of

foundry and publisher internationally recognized Parisian poster

Deberny Peignot of Pa rls designers, the others being Paul Coli nand

Jean Carlu, Cassand re's is the most celebrated. His posters carried familiar French and International brand names and, in many cases, established their visual identity and long-standing resonance.

Born in the Ukraine, Mouron trained as a painter at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Acad~mie Julian In Paris immediately after World War I. On designing his first poster he adopted the pseudonym "Cassandre" -

possibly to distinguish his Identity as a graphic artist from his other long-term cornm ltrnant as a painter. Among the First posters Cassandre designed were those for the Parisian furniture store Au Sucheron. When they appeared on the clty's streets In 1923. these strl king designs were some of the earliest to interpret the id as of modern painting and to emphasize the typographic arrangement 0 f words as a key elemen t iJ1 the design.

Cassandra's career as a graphic desig-ner took off at a time when the Paris art world was still investrgatlng the compositional discoveries of Cubism, Futurism and P"urism, and he applied many of the ideas of Picasso, Braque and Ulger to hi new medium. In all these artistic movements, modern painters had depicted still llfes, portraits or street scenes through Ihe breaking up of conventional perspective. What were called "fa(elted" forms were used to merge objects in space. The idea of

This ramoLis poster for the popular

~ I,aholle drink Oullor1net appeared In several versions, ither as a single Image or a series of three. It depends on the spectator understanding the caption. w111r:l1 suggests the gradual change In

the man's reaction as he drinks: from Dubo (short for "'dubious") to Duban ("or some good") to OUbonnet.

simultaneity, which suggested that the eye can register diverse elements on a canvas at one tl me, was an Important Influence 011 this generation of poster designers. Cassandre's work was also in tune with the slmpllflcatlon of form that characterized much of the design known as moderne in the years leading up to the Influential El(positio n lnternatlonale des Arts D~coratifs at Industrlels Modernes held in Paris in 1925.

Cassandra's compositions were derived from a nrm geometrical base, more familiar to architecture tha n

grap hie design. The Floren t poster shown here, For example, Is based on a 2:3 rectangle and the diagonal line draws attention to this proportion. The composition is softened and enhan cad by a serl as of repeated motifs, the curves of the tin bOI( and the product's name.

Some of cassan dre's most famous posters - he designed a total of more than 200 - were produced for


International railway and shipping lines, including Nord Express, Etoile du Nord (both 1927), Wagons Lits Cook, (1933) and Normandle (1935). These designs show his extreme virtuosity in using elegant symbols as @ form of visual shorthand. These he depicted In illusionistic spaces with clever use of shadow, Illtriguing silhouettes or reve rsed fa rms.

Like many or his contemporaries, including the archltect Le Corbusier an d the painters Ulger and Ozenf~nt, Cassandre stressed the beauty of machines. Echoing Le Corbuslers fu nctl onaltst declaration that "the house is a mechlns for living In", Cassandre wrote In 1929 Q f the poster as the "machine ~ annoncer" ea machine for announcing). By the 193 os, together with the precise depiction of industrial forms, which he achieved by using an airbrush, cassandre Introduced neodasslcal heads or figures into his designs - a

Postor designers. In collaboration with tllelr printers, often provided post rs without lettering. These designs could be otrered to potcntlol eucnts for ad, ptatlon to meet their own requirements. The l11agazln~ An. fir Mel/firs GraphlQues was published by the Parisian type found ry Deberny Pelgnot. wll1el1 also developed type designs by Cassandre.


reference to Surrealism and Its popu larlty among contemporary Fashion photographs 15.

In 1927 Cassandre founded an advertising agency, Alliance Graphique In Paris. with Charles LOLJpot and Maurice Moyrand. At the peak of his activity he was also commissioned by Charles Peigno!, of the prestigious type foundry and publisher Oeberny Pelgno! In P ns. to design typefaces. The results, BIFur (1929), A.cier Noir (1937) and Peignot (1937), lndlcats how modern French designers were prepared to stress elegance over functionalism - by contrast with, for example, the Bauhaus (see pp6O-3), Cassandra's typefaces are distinctive for their stress on negative and positive space. One of the Important sources for their style was the Carolingian lower-case letterforms developed during the tenth century.

Many posters In Cassandra's mature style derive their effectiveness from thQ use of I he alrbfL,sll. In this example, adve (tlslng the Grond lntarnallanal Lawn Tennis Fortnight staged In PariS In 1932. the tenn Is ball and nel are created by masking the surface and deffned by th lransilion flom dark lO light.

An ackn owledgement of Cassandre's International significance came In 19:36, when the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Installed a solo exhibition, making him one of the first graphic designers to be honoured In this way. Following this, he spent the winters of 1937 and 1938 in New York, where he d signed eev rs for the magazines Fortune and Harper's Bazaar, as well as monthly press advertisements For the Container Corporation of America and advertisements for the agencies Young an d Rub team and N.W, Ayer & Co.

At what might have been the apex of his C!)reer, Cassandre appeared uncomfortable with the division of labour in New York publishing, which was more marked than In turope. He retreated to France and concentrated 011 stage design and painting. more at ease with the European model of the autonomous graphic artist.

~ 53
Ca~sandre designed many poslers
advertising t .. vel, notably by luxury train
and ocean liner. This example depends
on the suggestlv possibilities of
geometly. Characteristically, II Is de.Tly
signed with the cleslgner's autograph. The first pester and manifesto for De Stili Indl~ated the (e~tilinear (MrStler of the movement's style. the logotype was m~d" up of blocks. and the

d sign suggested an abstract architectural space.

, De Stijl was a Dutch avant-garde movement based around the magazine of the same name. Edited by the painter, architect and poet Theo van Doesburg, it ran from 1917

until his death in 1931. The movement had a strong stylistic coherence in Its use of primary colours, rectangular forms and asymmetrical composition. The style was most intern ationally recognized through Piet Mondrian's severe non-figurative painti ngs of this period.

The roots of De Stili are often explained as a. combination of strong Interest In geometry In turn-of-thecentury Dutch architectural tradition and an equally dominant cultural and religious heritage of austere, iconoclastic Calvinism.

The movement was initially more oriented towards painting and three-dlmenslonal design, The magazine

De Stl}1 was Its first typographic experiment. An exercise In the arra.ngement of block lelterforms, the cover suggested an abstract architectural motif. Vilmos Huszar, who designed It, explained that he wanted nelth er Foreground nor background to dominate. At first the typographic style of the Interior of the magazine was conventional. It became more adventurous with the experiments of Va n Doesburg, who explored visual



a !i

l ~ 1









tvpograp hy In the arran gement of poetry, Working under the Dadaist pseudonym of 1,1<, Bonset, he organized page layouts In which emphasis was given to words through bold type, Increased sizes and a loosening of syntax. This was an extension of the "calllgrarnmes" of tile French poet Apoillnaire. As in Italian Futurism (see PP4Z-3), typographic experimentation was part of an examlnatlon of language, However, unlike at the Bauhaus (see pp60-,), De Stili designers dl d not Invent their own geometrical type designs, but employed existing sa ns-serl F typefaces.

They maintained co ntact with evan t-gardss elsewhere, especially the Soviet Union and Germany. Van Doesburg's visit to Weimar seemed to have great significance For the new typography of Moholy·Nagy (see Pp64-S) and Bayer (see pp66-7), while Soviet design interested De 5tijl with Its social commitment and range of styles, Of particular Importance was the visit of EI Llssltzky (see PPS6-7).

De 5tljl's elementarlst principles of primary colour, grlds and blocks survived tnto the late 19205, but as Its graphic desl gners took on more mainstream commissions these tended to be enlivened by ph otomontage an d looser, associative graphic languages. E~amples are Paul Schuitema's work for Berkel weighing machines and Plet Zwart's for the Dut,h cable factory NKF and the country's PIT (Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Authority).

I n the lator opplimtion of De Stili Ideas to note malnsireom commercial and Industrial daslgn, new t)'pography and photography Vlere combined.

As w~1I as designing the modern light ffttll1gs produced by Ills

co mpany, Gispen tee k M the design or lIS ~ubllclty material.


The members of De Stili werl! divided 1i1l0 those whe ~.secl only formats, and tl'OS8, like Vllmos

'Huszar ~ nd Thea va n Ooesbu r~, wh 0 exploited the potential of the diagonal.

This de Ign for Vladimir Mayakovsky"s volume of poetry fJI;a Golos~ (For O,e Voitel used the new lypograp hy to arrange Quell pccrn and n thumb Index or syrn bo Is to I dent I Joy them.


The design or this poster for Pelikan. a manufacturer of Inks based In Hanover, uses a photcgrarn, an Image produced with photogl'llphk materials but without a camera,

0 ,...
M ...
~ AU, '9/"
.... H -o-
j p •
.. ..,'" MAt-III
·il "'~"~1OII.i
OJ ~~ ...
~ (I:!.,,-w IIQIPfICI~ ,L.I!,
J.flllll .... ,.:..y,
~ :Ir~MIfIIr.ll[tIIIII
~ 'I'~dlf~f~ ...... ,
~ ;!Iioot'l""."
c .~~,.,
c a 1890-1941

a Trained as architectural engineer in Darmstadt a Leading Soviet Constructivist designer a"Worked as graphic and exhibition designer in Germany in 19205

e Pioneered use of photograrns in field of graphic design

El (Lazar) Lissttzkv was one of the most

in novative designers of the early Soviet avant-garde. His approach was rooted In his architectural background, and, whether in graphic design and photography. furniture and exhibition design or architecture, most of his designs explored space and abstraction.

Born near Smolensk. llssltzky stud led architectural englneerl ng in Darmstadt from 1911 and returned to Russia on the outbreak (If the war In 19~4. His Mrsl experl mental works relate to his Jewish orl8'lns ~ n d took

objective, radically abstract paintings 0 F nat co lour

I ntended to have spl rltua I mea nlng. Lissitzky responded with hls own abstract paintings, sculptures and room installations, which he gave the collective title "Proun" (an acronym for "Project for the Affirmation of the New").

After the Revolution of 1917, Llssltzky, along with other Constructivist artists and designers, was concerned to nnd a new artistic language. developed from Cubism and Russian Futurism. In a time of high Illiteracy, designers believed that graphic design based on geometry and Simplified Cyrillic script would prove more

the form of secular lllustrated scrolls, with a loose, accessible for their Intended readers, Aiming to take art

figurative style of painting. In 1919, on the invitation of lnto life, Llssltzky used abstract forms floating In space

Marc: Chagall, he began to teach architecture and graphic for a series of posters and book designs In a style often

art at the Vitebsk People's Art School. Here he met called Elementarlsm. Using primary colours and pure

Kaslmlr Msievich, then developing Suprernatlsm: non- geometry, he believed that this would be ~ universally

'" J
II l
J " 7' «fo'-
~ iJ!I,
L> understood visual language. The famous political pester "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge" of 1919 used the dynamism of geometric Forms and spatial illusion to suggest its narrative political content; a large red triangle pierces a wh lie circle, while splln ters of geometric

shapes are sent off into space.

