Jost Hochuli’s concise guide to micro-typography considers everything that can happen within a column of text. The book was published first, in several languages, in 1987 and 1988. Hochuli then developed the German text, publishing it again in 2005, with Verlag Niggli in Switzerland. That new edition is the basis for our book: translating and adapting the work to English-language conditions. (For an explanation of why we have let the book go out of print, see here.)
legibility in books
This occasional, book-length work is edited and produced at the Department of Typography, University of Reading, and is now published by Hyphen Press. It publishes extended articles on its subject, exploring topics to the length to which they want to go. Its scope is broad and international, its treatment – serious and lively.
legibility in the journal
This is the cover of the pamphlet Fellow readers: notes on multiplied language, which Hyphen Press put out in 1994. The piece was prompted by the debates over typography that had been published in the pages of Emigre and Eye magazines, and elsewhere. A participant in this discussion, I saw the chance to make a more extended contribution when my book Modern typography was coming up for a reprint. This was in 1994, just as the wind was beginning to go out of this little Anglo-American storm. I gave the publication the format of Modern typography (in its first edition of 1992), using the same typeface, and page construction, and wrote to fill 32 pages – which would be just enough to give it a spine with the author and title on it. The margins carried quite a few notes: I was conscious that Modern typography’s margins had been underused. I imagined that the printers might make the book and the pamphlet in the same production process, which they almost did. Fellow readers seemed to serve its purpose. Though slender, as a free-standing publication it made more of a mark than any magazine article could.
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