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Isotype: a new book

We are working on a book, with the title Isotype, which will provide an extensive and detailed history of the work in graphic communication produced under the direction of Otto Neurath. This is a collection of freshly written and fully illustrated essays, supplemented by documents published for the first time in English translation or in transcription. The full extent of Isotype work is covered, from 1925 in Vienna, through the years in The Hague (1934–40), to the period in England up to the closure of production in 1971. The book contains discussion of the beginnings of the work in Vienna, its ‘graphic language’, and its connections with artistic production of that time. There are accounts of the uses to which Isotype was put in the USSR, in the USA, and in Africa. Isotype in film and in children’s books are considered in other contributions. Authors of these essays are Benjamin Benus, Christopher Burke, Hisayasu Ihara, Eric Kindel, Robin Kinross, Emma Minns, and Sue Walker.

The book will be a mid-sized paperback of an estimated 464 pages. Publication is set for 2012.

Isotype is the third and culminating book to be published on Isotype by Hyphen Press. The transformer (2009) has a short narrative of Isotype by Marie Neurath, together with texts by her and Robin Kinross on principles in the design of Isotype work. From hieroglyphics to Isotype (2010), Otto Neurath’s ‘visual autobiography’, puts the work in a long historical perspective.

These books all rest on materials in the Otto & Marie Neurath Isotype Collection at the University of Reading. Isotype and From hieroglyphics to Isotype are outcomes of the ‘Isotype revisited’ project undertaken at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading, and supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.