Llssitzky worked intematlonally throughout the 19205, participating In De Stl!1 (see PP54-S) events. attending the First Congress of Progressive Artists In DUsseldorf in 1922 and mntrlbutlng to Kurt Schwitters's magazine Merl, He collaborated with poets and playwrights, designing a booll of the poems of May"kovsky, DI/a Golosa (For the Voice) and a print portfolio of Meyerho Id's play Victory over the Sun, both in 1923, In these works Ussltzsky revealed 11 strong Interest In typography as an Integrated visual element.

in his design fOI thE colteeuen or poems P1115<1 BesYll1,mnliJ (Bird Wltl10ut J Name), El Llssltlky made use of neg.rlve and positive abstract letle!'forms

rl suggesLing a blrd's h~ad 10

i torm a composition drawn from 111e tlrlu poem, The book was published In '922 bV Dei.lts~he BUd1eml, Lelp~lg.


In the Ie te 19205 Lissltzky produced a number of exhibition designs, In particular the Soviet contrtbutiens to "Pressa". an I ntarnatlonal p ress exhlbitlo n in Cologne in 1928, the "Film und Foto" exhibition in Stuttgart In 1929 an d the International Hygiene exhibition In Dresden In ~930. In these he applied ideas From Soviet cinema, Inspired by Sergei Eisenstein's theory of "montage of attractions". According to this, documentary photography could be assembled on a dramatic scale, projecting Images of mass political groups, workers and abstract configurations of machinery. Picture editing now became central to l.lssltzky's approach and from 1932, with Russia under Stalin, it was difficult to pursue experimental work. His major activity was to work on USSR in Construction, a series of ar hltactural propaganda publlcatle ns distributed Intern atlonally,

a 1891 ·1956

e Energetic advocate of Soviet Constructivism

a Studied at art school in I<azan

a Strong, direct style using basic components of graphic design

e Books, posters and architectural graphics a Retumed to pain ling in lat r life

The work of the Russian Alexander Rodchenko stands out for its vigour and dynamism. His attempt to find a collective way of working for a new society was influential both in Its time and 0 n yo ung designers in the late twentieth century.

Rodchen ko attended art school I n Kazan From 1910 to 1914. He became Familiar with the recent avant-garde activities of Russian Futurism and moved to Mo:s ow, where in 1916 he met Vladimir Tatlin, Lyubov Popova and Malevic.h. All cultural activities were reorga nlzed after the Revolution of 1917. Rodchenko and his contemporaries became Important leaders in it new, sxperlmental art tha t turned to Industrial man u Facture an d p roduc:tlon for its Inspi ration.

tn 1918 Rodchenko joined Narkompros (People's Commissariat of Enlightenment) and in 1921 he was appointed to teach on the Basic Course and in the Metalwork Faculty at the VKhUTEMAS, the Hig-her State Artistic and leehnl cal Workshops, th e re Fo rmed art school In Moscow. Here students were taught fundamental principles of modern design with an ernphasls on materials and f(.umai principles of composition based on abstraction. They W re also encouraged to work with Ihe latest technologies. At this point Rodchenko's

con tributlo ns to exh I bltlons were hanging constructions made from geometrical parts, and ma nochrom e, non-objectlve easel pain tlngs in primary colours or black and white, in which he explored line, plane and space.

Prompted by Mikhail Tarabukln and other Constructivist art critics, Rodchenko moved in 1923 From fine art to design, or from the "easel LO the machine". In that year he began collaboration with the poet Mayakovsky on posters deSigned for various govern men! trading organizations. Mayakovsky suppllad slogans and Roden nko developed tile visual aspects. li complement the direct and punchy, somerlmes humorous, copyllnes, Rodchenko's designs were composed with strong contrasts of blocks of bo Id co lour. They were often arranged with

a strong dlagona I emphasis, incorporating readily tdentlflable images of products and heavy, block typography, rules and underllnlngs, in what amounted to a Ccnstructlvlst set 0 f ingr dients.

Rodchenko also worked for the theatre and cinema, lmpnrtant areas of cultural agitation at the time. He designed the posters "Kino Pravda" (Cinema Truth) and "Kino Glaz" (Cinema Eye) for the revolutionary documentary film-maker Dzlga

Ve rtov as well as the film poster for Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkln. In these oeslgns, as w II as in covers For the magazine Lef (1923-5) and Navy/ Lef (1927-8), he made important use of


Rodchenko. like his rellow 5 viet Ccnstructlvlsts. wa com milled Lo adapting the "ew design 10 a public context .. His deslgn for painted advertlsemants for ~l exlerlor of M05S~I'prom, one of MOSCQw'S malor deoarunem stores, wos an overt conurmaucn of this.

photol5raphy and photomontage.

As fa r other Soviet designers, the changes From the experimental culture of the early years of the Soviet R public to Stalinist SOCialist Realism were

dl fflcult for Rodchen ko. During the 19305 he

wo rkedo n the jo urnal USSII in Construction, but in his later years he returned to painting.


19 NlDCHBA 23

The cover for the third number of Ler. thQ rnagazlne of the Left FronL of the Arts, shows Rocicl1enko' use or elementary typography. In this typeface, a slmptined version of the

Cvrillic alphabet, the upturned "M" serves as "3". The pl10tomonta ge co nvey a narrative through the u e of emblernatlc lrnages.


With the cover of the SIX~1 number of Kino Glaz ~ lnema Eye) Rodchenko alerts the

ren d e r to the cons truct Ion of

the cinematic precess. The st<1rlng eye Is a self-reflexive motif that draws attenLlon to

the act of seeing in viewing tluo~gh a camera Ions, wotching a film and reading a poster.

The Bauhaus is the best-known school of

art, design and architecture of the twentieth centu ry_ Among its staff and students. were leading pioneers of early modernism in all areas of the arts and crafts, and the impact of their work and ideas has been felt in Europe and the United States for many years.

Intended to represent iii fresh start after World War I, Ihe school opened In 19'9 under the direction of the architect Wa Ite r Gropl us, in the buildings of the Weimar Academy of Art. In 1925 it moved to Dessa u, a city with stronger industrial links. In new buildings design d by Groplus. After being closed by the government, the

Bau haus, now under Mies van der Rohe, operated In Berlin in 1932-3, until It was closed once g in by the Nazi.

Extending the thinking of leading figures In th Ar"ts and Crafts movement In Britain such as William Morris, C.R. Ashbee and W. R. Lethaby, Gropius hoped to rau nite the fine and applied arts In the aftermath of li"le war. He attracted a n impressive range of established artists to form the initial staff, including Wassily Kandlnsky, Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. Although these teachers were no! architects. the school's aim was that all stud en ts should graduat in archtte cure, ror It was believed that this discipline enc psulat d all other areas of art and design. In their first year students pursued the vorkurs, or foundation course, after which they studied in a workshop dedicated to materials, investigating wood, metal, weaving, ceraml cs an d printing. In Fact many graduated as designers in these fields rather than In architecture.

The foundation course, taught initially by Johannes ltten, then Laszl6 Moholy·Nagy (see pp64-S) after 1923. was crucial in establishing a ommon approach among the students. Emphasis was placed on xaminlng the formal and physical properties or materials In order to And principles of design that would respect the axlorn "truth to materials". Consequently, abstract Ideas of texture, volume, Form, space, colo ur, transparency and sxtenslon became a shared visual language across diverse med la, Il.nd helped to shape a recognizable "Bauhaus approach".

One continuing question at the school was how designs could be adopted by industry. The original emphasis on the crafts changed after 1923. wh n there was a drive to find Industrial sponsorship and to view the

work ca rrled 0 uti n the w orksh op s as pro to typ as se rvl n g industria I manufacture, Some workshops achieved bette r results than others in this goal. and among the successful ltems produced were lamps, Industrial glass, woven textiles. wallpaper, furniture and graphic designs.

The tTrst printed graphic works reflected the bias towards craft In the school's early years and the output consisted 0 F artists' portfolios, largely of prints by teachers, often in Expressionist styles, Ely the time of the first major exhibition of all Bauhaus products, held In Weimar In

1923, the catalogue showed the Influence of the Dutch De Stij I movement (see PP5'+-S) and Russ Ian Construrtlvlsrn. The cover. designed by Herbert Bayer (see pp66-7J, and the Interior layout, by Moholy-Nagy, used the sans-serif typeface Venus Grotesk, In black and red inks, and the tell! was arranged In blocks of asvmmetrrcal type. This very modern appearance signalled the beginning of a stable alliance between t.he "new typography" and the Bauhaus.

The school was extremely successful in self-prornctlcn, publishing a magazine at varlous stages of its existence and, most importantly, a series of volumes, the Bauhausbllcher (Bauhaus books), from 1925, Through both these publications the writings of Bauhaus staff and other international modernist designers and architects were

In Ih 1$ III hogra ph (op post te), an In 1923 siaff at the 8auhaus
early typographical work by a g:j were asked to present their
Bauhaus designer, the lettering .'i worll In e~hlbitlon. pmrtly to
is hand- '" nd sred a n d s 11 ow; an :§ justify the financing Df the
Interest In elem~ntary g~ometry ~ school. TI1e axhlbrtton marked
~ e ch letter Is reduced to a i the transition from exp rimental
;::; craft to a concentration 011
half clrcle or straight line. ...
Utopia, Dokument. der ! prototypes for tndustrlal design.
Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Documonts !!. The cover of the accompanying
of Reality) was a shorl·lived III book was designeel by ~Ierberl
magezlne which reflected the 'Ii Sayer and tile Interior layout by
early Interest of the Bauhaus in :; laszlO M holy·Nagy.
spiritual idealism, S
.. Schmidt. " leacher ~t Ille Bauhaus, used the mctl] of the rotary press for the <over of this special Issue a F a trade

m gazlne lor offset IIlhograplllc printers, devoted 10 the graphk work of the school, He

srnernatlzed a <Joss section of

a machine, oQvlsing 8 cover

t h~t reflected Lire lntarest 111 geometry and sans-serlf typefaces apparent In the work under raview. Orf,ct·Verlag of Leipzig printed the magazine.


disseminated, and in addition a modern typographical style beca me firm Iy associated with the school.

In the teaching: of graphic design ,. Moholl'- Nagy, Bayer and Joost Schm Idt subscribed to the "rationalization" movement, which was popular In modernist circles at the time. AU graphic designs were Interpreted as "industrial" design, and, In tune with the school's expressed commitment to functionalism, were expected to use sansserif typefaces, while asymmetry and primary colours were also advocated. Photography and photomontage were the preferred media for illustrations. Paper In DIN. or German

I ndust ry Standard. sizes was to be used.

