Hyphen Press

Journal: articles

Background to our publications. Back to all journal entries.

Copyright in Isotype work: the claim of the Arntz estate

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Robin Kinross / 2017.11.09

This article follows on from the more general considerations on copyright in Isotype published here. Read more

Copyright in Isotype work

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Robin Kinross / 2017.08.14

Isotype is now the generally used name for the work in visual communication carried out by groups under the direction of Otto Neurath and, after his death in 1945, by Marie (Reidemeister) Neurath. The institutions that produced this work were the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien [GeWiMu] (1925–34), the International Foundation for Visual Education [IFVE] (1934–40), and the Isotype Institute (1942–71). We have published three books on Isotype: From hieroglyphics to Isotype, The transformer: principles of making Isotype charts, and Isotype: design and contexts, 1925–1971. The question of where copyright in the Isotype work lies has been a persistent one. The notes here provide an answer to it. Read more

The right direction

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Robin Kinross / 2017.05.08

A previous installment of this occasional series on book production concerned a novel by Julian Barnes, The noise of time.1 The book was published in 2016 in London by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Vintage Publishing, and in turn part of Penguin Random House UK. Read more

Risen spaces

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Robin Kinross / 2016.07.04

Comments on the picture-sharing service Instagram (here and here) have pointed to an interesting detail in Harry Carter’s book A view of early typography. Our edition of this work was a facsimile reprint of the book published by Oxford University Press in 1969, with added editorial matter. On page 80 (line 18) of the original book, and of our edition too, one of the word-spaces has risen to the height of the type, been inked, and has left an impression on the paper. This was a not uncommon occurrence in metal typesetting and letterpress printing, and, like a slip in Freudian analysis or a clue in a detective story, it can tell us something. In fact we published a book that took risen spaces as its starting point: Peter Burnhill’s Type spaces. Read more

Title casing

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Robin Kinross / 2016.03.25

A detail of Hyphen Press style has sometimes caused puzzlement. We give the title of a book with initial capitalization only in the first word.1 Thus: The arrow of gold, rather than The Arrow of Gold. We have used this style in the text of most of the Hyphen books, and in their display typography too, in catalogues, and on this website. It is the style that I learned from Michael Twyman, who set up and then ran for years the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, where I was a student in the 1970s. It is still used at Reading, and I believe that Michael has used it in all the books he has had published. One finds it also used by other British writers on printing history – Philip Gaskell, David McKitterick – who trained as librarians. One sees it used in the catalogues of the great American and British national libraries (Library of Congress, British Library). It seems to be the norm now in science publishing – see the references to books in any science journal. But outside these spheres, in British and American (and indeed ‘world’) English-language publishing, capitalization of ‘important words’ (differently defined) is employed. Read more

The wrong direction

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Robin Kinross / 2016.02.11

Julian Barnes’s latest novel was published in London a couple of weeks ago. This is mainly a note on its qualities as a physical object.1 The book is typical of present-day book production in the UK, and this is why it has been chosen for this commentary; although there are clear signs of an atttempt at something more ‘designed’: the sections of the book have been sewn (rather than cut and perfect-bound) and a headband has been applied at the top and bottom of the spine (it adds to appearances, but does nothing useful – except obscure the glue). The jacket illustration and design is pleasingly simple and tries (and inevitably fails – its materials and processes belong to a later, much plushier society) to summon up the aura of the Soviet culture that is the world of this novel. On the publisher’s website, one can find a conversation between Barnes and Suzanne Dean, the jacket designer.2 But they only talk about the jacket design.

Read more

Net and book: an interview with Roland Reuß

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2015.11.30

The interview that follows was recorded on 20 August 2015 in Roland Reuß’s office at the University of Heidelberg. The text has been lightly edited for ease of reading, but otherwise follows closely what was spoken. Read more

Copyright in designed pages

Robin Kinross / 2014.05.25

When graphic design work is reproduced, what rights do the people who made this work have? This piece looks at some of the issues, and at what United Kingdom law has to say about them. Reproduction of works of art presents a connected set of issues, and these will be looked at in a following article. Read more

Style guide

Robin Kinross / 2014.01.02

At work over the holidays on a writer’s first draft, the following notes seemed of possible wider interest. Read more

