Jan Tschichold , born April 2, , Leipzig , Germany—died August 11, , Locarno , Switzerland , German typographer and author who played a seminal role in the development of 20th-century graphic design and typography. The son of a sign painter, Tschichold trained as a calligrapher and designer at the Leipzig Academy of Graphic Arts and Book Production —21 and then freelanced as a lettering artist and designer. The exhibition of the Bauhaus at Weimar introduced him to Modernist design, and he quickly joined the movement, rejecting traditional fonts and symmetrical composition and instead embracing sans-serif typefaces, geometric construction, and asymmetrical composition. His work, intended to represent the rationalism of the modern age, was functional, aesthetically satisfying, and designed for reproduction by machine-type composition and newer printing technology. In Germany , where black letter , or Gothic script called Fraktur in German , remained in use until the 20th century, a simplified typeface was both welcome and necessary.
Eye Magazine | Review | High thoughts on a self-effacing art
Eye, the international review of graphic design, is a quarterly printed magazine about graphic design and visual culture. It is what makes these essays still worth reading, even though the processes of typography have changed so much since the mid-century, when most of them were written. With the aid of some nice line diagrams, Tschichold sets out the geometry of book page configurations since the medieval period, as he and other researchers have discovered them. The attempt to push them aside with the help of so-called normal formats, which use the hybrid ratio of , goes against nature, like the wish to cancel the polarity of the sexes. Here — as everywhere in Tschichold — practice, aesthetics, ethics and politics are indivisibly fused. There is a handful of short general essays on typography, in which Tschichold passes on high thoughts: but to the effect that typography is a modest and self-effacing art, at the service of the reader. Given the rather arbitrary quality of the collection, it is a pity that the editor has omitted two essays from the Swiss edition: on signature marks and on titling on the spine of a book.
Canons of page construction
Jan Tschichold born Johannes Tzschichhold , also known as Iwan Tschichold , or Ivan Tschichold ; 2 April — 11 August was a calligrapher , typographer and book designer. He played a significant role in the development of graphic design in the 20th century — first, by developing and promoting principles of typographic modernism, and subsequently and ironically idealizing conservative typographic structures. His direction of the visual identity of Penguin Books in the decade following World War II served as a model for the burgeoning design practice of planning corporate identity programs. He also designed the much-admired typeface Sabon. Tschichold was the son of a provincial signwriter , and he was trained in calligraphy.
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