In the late 19205 an awareness of how visual

com mu nlcatlon was changing, particularly In the United States, prompted lectures on economics, marketing psychology and advertising science to encourag students to think bout the non-visual aspects of deslg 11. Thls modern approach to graphic design led to exhibition

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Bayer asked his students to design 0 typ e fa ce us In ~ st ralght II nes, the tl rei e and a 45-desree angle, He mede his version. Universal (above). in the belief that a slngle·~ese. sans-serif alphabet would aid International communication.

To conslderable "(claim, Baver designed.

with Marcel Breuer 11d Moholy·Nagy. 1119 poster Odtl. catalogue and Bauhaus stand for this e.hlbltlon. The typeface was his own adaptation or Uiliversal.

design being considered a natural extenslcn of it. Bayer was very successful In this ffeld, devls Ing new methods for displaving furnlture and other industrial goods, as w~1I as making original use of photography and typogra phy,

The axiom "form follows function". promoted by Groplus. was intended to show that the school would not adhere slavishly to one style. Nevertheless, it is possible to detect

a common Bauhaus approach or style, and Indeed Its development was perhaps inevitable given the shared curriculum and close exchange between staff and students.

The full Implications of the Bauhaus ph i losophy could not be realized because of the political situation In Germany. Many of the staff emigrated. most to the United States. Among these, Moholy-Nagy became director of the unsuccessful New Bauhaus: American School of Design In Chicago in 1937-8. Over the following years Bayer, Groplu5. Josef Albers nd Marcel Breuer introduced modernist deslgn principles to the teaching of design in America.

The Bauhaus published II series of books explaining the Ideas or Its Ie ehers, Tills design lakes the prl11dple of selfreflexiveness - It Is made up of n block or type. ph lographed In reverse - and the messlIBs becomes the medium.


The cover ror this prospectus show d

D part of Moholy·Nagy's LllIhI·5p~Cfl MDduialor, an ~uton1otecl sculpture that he had used as 111e basis or an abstr, tI


IIlm. Llg/If·Play. Black - While - Grey. In '930. The New BauhlJus: American School of Oeslgn was a short-lived attempt to revive the Bauhaus Ideal In the United States. openin~ In 1937 and closing the following year,

13 1895 1946

& Hungarian theorts I of graphic design and visual communication

& Pre-eminent pioneer of "new typography"

G Teacher at Bauhi:!us a Wrot(" important books on graphic design a Emigrated from Germany 1934snd reck ideas to Amsterdam, london and Chicago


Uis2lo Moholy-Nagy was one of the First abstract artists to move from painting to design for communication, famously taking the step in 1923 of ordering <1 painting by telephone, using a colour chart and geometric grid to signal the "death of painting" ..

He was initially part of an avant-garde In Budapest and ~fter World War I was strongly innuenced by Soviet Constructivism. He moved to Berlin In 19~1 and In 1923 was Invited by Walter Groplu5 to Join the Bauhaus (see pp6o-3) In Weimar as a professor in the metal workshop. His marked interest In design for print showed when he took charge of the typographic design of many of the school's publications, Including, from 1925, the Bau~aus Books serles ..

Wkh many of his contem pornrles, I nrludlng EI lIssltzky (see pPS6-7), Herbert Bayer (see 1'1'66-7), Jan Tschlchold (see pp68-9J and Kurt Schwitters,

I Moholy .. Nagy advocated 8 modern 1st approach to graph Ie design, kncwn as die neue Iypqgmphie (trm new typography) .. This recommended using lower-case alphabets with inks of primary colours and photographic illustrations, with the aim 0 f creating a universal and democratic medium. His design philosophy was a curious cornblnatlon of technotcgtcal determinism, a belief In the social role of design and a mystical preoccupation with the properties 0 flight.

Moholy·Nagy wrote prollffcally and In his ArSI book, Malerel Fotografie Film (Paintll1$ Photo!{raphy film), published In 1925, he predicted the rou te tha t communication would take from a single Image to a narrative form of fllm montage. He was Interested In extending the possibilities of combining typography with photography in what he (ailed "Typophoto". As well as il1vestigating the posslbi lities of rendering the Familiar strange, through negative and positive photograp Ily, he experimented wi th photograrns [camera· less photography) and photomontages (see PP74-7), which were applled in designs for posters, book covers and exhib ltlons. A common thread in his

work was his wish to expose thselernen IS of design by revealing structu re, as

he did in the advertisement For the Bauhaus Books list In 1925, In which he used the I ngredlenlS of typography themselves for the deslgn,

Prom 1928 until he emigrated to the NetherlandS in 1934, Me holy-Nagy was an estabtlshed designer In Serlin. He Showed his work at the German Werkbund contribution to the Socl~te des Artistes Oecorateurs in Paris in 1930, 8 n exhibition he codes Ig ned wi th Grop I us and Bayer. In th e Nethe rlan ds and the n England and the USA (where he settled more perrna nentl.y) he worked en publication

deslgn endexhlbltlcns as well as In dustrlal design.

Monaly·Nogy'; last paintings In 1937 Moholy-Nagy became di rector of the

befor~ he turned e)(dusTvely to New Bauhaus I n Chicago. This failed in 1938 end

deslgn, such ss Composition 2 the following year he founded the School of Design

III!!, explored the transparency In the city. Despltec.on fronting social and political

or geometrical planes, This Idea upheaval through out 11iS Ii Fe, Moho Iy-Nagy was 0 ne

was lalel reSOlved In his 0 f the seminal. figures. In the transmission of

groplJlc de.lgll. modern design of his time.

Moi1oly-Nagy wa 10 committed to tl,e new vlslon embracing the slgnlncance of design that he pronounced Ihat Ihe illiterate of th future would be tllOSG wt,o could 110t use 11 camera. He also relegated verb I langllag 10 a posiliol1 of lesser sl8nlflcance than ti1e visual, This striking design Is from the over of the newly lashlonoble rnegazlna die

n ue IWe, published by Otto Beyer In Leiplig and Berlin.

In 1115 book Malero/ FOlolI'lIlie film Moholy·Nagy asserted I hat visual communication would move From

I,alntlng to film. He .1 0 displayed great anthuslasm about the use of mechanical reproduction. This cover was deve I p - d rrom a photogrern.


a 1900-85

e Sophisticated graphic designer born In Austria a Student and then teacher at Bauhaus

e Early application

of modernism to commercial design

e Emigrated to Unit d States 1938

e Later career as

envi 1'0 nm e nta I des lgne r and architect


Herbert Bayer took radical European ideas of modernism and transferred them to the context of American corporate culture. In doing so he became one of the first fully recognized

In te mati ona I g ra phi c des lgne rs,

A prodigious student at the Bauhaus (see pp6o--3) 111 Weimar From 1921 to '923, Bayer responded to Kandlnsky's teaching on colour and Klee's on form by applying their ideas to some of the earliest examples of the "new typography". ~Ie was slrnultaneoustv interested in the two-dimensional arr ngernent of abstract motifs and type on the page and In the three-dimensional extension of these Ideas In temporary structures such as exhibitions and pavilions.

In 1925 Bayer became a member of staff at the Bauhaus, where his lettering course Introduced students to tbe prinCiples of modern typography. He was an advocate 01 Kieinschrelbung (literally, "small writlng"), a system of using ICfwer-caseletterforms instead of the conventional combination of up per and lower case. For posters, tickets and other designs FOI' display, he tended to use only capitals, whereas for most texts he used only lower case. This was all the ore controversial In Germany, where the first letter of every noun is capitalized. Bayer argued that this saved space and money because printers

n eded to stock only one range of the typefaces. and also that it enhanced international communication. I~is most celebrated exer Ise In l"ypOgfilphy was the Universal typeface of 1926. a design based on the circle, which he applied In su bsaquen t designs, for example I n the fashion magazlne die neue lin/e.

On leaving the Bauhaus (by now in Des.sau) in t92S, B~yer moved to Berlin and worked as a graphic designer and art director, mainly for the Dorland Agency. The term "art director" was new and In this role fa r German Vogue and die neue Iin/e Bayer interpreted the American Idea of the coordination of all aspects of magazine design. In his stl'iklng covers h devised photomontages wIth surrealist juxtapositions. Bayer's work In Berlin reveals the contradictions of design under National Socialism: although modernism was banned In 1933. he continued to work. Avowedly modernist, he took on

major commissions For the desIgn of hlgh-proftla

Ourln8" th~ rapld Inflation 01 the G~rman ~eichsmarlc in '~18-24, Bayer devtsed a slrnpllfied bar1knot in wi1lch the llgures could be easily odapted. MOS1 strlki~gly for Its time. the typeface was Venus sans-serif. whereas ail tiler banknotes were produced in German Fraklur.

exhibitions in Berlin and cata logues promoting th e new regime. For these he adapted photomontage technlquss to explicitly National Socialist content.

After settling in the United States in 1938, Bayer worked on exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and designed covers for Harper's Bi/lzaar and Fortune magazines as well as tourist brochures. He also worked for the Container Corporation of America, becoming design adviser In

1946. This large packaging firm's publicity extended to a cultural programme that Inctucied sponsorship of the Institute For Humanistic Studies in Colorado, for which Bayer designed the World Geo-Grephic Atlas in 1953. This work was a summation of his Interests: a sophlstlc.ated arrangement of symbols, rnontagad figures and modern typography.

On leaving the Bauhaus In 1928 Bayer became srt' dlreclo' for the new woman's magazine die neue finle as par! of hts 'Nork f'Or rhe Dorland Agen[y in Berlin. Remaining 111 this post untll 1936. he adapted montage Id,,"S, maklng experlm ntal modernist ldeas more

acceptable to" wider public.


Bayer rerained a strong Interest In e~hlbltlon nd architectural design throughout 111s weer,

a, In Ihls project for a cinema In Gel'meny. He was altrncled to the Idea of making typograpl1y Md graphic deslgn cenlral elements to exterlors of

buildings, helping to direct th

visitor in an unmcd late WQY,


a 1902-7ll

a lnternatlonaltv known as typographic adviser and designer of distinction

G Trained as typographer in l.elpzig

G Defined "new typography" in 19205 G Initial strong modernist svmpathles modified by experience in 19305

'Flu"/ 'ra.~edy vI MrlclJclh

Jan Tschichold was one of the most important typographic and graphic designers of the twentieth century. His career covered the crucial years of early modernism and he contributed to the debate about Its application to graphic design.

One of the few designe rs in this bool< to receive a full formal ad uca tion In calligraphy and typography. Tschlchold studied from 1919 to 1923 at the

Leipzig Academy fa r Graphic Arts and Book Trades under Walter Tiemann, who Introduced him to the principles of classical typography. However. a visit to the 1923 Bauhaus (see pp6o-) exhibition In Weimar impressed the young designer and, as a result of this and his growing familiarity with Soviet Constructivlsm, he began to apply radical principles associated with these movements. These included asymmetric composition, 11 reduction of form to Its basic geometry, preference for single-case, sa ns-serff typfaces and the use of pholographs as Illustrations. Ischlchold's most celeb rated exa mple of these principles In large graphic form Is the series of posters he made for the

Munich clnerna Phoebus Palast, iii job he took while tsarhlng at the German Master Printers' School in the city. Following the ideas of Constructivism, the posters not only make striking visual summaries of each 111m but also comment on the character of fllm·making, employing the Constructivist device of self-reftexlveness with a recognition of the camera and the act of projection.