‘Wim Crouwel: mode en module’: a review

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Robin Kinross / 2013.04.05

This review of the book ‘Wim Crouwel: mode en module’, by Frederike Huygen and Hugues Boekrad, was written for and published in an issue ‘Typography papers’, now out of print.1 The Crouwel book, as it was often referred to, was issued only in a Dutch edition, which sold out quickly.2 Since then, Wim Crouwel’s renown has only increased. Most recently his work has been celebrated in a major exhibition (at the Design Museum, London, 2011, and on show from this month at The Lighthouse, Glasgow); in The Hague he has been awarded the Gerrit Noordzij Prize (2009, with an exhibition following in 2012). ‘Wim Crouwel: mode en module’ is now something of a fabled work, with large prices asked for second-hand copies. Given the continuing absence of an English-language edition of the book – which would surely be a tough translation, editorial, and production job, as well as an expensive one – this review may be worth resurrecting, as a marker of a moment in the discussion of graphic design. This version of my text is essentially as published in ‘Typography papers’, with a few updating remarks added in the notes. Read more

Remembering Robin Fior

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Robin Kinross / 2012.11.20

Robin Fior died on 29 September, in hospital at Mafra, outside Lisbon. This is not an obituary (his friend Richard Hollis has written a good one), but merely a set of memories of someone I knew, off and on, over twenty or so years. He was part of a certain network of designers in Britain, whose work has provided a main impetus for Hyphen Press. Read more

The cover of ‘Fellow readers’

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Robin Kinross / 2012.04.26

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. Read more

A note on the collages

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David Wild / 2011.12.20

David Wild recently wrote a brief note on the history of the collages that he has been making over 35 years. We give it here, with the examples to which he refers. Read more

The work of Matthew Carter

Fred Smeijers / 2011.11.01

On 13 October in Antwerp Fred Smeijers spoke some words of introduction at the opening of the exhibition ‘The Most Widely Read Man in the World: Matthew Carter’, on show until the end of the year at the Catapult gallery. We are glad to publish the text here, both for its homage to Matthew Carter (son of Harry Carter) and in its own right, as a piece of writing. If you like this, you may also enjoy Smeijers’s meditations on ‘what is a classic typeface?’. (For their advice and help in publishing this, thanks to Fred Smeijers, Matthew Carter, and Eric Kindel.) Read more

About Peter Campbell’s writings

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Robin Kinross / 2011.10.26

Peter Campbell died yesterday at his home, after being diagnosed last year with cancer. He was a special man, both in his nature and in the combination of his talents. We were very glad to publish his writings, and to add him to the list of Hyphen authors, who seem often to be people whom the world finds it hard to pin down. We expect fuller accounts of him will be published, but meanwhile we can give here the ‘afterword’ to ‘At …’, a collection of his reviews from the ‘London Review of Books’. (This also allows us to correct the description of the context of the start of the ‘London Review of Books’, which was badly muddled in the book’s text.) Read more

On E.C. Large

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Stuart Bailey and Robin Kinross / 2011.07.06

Our re-issue of two novels by E.C. Large, ‘Sugar in the air’ and ‘Asleep in the afternoon’, and publication of a companion work, ’God’s amateur’, prompted this piece in Lodown (no. 74), the magazine of ‘Populärkultur und Bewegungskunst’, published from Berlin. The introduction and email interviews are by Renko Heuer. Read more

‘Gerd Arntz: graphic designer’

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Robin Kinross / 2011.04.26

This book review was written for the Designgeschiedenis Nederland website. It is published here in slightly adapted form, as a follow-up to an earlier review of publications about Isotype. Read more

Paul Stiff (1949–2011)

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Robin Kinross / 2011.04.11

An obituary of Paul Stiff was published in ‘The Guardian’ on 7 April – see here. What follows below is an extended and re-edited version of that text. Read more

CD packs: the development of an idea

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Robin Kinross / 2011.01.27

When we were planning to publish music CDs, I tried to keep in mind that (since all the decisions were in our hands) it was a chance to think freshly and not – or not necessarily – use the reigning model of a plastic jewel case with printed ‘inlay’ sheet and booklet. I thought it would be good to try to do without plastic. It might cost a bit more money, but at least we could make a nice thing: more friendly than the jewel-case model, and perhaps more economic-elegant in its materials. This seemed important in the light of the burning question of ‘why make CDs anyway, why not just issue sound files for downloading?’ If you offer a pleasant and desirable thing, with material qualities that can never be downloaded, then it can be worth the effort and the cost of still publishing physical objects. The same set of thoughts applies, of course, to printed books and e-books. Read more

