Tschichold in books
A book of writings from twenty-five years of engagement on the peripheries of both journalism and academic life, and drawn largely from small-circulation and now hard-to-access publications. Persistent themes include: editorial typography, the emergence of graphic design in Britain, emigré designers, Dutch typography, the work of critical modernist designers
A brisk tour through the history of Western typography, from the time (c.1700 in France and England) when it can be said to have become ‘modern’. A spotlight is directed at different cultures in different times, to trace the developments and shifts in modern typography. Attention is given to ideas, to social context, and to technics, thus stepping over the limited and tired tropes of stylistic analysis. This is a reprint of the second edition, which has some variations in the pictures as well as corrections and updatings in the text.
Active literature: Jan Tschichold and New Typography
In the first book on Tschichold to be based on extensive archive research, Burke turns fresh and revealing light on his subject. He sets Tschichold in the network of artists and designers who constituted New Typography in its moment of definition and exploration, and puts new emphasis on Tschichold as an activist collector, editor and writer. Tschichold’s work is shown in colour throughout, in freshly made photographs of examples drawn from public and private collections. This is not a biography, but rather a discussion of the work seen in the context of Tschichold’s life and the times in which he lived.
Anthony Froshaug: Typography & texts / Documents of a life
Robin Kinross (editor)
Presents the work and life of this essential typographer, until now too little known outside the circle of his friends and students. Froshaug was a deep and charismatic thinker-practitioner, whose insights return us to the fundamentals of typography. The book consists of two interacting volumes: the solid record of the work is placed against the contingencies of the life. A traditional monograph is unsettled by an exploration in documentary.
Paul Renner: the art of typography
The work and life of this German type and book-designer are, for the first time, presented at length and with full historical documentation. Renner lived through the first half of the twentieth century, and this book is, in effect, a history of typography in Germany in those years. It also speaks to present concerns in design, and especially to the search for a rationality deeper than one of easy rules of style.
Tschichold in the journal
Robin Kinross | 2007.11.01
| book production, book trade, Tschichold
As any long-term reader and watcher of Penguin Books knows, the company has always cultivated its own history, seizing the chance of an anniversary to make an exhibition or put out a book celebrating its own story. And, as with any history, a full account – one that takes in the downsides and the incoherencies and failures – is always more interesting, as well as truer, than a story that looks just at the high sunlit pastures. This more rounded account will also be more complimentary than the bland self-celebration: one sees the great achievements in the context of difficulties overcome.
Gerrit Noordzij | 2007.09.15
| Tschichold, Noordzij, legibility, history
The re-publication here of this essay by Gerrit Noordzij is prompted by the issue of Christopher Burke’s Active literature. Our book was made in the belief that the best service to Tschichold is a critical placing of his works and his ideas in their real historical context: the fact that we want to do this in such detail must be evidence of the importance that we think his work has. Gerrit Noordzij’s short and sharply critical essay points to what may be the central issue in Tschichold’s writings, and it does more than that. I read ‘Rule or law’ when it was published in Paul Barnes’s small book of ‘Reflections and reappraisals’ on Jan Tschichold, which he edited and published (under the imprint of Typoscope) in New York in 1995. It stuck out from that book as an unusually serious and illuminating reflection, which took Tschichold as its focus, and in the process tells a large truth about how teaching can happen, and how learning can happen. For its publication here, the text has been a little corrected and updated, in conversation with the author. It certainly merits dissemination now on the World Wide Web. RK
news | 2007.08.24
| Burke, Tschichold
‘… meticulously researched, splendidly illustrated, and very nicely designed – without doubt the new standard work on Tschichold … even experts will find new and surprising things in it.’ Thus Florian G in Zurich, writing today in the German-language TypoForum on Christopher Burke’s Active literature.
news | 2007.07.12
| Tschichold, Burke
This week we received copies of Christopher Burke’s new book. It has been well printed by Die Keure in Bruges and well bound (with cold glue!) by Van Waarden in Zaandam. Perhaps it’s one of the very few (fingers of one hand?) books about Tschichold whose design & production values might bear comparison with the books that he himself brought into the world. This is to say only that it’s a work of ordinary industrial production that uses sympathetic materials, and whose design is in the European mainstream that Tschichold so largely helped to define. The official date of release in Europe is 2 August. Copies should reach our North American distributor in September or so.
news | 2007.06.22
| Burke, Tschichold, exhibitions
On Tuesday of this week, Christopher Burke talked in London on ‘Jan Tschichold: the missing typefaces’ to the Friends of St Bride Library. Speaking without notes, and in full command of his subject, he described and analysed the previously almost unconsidered typeface designs that Tschichold made in the 1930s. Prompted by the need for extra income in the difficult years of economic crisis in Germany, and then of his emigration to Switzerland, Tschichold offered some frankly commercial designs to a number of typefoundries. This was despite his belief, sometimes expressed in his writings, that such new typefaces were dubious affairs motivated by the pressures of capitalist competition, and perhaps just not necessary at all. A slightly later and also larger commission was his design of typefaces for the early photocomposition machine, the Uhertype.
news | 2007.04.29
| Burke, exhibitions, Tschichold, type design, Kinross
In connection with his forthcoming book Active literature, Christopher Burke will be talking on 19 June at the St Bride Printing Library in London on ‘Jan Tschichold: the missing typefaces’. An exhibition at the Library of work by Tschichold, curated by Christopher Burke and Robin Kinross, will open then and be on display through to 23 August. Go here for more information.
Petra Cerne Oven and Robin Kinross | 2000.08.21
| Kinross, Hochuli, Froshaug, Isotype, Martens, Spiekermann, Kinneir, Tschichold, interviews
This interview was recorded in London on 28 May 1999, and published in Slovenian translation in the cultural magazine Emzin (vol. 9, nos. 1–2). In making this transcription, we have made some clarifications and expansions of what was said.