In 1925 Tschlchold published his Ideas on typosraphlc design In a special Issue of the lou mal Typof{raphlsc/le Mitteilungen. The publication of Ole Neue Typogrophle In 1928 established his lo ng·term sign incance For 'international design. Intended as a handbook lor practising printers and publishers, It surnmarlzed the Ideas of modem typography In a short art-historical essay and examined the el ments of typogrCiphlc design, From letterheads and postcards to the d sign of a whole book. The book had a significant Impact on the future of design, even though it was not translated Into English until 1985.

After their arrest by the Nazis in 1933. Tschichold and his wife Edith were

Fo rced to emigrate 10 saste. Switzerland, where he taught at the Arts and Crafts S(hool and worked for the publisher Benno Schwabe. Grad ually his style grew less uncompromising. He regarded standardization and a house style lor typography as necessary in modern publishing. By contrast with the geometrical austerity of the new

typography, he considered a second approach to

Tschlchold was tvpographlc

adviser to Penguin Books In Englan,1 betwsen 19~7 nnd 1949, althollgh his Influence lasted longer. He revised existing series end lntroducad elegant 501~ltl01S lor new series. His deslg ns represented his return to wh.1i he termed

book design which was deflned by harmonious composition using complementary typefaces, symmetry and decorative borders - all elem ents of naodasslcal book design. This he termed "the new traditionalism", Either approach could be used, acco rding to the nature of the design task.

In his later liFe lschlchcld acted as typographic adviser to the publishers Birkhi3user in Basle (1941-6) and P nguln Books In London (1946-9). applying his consistently high standards to systematize book design and corporate identity.

"th new traditionalism". The engraved pcrtral; used In thls design is bV Reynolds Slone.

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In sympathy with the Constructlvtst paintings on dl,pl6Y ~t the Kunsth~lle In Basle, this design depends on mlnlmurn means, Geometry and the ilymmelrlcal counterbalance of typographical cl ments are used with the preclst n al1d reflnernant 111~1 cheracterlze Tschichold'§ worle,


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When 111& Iloster was first published. the stunnlng use of " negative portralt and spare DsymmellY made till" design

rer lhe G~wefbemu eum In Basle. Swill rland, appear extremaly modem, Evoking the proc"" of photography. the typography is 01 In the graded colours of UIC spectrum.


In 1927 the former Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters - by then a designer working in Hanover in his own advertising agency, Merz Werbecentrale, set up three years earlier - proposed the formation of a group of likeminded graphic designers. Der Ring Neuer Werbegestalter, or Circle of New Advertising Designers, usually known in English as the Ring, would publish its works collectively, organize exhibitions and promote the new approach to design. Schwltters's model was most likely a group of radical architects, also named Der Ring, who had formed a professional association in Berlin in 1925.

In design and architecture the last years of the 19205 witnessed the high point of the first stage of modernism, and in graphic design this meant the new typography and new photography. Many designers, Including Schwltters, had moved From the evant-game con text of exp srlme ntal graphics to take on more mainstrea In commissions. Schwltters worked fa r GUn ter Wagner of Pelikan Inks, for whom he devised striking mudernlst advsrtlsaments, and for the city authority of Hanover, whose corporate identity and stationery he designed.

During the experimental years In art and design, between 1918 and 1924, designers had questioned many of the baslc assumptions about order and the hierarchy of com pnsltlon In graph lc design. Dadaist axperl msntstlnn had dissolved the logical arrangement of word and image, introducing capital and bold letters, and signs and symbols, and breaking up the conventional arrangement of syntax in designs for manifestos. Principles of simultaneity inFormed the deployment of type across the page. Photomontage (see PP74-7) was also a central element. With the stabilization of the mark In tSlUh Germany and the rest of western Europe experienced relative

ace nomic growth until the Wall Street Crash of October

I \929. It seemed possible that modernist design could become m ore than I ust an artistic experiment 11m I ted to

the avant-garde studio or the sphere of design ~eachlng, and the Ring turned to the German Werkbund and municipal authorities, as well as to architects and destgners, for patronage. By the mid'1920S a move to rationalize this design Inventiveness occurred at, for

exa m p Ie, the Be u ha us (5 ee p p 60-)). Seve ra I new typeFaces, I n particular sans-serifs, became available, arnon g them the celebrated Future (1926-8).

Designers in the Ring were keen to advocate standardization in graphic design. In the case of German members, this Involved above ail the use of Roman

instead of Gothic typefaces, a radical step that was criticized by many commentators for being "unGermann, as choice of typeface was considered a pa rt of national identity. There was widespread agreement among members that design could be run mo:reeffectlve Iy and economically If rules and guidelines were followed, and many advocated using standardlzcd paper sizes. It was also recognized that if designers limited their choice of typefaces to a few, printers would need to stock only those, rather than the usual vast array.

The Ring believed that modern communication should be In lower-case type on Iy, which agal n avoided the costs of providing a second alphabet. White arguments were put forward on functionalist and econom ie grounds, it is debatable whether these [ustlflcattons were sustainable when scrutln lzad. It was characteristic of the age that science and standardization were invoked to support an aesthetic preference and a new approach to design.

Kurt Schwlt!ers combined ~
design wOI'k with an interest S
In tollage. To his collases he i
gave the narn "Me .... , an ~
abbrevlQtion of the German ;e
word For commsrce. He had I
been criticized by the Berlin ~
Dadaists for being preoccupied ..,
with beauty, and composulons tl
of graphic ephemera such as 'i>
tl,1 (opposlre) are c rtalnlv E
harmcnlous In their design. ... 1 t 'W,,~ M""OIl"'~O" ",,,I Ooll,IIU' 01", "'U" L J W<1'""O .. "II,,"~

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Scl""tI!lM' W!lii-liUflifD 01 u" II

I-tar~~trllllll 1Il!!1 n I ,1I'IIr lllltlilllullO "I'Ifi!1fW1 \'Iln Heinz und Bodo



G~re55eil"r Blick (The Captured Glance), edited by H~in> and Bodo Rasch in 193\, promoted the Ideas of tile Ring by presenting l5 short monogrephs on dcslgners, accompanied by examples of their work. The cover shows a phOlocoliage by Willi Baumel tel and a phctcgram lJy EI Llssltzky.

Sdwolitters ran his own small

~dverllslng ageI1'y, Werbezentrale (F'ublklly Centre) In Hanover, undertaking design worl\ f'Or tha dty. I~is app roach,

vident I~ works su " as Ihis

p estca rd, w~s ree d Ily Iden tWable as the "new typography",


Schwltters invited contributiol1s fro man lntarnatlona I pool of designers, and although many members 0 F the

Ring were German, there were also C2eth, Dutch" Fre neh end Swiss members. The full II.t of 25 contributors was published on the cover of th.€ Ring·s. only book,

Geresselter Blick (The Captured Gla nee). whlch was edited by the brothers Heinz and Bodo Rasch In 1931. This gave a short prof Ie of each designer, accompanied by illustrations o.f their wo rk. Often statements regarding thel r approach

or design philosophy were Included, tending to stress their belief In sta nclardil<ltio n and rationalization and a pursuit of International comm unlcatlo n. On a more pragmatic

level, the list of coritrlhutors' addresses lnduatad that the book was Intended to act as a ca talcgue, enceura Il"ing further commissions of work.

Among the designers In the Ring were those who saw graphic design sol.ely as an activily for the promotion 0 f lelt,wlng political cullure,.5u ch as the pnotom ontagtst lohn

The "Wohn~n.G und Wcrkraum" (Dwelling and Wmkp ["ee) axh I b It len, mso n lzeo by ih e De u rs ch e W~rkl~u n din Bra~ tau In 19~9. exarnlned the new archltecture lcr domestic and public use. The cover of the cetalogue sl1QWS the logo. used on tkket.\i, stamps and theposter, that Mollahn devised lor the e,h lbltlon,

t-1eartfie Id, who refused to accept advertising as il viable or moral means of living. Otne rs, including Mall SUJchartz and Johannes. Canl.s, to ok an publicity fa r Germany's metalwork .1 ntlu5try, in the bellef that the new typogra phy could be a form of progressive, democratic informa.tion. The Dutch members Cesar Domela, F'aul Schuitema, Mart Starn, Friedrich Vordemberge·Glldewart and Pie! Zwart had similarly received commlsslons from public SeN ice companies In the Netherlands, where modernism had less idsotoglcal charge than in Germ<\ny.

To colnclde with the publlcatlon of GefesseiCer Slick,

a. (r.avei.ling exhibition, was arranged, with venues In Garmany, the Netherl~nds, Switzerland and Sea nd inavfa. In the circumstances 0 F political polarization in central Europe thatshortly followed Ring's pronouncements, the group's aims could not be fulAlied. Many similar goals would be reformulated in the 19505 and 19605, however,

In the pursuit of a utopla n international visual language,

M~x Burchartz was one of the flrst designers t apply the principles or experimenlal photomontage to the catalogue for a maJor Indust rial cllent, in this case the metalwork Indusuy of GQrm~I1Y" Ruhr district.


Plet ZWart was one 0 F six Dutch

mern bers of the Ring. He worked as

a graphlc designer for 0 varlely of companies and For the "tnternatlonate Tel1toonSlellllll\ op Rlrngebled" (lnternatlon, t Film Festival) In The "ague. A contlnuatlon 01 ths daslgn principles of D0 Stiit. his work showed on Interest in dynarTlic .syml'1<Itry.


Photomontage played an important role In both fI ne art and commercial art du ring the twentieth century. Making composite images from cutting and pasting photographs has probably been carried out by amateurs as well as professionals since shortly after the invention of photography in the 18305, but

the new century's renewed interest ill subverting photographic statements by imaginative juxtaposition led to the popular use of the technique. For example, during World War I soldiers in the field adapted picture postcards to send to their families.

The Implications of photomontage travelled quickly from the radical artistic experiments of the early twentieth century to mainstream graphl communication. Its origins as an avant-garde artistic activity have been much contested. One account comes from the Dadaist Raoul Hausmann. who wrote in coumer Dadij! "I also needed a name for tl1is technique, and in agreement with George Grosz, John Haartflald, Johannes Baader. and Hannah Hoch, we decided to call rhes works photomontages. This term translates our aversion at playing the artist, alld, thinking of ourselves as engineers (hence our preference for workmen's ov ralls) we meant to construct, to assemble [montlerenj our works." (Translated by Dawn Ades, in Photomontage. Thames and Hudson, London, 1976.)