Teus de Jong (1946–2010)

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Robin Kinross / 2010.11.09

Teus de Jong died last week in hospital in Groningen, after a succession of serious illnesses. He was the typesetter of a number of our books, especially the paperbacks designed by Françoise Berserik. I knew him mainly through emails; but I also came to know him in the silent way in which one feels the presence of a compositor who gives order to words that one has edited or perhaps even written. One becomes aware of choices made, decisions taken – of a person behind the construction of the lines of text. Read more

Amazon once more

2010.08.23

Some previous posts here have offered indirect criticisms of the shop Amazon.1 Now here is a direct assault on the behemoth, made by a publisher with much mainstream experience, just starting out on a new venture that will work outside the existing book trade and sell direct to customers. Read more

A book of conversation

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Robin Kinross / 2010.08.09

It’s been suggested elsewhere in these web-pages that we can judge the quality of a book by looking at its production as an object for carrying meaning. The space between the lines will tell us something about the quality of thought in the editorial-design processes, and so – because editor and writer might work hand-in-hand – in the writing too; and the glue on the spine will tell us something about the thinking in the publishing house.1 The recent book of conversations between Lee Konitz and Andy Hamilton may test this thesis to near-destruction. Read more

Designer as publisher

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Robin Kinross / 2010.07.07

Some years ago – I recall events and publications in the early 1990s – there was some noise about the ‘designer as author’: graphic designers would have a hand in writing (or maybe ‘authoring’) the texts that they also designed, and designers could even be considered as authors. It follows from the technology: the text gets shaped by designers, and the last touch before publication may now be in a designer’s hands. And there is the fact that content is always embodied in its form, and so to make form is also to shape content. But it does not follow that the designer needs to become an author. I don’t believe we should give up on the ideal of the designer working hand-in-hand with an author: listening, thinking, suggesting possibilities, making changes to first proposals, and often following an author’s wishes. There are clear advantages in a separation of the two roles: designers see things that authors can’t, and vice versa. (Against all this, the arrival of another new technic – screen displays of content – may take this process in another direction: away from the hands of any designer and into the domain of the ‘browser’ and its settings, and of the particular screen that is used.) Read more

‘Subterranean modernism’

Robin Kinross / 2010.07.01

Idea magazine is pleasantly print-fixed: none of the words it publishes are put online, so anyone wanting a taste of it simply has to go out and find a copy. The current issue, no. 341, has an article that refers to Hyphen Press and its efforts. This essay, ‘Subterranean modernism’ by Randy Nakamura and Ian Lynam, is perhaps the first published piece by unconnected observers to address ideas that we’ve been busy with for now 30 years. This is very pleasing.1 Read more

‘On typography’

Anthony Froshaug / 2009.10.19

Anthony Froshaug’s article ‘Typography is a grid’, which we posted here in August 2000, has proved to be the most popular page on this website, with numbers boosted recently by a link from a website about grids in typography. One suspects that the meaning of Froshaug’s text eludes many of these visitors (he thought that grids were self-evident and inevitable; not something to make a song and dance about). As a counterweight to – and in part a confirmation of – the ideas in ‘Typography is a grid’, it is worth reading more of what he wrote. The piece given below was written in 1947, but published only in 2000, in the book that gathers all of his writings: ‘Anthony Froshaug: Typography & texts’. The social-political dimension, which is always evident in his work, is strikingly present here. And, as Paul Stiff remarks of Froshaug in his very recently published essay ‘Austerity, optimism: modern typography in Britain after the war’ (in the book ‘Modern typography in Britain’): ‘what sharpens his praxis is phosphoric writing, better theoretically informed than any contemporary designer’. Read more

Benjamin and Brecht in English

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Robin Kinross / 2009.09.29

Last Thursday the London publisher Libris brought out Erdmut Wizisla’s Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht: the story of a friendship. This is an English-language edition of the book published originally by Suhrkamp. Behind that edition was a first embodiment, as its author’s doctoral thesis. The translation from thesis to book is a difficult one, and a process that is rarely resolved well. The transmutation of such a complex book from one language into another is also a difficult business. Some of the issues raised by these endeavours have been brought up, also in connection with Walter Benjamin’s writings, in two previous posts here, in August and December of last year. Read more