The "Invention" of photomontage as described above suggests that it was perceived as a revolutlnna ry break from the preoccupations with a uthorsh ip traditionally associated will! the fine a rts, This idea gains poignancy when we consider that Hausmann was writing during World War I. In his description photomontage was an extension of collage, the activity of pasting tog-ether readymade images to create a new pictorial reality, as practised by Picasso, Braque and other Cubists and Futurists before 1914. By 1918, in war-torn Europe. many artists wished to align themselves with Ihe working class and 10 advocate artlstlc and political revolution. In this changed co n text , photomontage, derived from a macblne-mada Image, was deemed more appropriate than collage. as a way of taking the industri I Into the world 0 art. At first dismissed as absurdist images, many Dadaist photomontages appear to have been serious reAections on the impact of war.

lnlustlce, social upheaval, feminism and revolutionary politics were all addressed. as the work 0 f Han nah Hilch, who, llks Hausmann, was active In Dada In Berlin. reveals,

After the initial period of Dadaist experiment, photomontage was adapted to construct more systematic images of utopian societies. particularly in revolutionary Soviet Union. Avoiding past artistic languages, which In thel r view were contaminated by their association with tserlst Russia. Soviet designers such as Gustav Klutsls, EI tlssttakv (see PPS6-7) and Alexander Rodchenko (see PP58-9) turned to ph etcrnontage instead.

loh n Haartfletd, an other member of the Berll n Dada group, also adapted his orlglnal style of photomontage as absurd disruption 10 mount a systematic attack on the growing power of the National Socialist Party In Germany during the 19205 and 1930s. G rman by birth, Hsartfleld anglicized his name, Herzfelde, In protest at his country's belligerence during World War I. He continued his political activities during the Weimar Republic of 1919-33. using photomontage "as a. weapon of the class war". He moved From Cubist and Futurist arrangement of images, which suggested chaotic simultaneity, to a more programmatic






The palnter and deslgner COS8r nomela revealed ihe

In pnotnmcnteges like thls (above). Hoch subvert meanings through rupture and [uxtaposltlon.

process of film editing for thls poster (opposite).

Klu tsls and many other Soviet ConsLructlvlst deslsrlers turlled to l)hOlol11ol1tage In the early 1,}205 In the belieF thalli t presented a new democratic tanguage, Lenin 15 shown str'leflr1S aero a modern world.

arrangement of elements to create numerous designs for book and msgazlne covers as well as posters. Heartflald's m est remarkable series were his covers for the workers' we~kly Illustrated magazine Arbeiter 1//uMrierle lelluIlg. From 1930 to 1938 he contributed over 200 photographlc covers In which he exposed National Socialist p Ii les, Llslng models, enacted scenes and clever juxtapositions, airbrushed to appeal seamless. Many of the covers worked following a dialectical principle, Inspired by Heartflelc's colleague the playwright Bertol! Brecht. Accordi ng to this, all Initial sta ternent 15 contradicted, often throu gh a montage of absurd elements that relies on humour or Irony, leaving the viewer to complete the message.

In ELlrope political photomontage could be used to celebrat a new society Just as mucn as to criticize reactlonarv regimes. At the helght of its popularity, In the late 19205, the technique was also the subject of several

This phctumontage paroclle. a speech In which Harm~ nI1 Goering slaled, "Iron alway" makes a country strollg, butler and lard make people 1111."

exhibitions that stressed Its experimental, avant-garde nature, thereby a.ligning it to modernism.

In the Un lted States photo rno ntage took on ~ n extra dimension - for seiling goods. It proved a popular and effective way for advertisers to produce "before and after" shots. In addition, the "rn glca!" properties of products could be enhanced by dynamic visual styles based on the tricks of cut and paste, Such techniques became familiar and soon returned to Europe through advertising agencies, which at the time were growing increaSingly tnternsucnal.

Durlng the Great DepreSSion photographers used photomontage in exhibitions and publications, notably for the Farm Security Administration, an agency of President Roosevelt's "New Deal". The public use of photomontage continu d after' til outbreak f World War II, when the federal government commissioned large-scale photo-murals to promote solidarity, patriotism and national unity.


A huge photu-murel In GrMd C rural Station, N Cow York, for

the rreu5ury Doparlmunl shows how the US government esecl modern tach nlql.l or persuaslon J part or the war errort.


Heartll Id's design for the weekly communist magazine Arbeiter IlIuslr/erle Zeirung cnrrles the legend "D r Sinn der Hlllergrussl!s: 1(leiner Maim btue: urn groB GabeR" (T11e meaning or ille Hiller salute: a small man asks lor tmga Sifts). His clever IUXI~po5111on of tl,. two figures and a dramatlc sense of scale convey wtth Immedlaty the message Ih~1 Hiller's campaign was fund d by large financial concerns. The motto "Millions srand tlehind Me" adds a further Ironic twist.

~ ~'" .' ~

• , t,

:', ~-,., I

- .... ~'1.

a 1898-1971

a Grap hie designer renowned for fine

s nse of arrangement of word and image

a Born in Russia and worked In Paris in 19205 (30 Emigrated to United States and, at Harper's Bazaar from 1934, defined modern magazine art direction a Introduced many leading modern artists, photogra phers and designers to America


Some of the most im portant figures in the development of the modern visual language worked as art directors for American magazines between the 19305 and 19505, a golden period for modern graphic design. Among them was Alexey Brodovitch, who art-directed Harper's Bazaar for nearly 25 years.

Service In World War I prevented the Russian-born Brodovitch from receiving formal art training, In 1920 he moved to Paris, where he designed sets for Diaghllev's Ballets RU5se5 and gained e)(perience In layout for the magazines Arts el Metiers Graplliques and Calliers d'Art. Working In several design areas, he received five medals at the PariS 1925 Exposition.

In 1930 Brodovltch moved to th United States. where he was Invited to estebls h a department of advertising d sign at the Pennsylvarlla Museum School of Industrial Design In Philadelphia. After leaving the school In 1938 he continued to teach, organlzl ng a peripatetic Design Lab oratory, which he took to Important cultural venues In New York and Washington DC.

When Carmel Snow, editor of Harper's Bazaar, appoint d Brodovilch art director in 1934, she had already to begu n to change the magazine from an elite pu bllca.tion which Focused an Paris haute couture to a rna Fe broadly based cultural review with an emphasis on the modern lirestyle. Brodovltch helped to accomplish this aim by givi ng the magazine <l fresh look, He Introduced the European photographers Brassai', Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lis tte Model and Andr~ Kertesz to American audiences, as well as cultivating many American photographers, including I rvlng Penn and Richard Avedon.

Farnillar with the visual strategies of the Surrealists Andre Breton and Man Ray, Brodovitch used shock and surprise to lead the reader through tne magazine. His skills were in assigning Illustrators and photographers and then selecting and arrangtng their work with an intuitive eye. The designs or the 19305 depended on many devices 10 en liven the page: silhouettes, to m-paper dgas, hand-drawn headlines and photomontage. Brodovitch avoided grids and modular approaches, although he r sp cted modernist designers who used them, Like other mid-century designers, he exploited the analogy between lllm and the magazlne. Sometimes he arranged photographs as I Fin a film sequence, and often his understanding of the drama and pace of a single fm ge came from cinematography.

In his designs for magazine

By the 19505 Brodovltch was acknowledged for combi ning culture, rashlon and celebrity in his spreads In a new way. His style changed to convey this Integration In simplified. sophisticated designs. Other articles were in a more impressionistic styl , with Imaginative use of colcu r to capture the full atmosphere of textiles and rash Ion accessories.

Brodovitch resigned from Harper's Baraar in 1958. He had always maintained freelance work, and among the most outstanding are his designs For books 0 F photography. In 1982 he was the subject of a posthu mous retrospective, "Homage il Alex,ey Brcdovltch", at the Grand Palals in Paris.

covers, BrodOllI!ch reeog'nized

I he power of Immediate sraph Ie language. In wh"l would perhaps have been unthinkable at IMe end of the century for

Ihe cover or, rnalnstraam

women's magazine. 11ere he 'Imply u ed Ie-Iegram-style lettering SC! "8alns! me repealed !llle mg~thead to on nounce Ih~ sublw mailer of the issue.

BI'odovitcl1 ccmmtsstoned Illustrators "S well as phctcgraphers to supply detailed Images or Fashion sarments, He arranged their work In striking w vs that made full use of the page and ~ strong sense of po Hive and negative rcrms. The Illustrator hera was The. Kllros.


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In '949-50 Brodovllch 1'135 art director or PortfDljo, a smallcl rcuta II 011 cull u mt qu 0 ncr Iy. Here. In fealures such as thls One on the marks used to brand cal tie. he adopted an exploratory approach to subjects thut held in Lorest for graphic designers •

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The term "Art Deco" was invented to describe a style associated with the Exposition lnternatio nale des Arts Decoratifs et lndustrtsls Modernes held in Paris in 1925. Sometimes known as "Jazz Moderne" or simply "moderne", it was a popular style which spread quickly across the genres of design and architecture. Internationally successful, it was used In fashion, advertising and retail design, as a softened and more luxurlo us or popular version of modernism. In architecture, the

style became associated with leisure, through its use in hotels, bars, cinemas and ocean liners, as well as in the more utilitarian context of banks, stores, apartment blocks, factories and filling stations.

Although the International Exposition In Paris of 1900 had drawn 8 huge number of visitors, It was not seen as having asserted France's pre-eminence in the de coretive arts. As a result, already by 1905 French designers were lndlratlng that the organic ornamentation of Art Nouveau needed to be superseded. Plans were taken up intermittently for another exhibition, solely dedicated to the arts of manufacture, The Sod.Wi des ArtistesDecorateurs initially cheduled this for 1915, but because of world War I and the unsettled political and economic situation that Followed In other parts of Europe, the exhibition did not take place until 1925.

The roo ts of Art Deco were In the traditio ns 0 F the French decorative arts and crafts, an d, characteristically For France, the "new" style Incorporated much from the past. In terms of Its Forms the style Is often Interpreted as a reaction against the curvilinear tendencies of Art Nouveau, notably In its extensive use of rectilinear shapes and geometry in all genres of design.

After World War I Fran ce experienced what has been termed "a return to order" and the Deco style s uited thls politically conservative mood, which stressed contln ulty with natlona! tradltlons as much as stylistic novelty. To this was added an exoticism In materials or iconography, and a conscious adoption of other sources: Egyptian, Mayan and Oceanic, as well as references drawn from the recent art movem nts of Cubism and Futurism. At the exhibition four of the major P rlslan department stores, Au Prlntemps,

Bon Marche, Magasins du louvre end Galeries LaFayette, established specialist pavilions where they promoted the work of contemporary daslgners. The elite tradition; of Parisian haute couture had been among the first to define the new style. In particular the Atelier Martine, directed by Paul Polret. The fashion houses off red ranges of perfumes and cosmetics, sold in luxury packaging which brought the Art Deco style to a much wider public. Fashionable designs sold in boutiques and lUXUry shops were very Influential in broadening the appeal 0 F Art De~o.

In gra phlc design, the Art Deco style was an eclectic mix It was pradomlnantlv rectilinear and geometric, and zlgzag lines were taken from both the visual style essectated with the popular dance the Charleston and from the ziggurats of Egypt, which recelved considerable attention after the discovery of Iutankhamurrs tomb in 1922.

Much of the graphic work associated with Art Deco was in fact produced In the years followl ng 1925. The ttvres d'artis·tes and the exhibition catalogue were pa rt of an elegant French typcgra phlc tradition. In the late 1920S there was a general move to broadened tetterfcrms on magazine mastheads and to generous spacing, with chevrons and Egyptian motiFs used as border decorations. Later Ill'lwly designed typefaces became associated with

ArL Oeco reached the public through

domestic accessorl 5, most often

luxuriOUS Fr neh products like thls el .ant design, Which carri no reference to the maker, Tokalon.

lean carlll, a contemporarv of Cassandre, was one ol the ket poster deslsoers to dev lop e slrnpllfled, el gant style, often using the mannequin head as a basis for his designs.


A new style 0 f magazlne cover emerged In the fushion n1~ga~ine VOHu~, establlshsd in New York In 1909. By the 19205 elegant models were IIIU5trale(1 in styles Which combined neoclassical, Orientali.1 and Cubist elements. A Formula

was followed In which the repressntatlon of a model was accompanlad by the magazine's titl@. The style of lettering 'MlS ch sen to suit the overall design of lhe cover and modified ['Or each Issue.


A pester lor Frill Leng's Me'ropDfls captures tl1e m nsclng mood or this Rim abOlll a dystopj~n society, In GermMV, Art Deco grew out or " cornblnatlon of Expre slonfst end FLllllrlst styles,

The popular expresslon of Art D~(Q In Rrchitecture w~~ mOSI evident In tile cinematic "dream palaces" of the 19305, Audiences experienced the style simply by entering these sumptuous buildings,

the style: for exam pie, the typefaces Blfur I) F 1929 and Ac.ier Nolr of 193.6, both of which were deslgned by A,M. Cassandre (see PPSO-j)

Cassandra and his colleagues from the Alliance Graphique, Paul Colin. loan Carlu and Charles toupot, were some of the major exponents of the style in France In posters and magazine designs. In England some of the work of Edward McKnight Kauffer (see PP46-9l could be placed within Art Deco, while in other cases he remained distant from Its Influence.

In the United States the style WilS transformed from the late 19205 by the Rrst generation of lndustri al designers. who took many of the visual motifs of Art Dew and applied them to product design as elements of streamlmlng, tn Europe illustrations and photographs in fashion magazines offered a new visual style In which mannequin heads, often supported by neoclassical props,

were a familiar motif. Harlequins and pterrots were also abundant, Thlslrn agery appeared in the designs for accessories. perfumes, cosmetics and other small Items produced by the haute-ceuture companies and department stores. Associated with feminine glamour. Art Dileo was adopted as an appropriate idiom for the architecture of the new cinemas of the 1930s. The picture palaces, purveyors of dreams and Fantasies through the new talkies, were defi ned in the street by the abon dan! use of neon lighting on their ra~ades.

Art Deco was very often deflned against the principles of modernlsm, which sought Functional design through a minimum of materials and a stress on Industrial production and standardization. In turn. the hlsto rldsm, eclecticism and apparent superficiality of Art Deco w re frowned upon by modernists For both aesthetic and political reasons.

A noted Illustrator I'or Franch VogUQ. Georges Lepa~e was closely as oclat with the moderne style. His compositions. often Inspired by japanese prints. 8~ve great attention 10 overall harmony.


a Antonio Boggeri, 1900-89

G Xanti (AI~xander) Schawinsky, 1904-79

a Pio nser graphic design studio in Milan a Among nrst studios to interpret modernism For co rnmercial clients 13 Advocates in 1930S of "new typography" and "new photography"


The situation of graphic design in Italy was distinct from that in other parts of Europe in the early decades of the twentieth century. Design and architectu re flo u rished, but grap hi c des i g n was less well developed and many traditionalists saw it as still a matter of either the typesetter, for books, or the painter, for p asters. The excep tic n was Ita lia n Futu rism (see PP4 2-3), which explored the posslbllltles of page layout 0 f poetry and asymm etry for modern typographic design, although this remained conn ned to the area of avant-garde experimentation.

Anto nlo BoglWi was a pi on eer of a new kind of Industria I glaphlc design. more In tune with that of countries to the north of Ilaly. Born in Pavia, he attended the Technl cal Institute and Conservatory an d then loloed the printIng compallY Alfieri & Lacroix before found ing Studio Bogged in Milan in 193~. He too k the rigou r he Found In Italian rationalist architecture and applied il to an adjacent design, practice. The studl.o became the centre of the new typography Bod graphic design In Italy. scrlng as an Intermediary between prlnte r an d client. u was a caucus for designers From other cou n tries. notably Swi tzerland and Germany. Am 0 ng the m In the ~r5t vears were Xantl Schawlnsky, fleeing Nazism, and Albe Steiner, while later came Max Huber, Enlo Mari, Carlo Vivarelli, Heinz Waibl, Thea Ballmer and Bruno Mon,guzzi. (see PW.l4-S).

Boggerl was very interested In how the Neue Sachtlch kelt (New Objectivity) photogra phy, developed during the Weimar psrlod In the (see 'Pp6o-3) and other art 0 nd design schoo Is. co uld be I ncorporatee In designs. Tile stress was on 5.ystems ro.ther than Individual designs. and commissions came from Olivetti, Plrell i, the food company Motta. the La Rinascente department store and the' publisher Elna ud i.Boggerl also worked for the emerging design press, which, ttDgether with the design Trle nnale, helped to establish Milan as one of the wond's leading design capitals. Publications Included! the modernist graphic clesign magazine Campo GraficD, which Rrst appeared in 1933, as well as the lou rnals Domus, Stile Indus/rla. an d Fo./ografia.

X~nti Scnawinsky was a member of Siudio Bagger! In the initial years, from 1933 until ~936. Al'ter stu dyl ng In his native Switzerland an d Berlin hs had Joined the Bauhaus, where he taught stage design. f-Ie introduced many of the ideas developed by Herbert Bayer (see pp66-7) at the schoo 1.ln his work for Olivetti typewriters •. for example, he

intra duceda lower-case logotype and made an Impact by USing photomontage In advertisements.

The Swiss designer Max Huber [olned Studio Bo~geri in 19itO as an art director and later became a slgnlncan t modernist designer, often working in Milan for clients established through the studio.

At the 19131 Milan Triennalea retrospective exhlbltlo n was dedicated to Studio Bogger1, with a catalogue to c€ lebrate its continued exlste nee prepared by Bruno Mongtlzzi.

For Monte(~tinl. ons or Studio Bogo:eri's nr,1 t!ie~15, Martello Nizzoll lowrporaled o grid structure and ph~logr~ph)\ as 1M this cover and back page for a brochure. Fro m 1938 11 e was art dl ,·ecto r B I Ollveltl. he 0150 de5lgnG~ Iy~ewrll ~'5.

ThiS edvertig~mant recalls Herbert Bayer's photomontages of elegant women for the covers of InC m 8atlne die neue /In;e, In 1936 Schllwlnsky I It Europe to leach at Blotk Mountain

College, Nonh C~rolln a,

Having Just arrived 'rom GermDIlY, Sc.hswinsky was eware or the need to orsnnl~e cernpt ~ s~ clne.,.l!)n for Industrial goods, using eroseups of technical detail' and IntQgrutlng " vHriety or vI9uai systems, His approach is exempllAeci by this double page from the brochure for Olivelll'~ M40 typ~wrller,

Huber adapted the Constructivist principle of showing the tccls of til designer' trade. lubes of gouache, dlvlders, paper clips and type ltsal], The "B" of the lrad· mark for Studio Boggeri was !lrst conceived by Bruno Munarl.

"Il 85
'" 86

@ 1900-51

@ Czech modernist architectural theorist and graphic designer

@ Combined elements of Constructivism and Surrealism in his work @ Wrote on new design in 1920S and 19305

@ Member of advertising designers' circle the Ring (Der Ring Neu er Werbegesta I te r)

Ka.rel Teige was the most important avant-garde architect and designer in Czechoslovakia in the interwar period, He worked internationally, and in his typographic designs he respo nded to the Influence of Constructivism, Surrealism and the

Bau ha us to crea te a sop h is tieated .sy n t bests.

Ali a newly Formed republic from 191B. Czechoslovakia experienced a period of social endcultu ral optimism, one characteristic of which was a growth in publishing and a 5!ron.g commitment to modern architecture and desl gn. In reactlon to the previous gen@ratlon, who had advocated Ihe"book beautiful" and an Arts and Crafts-type return to vernacular styles, Telge announced a break with the past. As ~ GO mmltted communist he reacted against what he perceived as "the three stumbling blocks of dscoretivtsm,

a rchalsrn and snobblsrn'' of previous book designers.

In the early 19~oS he vlsiled the major centres of design, co n trlbu!ed to the Berlin magazine Ole AktJofJ, met Le Corbuster and his cousin Pierre Jeanne ret, who hod an architectural practice together in Paris, and lectured at the B~uhau5 (see pp6o-3) In Weimar. Telge was a leading member of Devetsll., a group of CZech artists and poets formed In 1921. Takln.g Inspiration From the modem worlds a f advertising. tourism. sports an d film, they Formed a new "postlst" culture of everyday life, In wh Ich Teige'S plctul'!1 poems and photocollages played a major part. In his view poatlsrn combl ned the visual and the literary, and the newly emergent graphic d.eslgn became central to the movement.

Teig'e explained his design principles in two artleles, "Modern ry~ographl''' (1927) a nd "Constructivist Typography, on the Way to New Book De$lgn~ (t930). In the former he outlined six principles of modern typography. which she red with other exponents of the new typography many ideas about the use of sans-sertt typefaces. geometrical layouts and typophotos. Telge was a member of Der Rln[\' 'Neuer Werbegestalter (se e PP10-3). an international clrds of new advertising designers Formed in 19~7 by Kurt Schwitters. I-Iowever. unlike the

more extreme functionalist deslgners who so ugh! a set of universal prlndples in design, Telge suggested that a different approach to each typographic task was needed. '\IIdvertlslng billboards, which should be

An Illustration for Vltezslav

N~zv"I's book AbredB

(AlpMabe(lshD\NS the letter

"G". The book consists of the letters of tha alphabet as perfo rm e din :lance by MII.~~

Me ye rova, 1'1 i th P no tog r" p hy by J. Papsa. Telge's experlment~1 book designs emphasized his theory of poetlsrn, the triumph of c p tlcs over th' Ilter~ry In poe tit

vlslbls from a distance, have different requirements than those 0 f 11 SCientific book, which are again dlfferen t from those of poetry," he wrote.