Alexander Verberne

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Robin Kinross / 2009.09.15

The typographer Alexander Verberne died on 27 May 2009. After a stroke in 1997, which was followed by further strokes, he had been seriously impaired and was living in a care-home in The Hague. He was born on 18 August 1924 in Den Helder. Read more

Ludwig

Robin Kinross / 2009.03.25

This new typeface designed by Fred Smeijers has just been released by OurType. As its name promises, it is an echt-German production: recalling the early-nineteenth-century Grotesk letter. Read more

Anthony Froshaug: material words / making the book

Jane Howard & Robin Kinross / 2009.02.21

A recent tidying of the office turned up an offprint from the journal ‘Matrix’ (no. 21, 2001), which published two pieces written on the occasion of the publication of our book ‘Anthony Froshaug’. Looking at them again, they seem worth reviving – to explain something of the process by which that book was made (just as this piece explains how another of our books came into the world). Read more

Benjamin and New Left Books (now Verso) – and Libris

Robin Kinross / 2008.12.13

Further to this discussion of the Benjamin archive book, published in English by Verso, some invaluable notes on the history of the publication of Walter Benjamin’s writings can be found here, as a prelude to the publication next year of Erdmut Wizisla’s Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht: the story of a friendship, 1924–1940.1 Let the Verso editorial staff read these notes, and learn. Read more

An interview with Nicolette Moonen

Nicolette Moonen and Robin Kinross / 2008.10.26

Next month Hyphen Press Music is publishing its first CD: ‘Bach arranging and arranged’ by The Bach Players. In this conversation Nicolette Moonen, the artistic director of the group, talks about the background to the recording. Read more

Benjamins

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Robin Kinross / 2008.08.22

Now that every word that Walter Benjamin published in his lifetime has been collected and republished, and now that his many unfinished words have been similarly collected and printed, and now that to this set of ‘collected writings’ we can add letters and diaries that he cannot have thought of publishing, there only remains to be transcribed and multiplied the scraps, cards, sheets, that fill up the rest of his archive. Read more

Isotype: recent publications

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Robin Kinross / 2008.05.12

The recent flourish of interest in the visual work of Otto Neurath – let’s call it Isotype – may be seen as a second wave, coming after a first period of discovery, which included exhibitions of the work in Reading (1975) and Vienna (1982), and an exhibition of the work of the Neurath group’s main artist, Gerd Arntz, in The Hague (1976). From this writer’s point of view, this phase of research culminated in a collection of all Neurath’s writings on the matter (1991).1 Significant contributions of the second wave include the book Bildersprache by Frank Hartmann and Erwin K. Bauer (2002), an exhibition shown in Brno, Prague, Vienna and finally at the Triennale in Milan (2002–3), and now (2008) the book Otto Neurath: the language of the global polis by Nader Vossoughian, with an associated exhibition and events at the Stroom gallery in The Hague. This book and exhibition have indeed been part of a veritable stream of happenings in the Netherlands, which includes a website of Gerd Arntz’s graphic work and a book Lovely language . Hyphen Press is due to contribute to this second wave later this year, with a book titled The transformer. By way of a warm-up for that book, and some clearing of the ground, here are a few thoughts prompted by the most recent publications. Read more

The political economy of book production

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Robin Kinross / 2008.02.17

Compare and contrast these two good books published by Verso in London and New York. Read more

Signs at the Royal Festival Hall

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Robin Kinross / 2007.12.10

In summer of this year the Royal Festival Hall, on the South Bank of London’s river, was reopened after a major, two-year refurbishment. The auditorium itself was remade and restored, and the rest of the building was significantly remade/restored too. The spirit and the materials of the original building were respected, at the same time changes needed for the place’s new uses were made. The architects leading the work were Allies & Morrison, among the most convincing and least pretentious of the UK firms practising ‘modern architecture’. Read more

Penguins lose the plot

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Robin Kinross / 2007.11.01

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. Read more

Rule or law

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Gerrit Noordzij / 2007.09.15