Teii~ was commissioned by Jan Formek,. who founded the Prague publishing house Odeon In 1925. He designed many poetry volumes In wh:lch a Surrealist collsge of elements was combined with an orthogonal grid. As well as Constructivism, Telge drew on the analySiS of syntax In the wrttlngs of the Czech linguist Roman lakobson and on the arrangement of poetic te;>;t In Ihe traclltlon of the French poets Mallarme and Apoliinalre. In h Is later graphic wo rk he made rsrnarkabte collages based on the meta morphosis of the female body.

listopad 1927

s o v e t s k e kulturni

1917.1927 p rite e

'" ..



RED was a leading vant-gards review. For this Issue, will rh celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Sovl t Union and carrles the legend "Soviet Cultural Work. 1917-t927", Toige provided a constructivist· Inspired design,


Talge wrote ~nd deslgn!d the books 51ilvba il I3asen IBuild Ing and Poem), '9'7 (far le~) ilnd Nelmens{ Byr (The Minimum Dwelling), t932 (left), The covers 0 r both Illu st ra te the move Irom the new typography to the new photography In his work. A5 an architect Telge was strongly critical or much Western modern architecture, arguing for greater comnltrnent to secret IlI,lusing,


e 1897-1976

a Czech avant-garde graphl designer who explored ideas of Constructivism and abstraction in his work G Worked in United States from 1939 as art director and designer of corporate iden titles 13 Wrote important studies of design for visual information


l.adlslav Sutnar made the transition from the early modernism of central Europe to the corporate design of the United States, The product of an analytical approach that stressed the importa nee of typographical elements and carefully chosen symbols, his designs are distinctive for their exactitude.

Sutnar trained at the Academy of Applied Arts and the Technical University in Prague. He was professor of design arid then, from 1932 to 1939, director of the State School For Graphic MIS in Prague. In his own account of his design development he placed most slgnmcance on the Impact of De Stljl (see PP54-sl and Constructfvlsm, which broke From a superfldal, decorative approach while benefitirlg from the International exchange between designers In the 19205.

The rational application of visual communication greatly Interested Sutnar, who, as his fellow Czech designer Karel Telge (see pp86-7) com mented, hoped to achieve ~11e progression of design from aft to science. Sutnar's first major commissions came from the Prague publish 8T Druzsterni·Pr6ce, a forward· looking company run on a cooperative basis. In 1939 Sutnar was the chief designer of the Czech pavilion of the New York World's Fair and stayed in the country, becoming a citizen of the United States. It wa s here that he fully realized the im pllcatlons of his design theories.

Soon established in the American design world, he worked 011 cover designs for Fortune and Scope magazines. One of his most celebrated designs was for Sweet's C"talogue. Between 1941 and 1960 he develo ped for this supplier of architectural reso urces a coherent graphic system that covered a wlde·ranglng- body of technical and Industrial Information.

In his later career sutnar published several books on the organization of visual Information. These included Controlled Visual Flow: Shape, Line and Colour (1943), Package Des/gn - The Force of Visual SeIling (1953) and Visual Design in Acrion - Principles, Purposes (1961).

sumar wanted to define how visual language could adapt to the demands of modern life. Arguing that functional Information flow was necessary to enable fast perception, he reduced the essentials of com municatlon deslgrl to "[creating] visual interest to start the eye moving"; "simplifying visual representation and organization

Karel Heraln's bock, published

In Pragu In '1932, explor d "the new living style" and the

for speed of raadlng" and "providing visual contlnulty for clarity in sequence".

Although he was analytical, Sutnar argued that the process of design should be based on thought and principles, not rules and formulae. Like jan Tschlcnold (see pp68-9) before him, he analysed the whole sequence of visual Information design, From corporate iden tily, consumer and bus! n ass advertising, I ndustrlal catalogues an d magazi ne design. to signs and symbols. What distinguished Sutnar's list from the earlier prescriptions of European designers was the addition of the new areas that corporate America had opened up for the graphic designer.

new home. Sutnar's cover

depicts a "new women" from

a photOgffil,hlc blrd's·eye viewpoint. The term "lhe new Ilvlns style" was used IlY Czech modernists who aligned themselves to the new design Idea of constructivism.



The rnagazlne Zljeme (We Live) was published by the Union of rzechcslovak tndustrles and Design. the equivalent of 111~ D utsche WerkllLlnd. which promoted functionalism aI1d modernism In design. Sutnar based this design on an Image of Chmll ~ Chaplin. WhD was an adm Ired Agure among 1he artistic avant-garde throughout Europe Jl II,e lime,


Sutn~r's lnterest In symbol.

and direct visual langu ge Is appare nt In t1ls spiral-bound leport, with Its "HR" mol if standing for tha "Hudson River" aP the Lllle, The work described an ecological sUlvey of the Hudson Rive r area, near New York. carried out by the S(hoo1 of Archltectule at the city's Columbia University,


a 1882-1945

G Artistic typographer and graphic designer G Ran small print workshop and studio, producing limitededition books, prlnts and ephemera

e Realized modern compositions with manual techniques


In Ills leuerpress ~"I'lts. such OS this poster sdvertlslng the exhlbltlon "The Plough ut I'he Pletum Gallery", In Gronlnsen, Workman look pleasure In the effe[~ of ink on paper and rhe acclde"lal qualltles of handsaltl ng wo Q d block I e tie rBorm~, lie shared sn interest wlth

De 51 Iii designers In Ille arrangernento! ~oetry, but Ills abstrnction wns expresslva rether than an~lyllc~I,

The contribution of I-Iendrik Werkman to the history of graphic design ls as a maker of discreet and beautiful printed works, While m.any designers were stressing functionalism, and parallels between design and science were being drawn, he took pleasure in the chance exp ressiveness of printing, His designs were nonetheless modern and explored the combination of word and image in a way which was of great inspiration to later designers.

After working asa journalist a nd run ning ~ large prln ting office in Groningen, In the Ne therlands, Werkman opened a smell print workshop In 1923, where he prod uted all his subsaq uent work 0 n Cl small sc~le and in

lim i ted prlnt runs, He made pictures out of ready-made forms, whether type or eme r $0 urces of mark, He called his works either druksels (From '110 prlnt") or tl ksels (fro m ''to tap") - wo rds wh kh stressed th e ph ys I ce l, so m e tl m es

prim lrlve, origins of his work. A later term he used for his wh'ole output was "hot prlntin g" - again to convey Ihe sense of Immediate contact with materials,

From 1923 to 1926 Warkmilll published Tile Next Cail, a journal. in which he explored many of his Ideas. TJ1is he distributed internationally in order to rnalntaln contact with like min ds and exchange works by similar flgures, Pages were de v oted to abstract arrangements 01 woodblock typefaces or Agu res, turned on their side or arranged in repetitive sequences. This form of assemblage was

similar to compositions by the Dadaists and Futurists, wh cse Interest In type as a concrete form Werkman shared. The resultant vtsua I poetry was at tim as like ttss Itlky's experlmental books (see PPS 6-7),

Werkman was also a painter, a member of De Ploeg group. His colcurlst Instincts were evtden tin his printed works, where he could pursue them less programmatically than more conventional design contexts allowed. He exploited the slsment of chance In prlntln.g: the Irregularities of inking

a nd the marks left where the press l!lft the paper exposed. Ma ny of the works were single prints - he used old woodblock type, pressed. on to paper in an old hand press. In the 19305 he made exton siva use of stencils, while other prints were a result of rolling ink dl rectly on to the pa per,

During World War II Werkman produced 40 Issues of a subvarslvs broadsheet, De Slsuwe 5chuit (The Blue Barge), which led to his being executed by the NazIs on the day before his country's llberatlo n,

His work came to be recognized In the 19509, wh en his aesthetic seemed to match the se nsibility of many abstract artists, Th Is was partlcu larly apparent In the work of Will.em Sandberg, whose informal approach to catalogue design in the 19~,OS and 19505 paid ttlbute to Werkman,

Werkman's "tlksels" were arrangements of I Iter! nd words produced wlth 6 typewriter. They were reminiscent of tM lavo ut of poems by the Fren,h writer Sj{;phane M.II"rm6 and, in their way, pre fig u red ccncrs to p oatry.

During rhe Na~1 cccupatlon o~ the Netherlands In World War II, Werkman conllnua<J 10 wo rk In secret. He produced his calenders, or which he published this example In 194;. by his "1101 printing" methOd, applying Inked rollers and stencils directly to paper and printing without a press.



During the interwar years in Europe <lind North America graphic design was often used In printed propaganda material. Before the advent of television as a medium of mass communication, posters provided an Immediate and accessible persuasive fa rce, alongside radio, public speeches, rallies and processions. In their choice of design ers to work on these poster campaigns, state organizations frequently revealed an underlying atti tude.

Europe exparlenced massive political turmo II as the polarization of parties on the Left IlndR ight led to the assumption of power by several totalitarian regimes. For example. in the Soviet Union the experimental comrnuntst society pi eneered by Lenin until h is death in 19uI underwent transformation 10 a Ii gl~ totatltartan regime under Josef Stalin. Omdal aesthetic policies moved from supporting avant-gards artists and designers to advocating Socialist Realism. Accord'ingly. Ideal ized heroic young workers, soldiers and citizens were portrayed ill sculptu res, pai~tings a nd ~Ims. as well as in posters and other forms of party pro pagan da Through th is shift In policy artistic Innovation was reduced to a minimum and only stateapproved artists were trained, and then commlssloned to produce work that carrl ad a~ unarnb lguous message.

In Italy, where Benito Mussollnl became Prim~ Minister 1922. the Slate contln wed to su pport modern art and deslgl1 as a national style. Accepting that the world had (hanged lrrevocablv with mechanlzetlon, Mussollnl

In terpreted Futurism (see PP/12-3), with i ts rere rences to tech n ology, in d us trl a I p ro gress and m 1111 a IV p awer, as compatlble w.lth his modern. aggressive Fascist Party.

A fu rther co n trast was evldent in Germany, On

e lect e d to powe r In Jan ua ry 1933 Ad 0 I f Hi tie r was al.ready aware of the important role propaganda could IP loy in his conservative, reactive policy. Under Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister for People's En.llghtem1'l ant, the Natlo nal Soclallsts ridiculed modernism. Associated with the decadence of the Weimar Republic, it was dismissed as either "Jewish" or "Bolshevik" . In Its place they advocated art and' desl~n loyal to the German tradition. Some graphic designers adopted the Nazis' approved styles but many others were persecuted. ba n ned or forced to flee the

country .. Photomontage (see PP74~7) and the latest mm techniques were also selectively used, In part to sans ry the expectations of ~ consumer society as well as to show how Germany could compete witl1l:he entertainment industries or other nations.

ln the United States the early interwar years were characterized by substantial industrial expanslon, followed by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and econom Ie depression. President Roosevelt's New Deal. introduced to com bat this national. ertsts, In eluded federal arts projects to encourage the employment of artists, photographers and desig.ners,

A small group of American cultural activists. Interested in embracing modern graphic design for such prolects, welcomed many of the designers and archl tects who fled political oppression In Europe In the 19;Jos. Thel r message was thai a direct. clear and popular form ·of modern

ciesign could he Ip unlfy this relatively young country and affirmlts damocratk message. against the backdrop of the divided ~nd politically unsta ble world across the Atlantic.

the llguratlve Im~ge or the herolc youn~ man and woman speared In Soviet posle.s ~nd Giller ViSIli1t rnedla ~ nd was on attempt La Hnd a generallzad

pro I ~tarian rotc l110d sl, Wo rkers 0 n a rnonumental scale were often used 10

· . ~


Modernism became assotlated with

American democracy In [he series or posters Lester Seall designed between 1937 and the arly t940; for the Rur~1 ElcctrlAcallon Adminl Irallon, pari of Presldenl Roosev II's New Deal eccnomlc programme. rhe pesters combl ned black~nCl·whlte photogm phy and the colours of Ihe natl nal nag.

"TI1~ 16 Olympic Days" was Ille headllne or the AugusL 1936 odltlon of Berliner tttustttn» Z"llung (above). Hiller·s

propaganda department ccrnmtssloned lite leading Germ~n poster <Jesi~i1er Ludwig Hohlwel n to design pu bllell), material for m jor events such as the Olympic Games of that Y ar, held In Berlin. His IdeBIi~ed ligurative style emph~slzcd I he mythlc.1 Aryan nature of the German people.


The '·ElIhlbitlon of the Fascist Revolution",

held In Rome In 193~ to mark the tenth anr1l~e,sary of Ihe comins to power of Italy's Fascist 1'"rtV. contained installations designed by the Futurists Marlo Sironi and Enrico Prampo Iini. Sironi also deslgned the catalogue ~cltl.

Towards the middle of the twentieth century modern graphic design went through signifi.cant changes of scene, largely brought about by the migration of key designers. After 1933 il became increasingly difficult for graphic designers in Germany, until then a centre for the industry, to practtse unless they conformed to National Sociaiisl policy. With modernism officia!ly banned, designers were dismissed or ridiculed as degenerate, Bolshevik or "Jewish". Like other citizens, many were forced to emigrate. Some wers unable to

work publicly at all and others were persecuted, imprisoned or murdered in the Holocaust.

SwitzerlHnd became a n Important focus for graphic designers from. many countries, Indudlng Its own and >German emigres. Many were based In Zmicl1 and Basle,.cIUes with Important design schools and hom e to major publishers and printers. The Iril tngua I n ature of theccuntrv made ita sign meant base for graphic design In the years to follow; much gra phlc design [ournallsm tame from there, most notably Graphis (l94~-) and Neue Grap/lik (1955-65).· Milan., an Italian city looking north for its design Inspiration, was also receptive to me cernlsm and provides another link between the interwar and pest-war years. Graphic design flourished there In conjunction with Italy's highly regarded architectural and furniture design traditions.

But the resl fulfllrnent of "Mld·Century Modem" carne in the United States. It was here that the character~stlc com binalion of design professlonatlsrn .. business pragmatlsm and aesthetlc Idealism emerged into a broadly distinctive style, often referred to as the New York style.

The success of the new graphic design was largely a result of its promotion through art direction. Tilis provided a rec.eptive context for graphic designers to contribute work for book and magazine covers, advertisements and large corporate Identities. Designers arrlvlng From Europe, such as Herbert Matter and Leo Lio nnl, adapted to these new circumstances" while Saul Bass, Paul Rand, (Ipe Plneles, Lester Beall andlvan Cherrnayeff, brought up during the experimental years of graphic design and: now second-ganeratton modern lsts, found th'emselves moving with ease Into an established prcressicn,

New York was horns to concept-drlven graphlcs, which came in particular from American adverrlslng. A visual style, associated with Eure PI', was combined with the qul~k wit and humour of advertising copy. Acclaimed campaigns lndudsd those for the Container Corporation of America, the furniture companies Hermann Miller and Knoll Associates, and the Italian office equipment company Olivetti.







1 ~ ~ __ ~~

lOU. b,.l,ry

.. d !l.l!Ih ... ~ b •• ut.lfUlljr ih....." pal'


This char~~terlsllcally witty and contldent design marks the transter In the mid-

c ntuJ'lj of modern e~fO?ea" graphlc design 10 th~ Unlled stetes, The slyle Is epitomized in the work or Palll Rand. Hsllmarks lncluda the distinctive use or white sp ce, de"er copylin , coordmatlon or type ~nd Image In a single Id~a and tile incorporation of the trademerk a, all essential pert of the design.

The most lnlluentiat book from this time was Paul Rand's Tho~ght5 on Design of 19~ 7. Rand, already enjoylns a prodlglous career as a young graphic designer and art director, elevated the designer's role to that of "art". He stressed links between design and art, and suggested that they share a visual language, so

that the colour theories and compositional ideas of, for example, Klae, Kandinsky, Arp. Picasso and Matisse could be taken into graphic design. Ironi aUy, gillen that American graphic design was a specialized industry with a greater division of labour than its European counterpart at the time, Rand's argument depended on an Individualistic interpretation of the designer 85 author. It attributed greater cultural meaning and status to gra phie design .

In this transatlantic transfer the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MOMA) played an Important role by recognlzl ng European graphic design and lncreaslng its cultural legitimacy. The nrst exhibition from ItS graphic design collections, in 1936, was the work of Cassandre, a sup rem example of French poster design. This was Fallowed in 1937 E. McKnight KaufFer, who, although originally Arnertcan, had developed his mature style In France and then Britain. Other exhibitions at MaMA Included "European Commercial Printing of Today" (1935), "The History of the

Mod rn Post r" (19GIO) "R cent Acquisitions: Soviet Posters" [1943) an d "Swiss Posters" (1951).

If] Britain World War II created EI space for a generation

of designers who, Informed by modernism, used the opportunity to reach a wider audience than peacetime would have provided. In Europe Mid-Century Modern was largely defined by Swiss lypogf1l phy. By co ntrast with the concan tratlon on publication and advertising design In the United States, systems design, tl,e grid and a rationalist ap preach preva lied, as in the wo rk of Max Bill and Joseph MOiler-Brockmann. Enthusiasm for sans-sari] typefaces was at Its height. Two of the most significant, both designed In 1957, Were Helvetlca. created by Mal( Mledinger and Edcuard Hoffmann for SWITzerland's Hass foundry, and Unlvers. 11 family of 21 faces by the Swiss typographer Ad rlen Frutiger.

As graphic design became a worldwide phenomenon and branches of lnternatlone I advertlsl ng agencies wer€ set up in mony dties, an Increased exchange b tween the United States, EurQ pe and Japan was made poss lble through the growth 0 F International travel. Japan based its professional organizations on the Western model. The Alliance Graphique lntsrnallonale (AGI) was founded In 1951 by a group of Swiss and French designers

In Paris, becoming a worldwide group who meet annually and organize exhibitions. A further fruit of internationalization, ICOGRADA (international Council of Graphic Design Associations), was formed in 1963 to represent over 50 design assodatlons

and promote International standardization.


Palatlno, originally work~d up under tl1e name Medici, was raccgnlzad as nil elegant

typeface and used widely. At a time when modernism was the dominant style, ZapP, work

re pres nteel conlin ulty with typographic tradition,

G 1918-

a Highly respected typographer, designer and art director

a Adopt d enlightened traditionalist approach. comb1ning historical knowledge with grasp of new technology

e Designed Palatino, Melior, Optima, Zapf and other typefaces

The reputation of Hermann Zapf in twentieth-century graphic design is that of an enlightened traditionalist, interested in working with the historical foundations of typography but also ready to adapt designs for use with new technologies. He has proved to be OM of typography's most lucid practitioners.

Bom In Nuremberg, Zapf was self-taught as a designer. By studylrlg the works of the German calligrapher and typographer Rudolt Koch. particularly the book Das Schreiber! als Kun5ffertigkeit (The Craft of Writing), and Edward Johnston's Writing and Illuminating, and Lettering (in German translation), he learned the principles of letter proportion and the discipline of attention to every detail required for harmonious composition.

in 1938 Zapf entered Paul Koch's printing- house In Frankfurt and then became a freelance designer. His major work began In the late 19405, when he started 'NO rk for type foundries on new type designs. He Is the des lgner of many typefaces, Including Palatlno (1950), Melior (1952), Optima (1956), ITC Zapf International (1977) and ITC ZapF Chancery (1979), One of his most acknowledged type designs Is Palatlno, named after the Italian writing master of the sixteenth century. A roman typeface, based on Renaissance forms, it has an open, graceful conception which was well received as being both contemporary and acknowledging tradition. By contrast. Optlrna, 11 sans-serlf in thick and thin versions, has been called "one of the most original type designs of the second half of the twentletn century".

Zapf Is also a book designer of conslderab Ie standing. Ma ny of his projects are selt-orlglnated and extend his commitment to the understanding of the history of typography and calligraphy, which he believes are among the most expnessive art forms of their time. For example, Zspf published Manuale Typogrophicum in two editions in 1954 and 1970, each consisting of 100 pages, designed with historical and contemporary quotations and printing In sixteen languages, To mark its Sixtieth anniversary in 1987. the Society of Typographic Arts In Chicago published Hermann Zepf and 11/5 Des/gn Philosophy, This elegant selection of Z.aprs designs, accompanied by articles

and lectures on calligraphy an d type design, serves to indicate h Is great sign ifica nee Fo r the International world of typography.

In terms of smaller projects. Zapf has

l~r'JII"'· 1·

designed many colophons and trademarks which ccntlnue the tradition of RudolF Koch's The Book of Signs and refer to medieval guild signs.

~burg6wien.ystdfEqvfjhklxzfzchad?re TlJJ:fi; amhuwgawienystd'lJq1iJ fjhlohz Izrit a!f? cefffl flli HAMBU'RGENI}DPSTKVFQLWZ YCX Uil13D£ T UtWIt01 .?_.IE;rh '1 C&


z!1§{:)&123456 78 so 1234S67890 s:psrg

ZjJI%U&t"", ,'ch,ch· 123J4£6:Z_8l2f?J i-k 0fG I,· k ()[J t »«,',," =!.1 -: Qy, s

HAMBUR€7EN11QPSIKVFQLWZl 0.13'DET~;~ .?_~,7h;,'1" fL-{Lc:.,

Other areas of Zaprs career are a long and

impressive series of teaching positions In


re Germany and the United States, and work as an


~ adviser to International type foundries. He was

! type director of the Stempel AG foundry In

G :;:l


.2 Mergenthaler linotype (1957-74) and Design

Frankfurt am Main (1947-56) and, in New York, of

.~ Processl ng In ternational (1977-86). and Is now


" chairman of Zap], Burns ahd Co, In New York.

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