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 Read more

Socialism and print

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Robin Kinross / 2007.08.20

The latest New Left Review leads with a dazzling article by Régis Debray, lamenting the end of print, and of socialism: the one death implies and necessitates the other. Debray discerns three stages of communication history: the logosphere (from the invention of writing to the coming of the printing press; the graphosphere (from 1448 to around 1968); and the videosphere, the realm of the image – which we now inhabit. Read more

Biospeak

Robin Kinross / 2007.08.09

Two demon constituents of capsule English-language biographies (for book-flaps, catalogues, CVs, and so on) are ‘currently’ and ‘based in’. ‘Cormac Wrathbone is a freelance writer and critic, currently based in London.’ What’s wrong here? It’s not just the tiredness of the phrasing. Read more

Buy this book by Nicolete giovanni M Gray today!

Robin Kinross / 2007.07.30

This and this, and this and this, show why it is safer to look at the website of the publisher of a book, rather than at one of the websites of the internet shop Amazon. Very small publishers, especially, tend to change the details of their books (number of pages, cover design, price) even weeks before publication, and they also tend not to have enough time to inform the big selling beast that these things have been changed since the book was first announced. For more on Amazon, and why it should be regarded with some doubt, see here. (Update, September 2007. By this time Amazon had found the final cover images of these books, and improved its description of them. So now we have to explain that the first and third links here were to provisional images and advance details. The mystery of the line ‘Buy this book by Nicolete giovanni M Gray today!’ remains. These words really did appear on the Amazon website, as if it is robots who write the script.)

Best books 2006

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Robin Kinross / 2007.06.27

This year’s catalogues for the best-designed/-produced books have been appearing. The Swiss catalogue for books issued in 2006 is just published. The German catalogue for the same period came out some weeks ago. The British publication, also carrying the designation ‘2006’, was produced towards the end of last year. The Dutch best-books catalogue is on its way, and will cover books published in 2006. With the exception of the British publication, these catalogues describe and discuss books that are put on exhibition in their own countries, and which are also, in the autumn, added to a showing at the Frankfurt Book Fair of all the world’s best-books of that preceding year. A proper survey of the best-books exhibitions would take in all the countries represented at Frankfurt, including (as I recall) Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the United States, Spain. These remarks are addressed to the countries with which I am most familiar. Read more

Typefaces of their times

Robin Kinross / 2007.05.15

There has been much discussion in recent years about the typeface Helvetica, prompted by the book made by Lars Mueller and now a film by Gary Hustwit. In this connection, Erik Spiekermann has been active. Much of Erik’s work has been a wonderful effort in surpassing the unthinking, formulaic and bureaucratic approach that often entails the use of Helvetica. In 1991 Erik brought out his typeface Meta. With the great success of Meta, it came to be some sort of alternative to Helvetica: more subtle and humane than the essentially regularized-industrial forms of Helvetica. The tag ‘the Helvetica of the 1990s’ has become attached to Meta, and has sometimes been attributed to Robin Kinross. Read more

Books that lie open

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Robin Kinross / 2007.05.02

This is an introductory survey of a vexed issue of book-production: binding techniques. The intention of the piece is general enlightenment, and to support a process that is threatened with extinction, and to give information about a coming technique. Read more

Two books on book typography

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Robin Kinross / 2007.04.25

This review has just appeared in the new number (no. 11) of ‘Text’, within an issue on the theme of ‘Edition & Typographie’. Read more

Remembering Peter Burnhill

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Robin Kinross / 2007.04.17

Peter was there in Stafford as a constant point of reference for me for about thirty years. I remember making what seemed like a pilgrimage from Reading to Stafford, in 1977, to meet him for the first time, and the others around him in the group that made and ran the typography course at the College of Art and Design. Before this, as an undergraduate in the early 1970s, I knew about him as a co-writer of a fundamental article in the journal Visible Language (‘Experiments with unjustified text’), as a presence in the thinking behind our course at Reading, and as one of the people on the network that I had begun to discover – of designers such as Anthony Froshaug, Norman Potter, Ernest Hoch. They were intellectual and practical father figures, who were all apparently ageless in their immediate democratic engagement with anyone: serious (and often very funny), dissenting and leftist, disseminating. Read more

Lazy links

Robin Kinross / 2007.01.20

When it launched its website in July 1995, the internet seller Amazon seemed a wondrous thing. Here was a bookstore stocked with almost every title, and one that would reach parts of the country (the United States of America) that were far from any bricks-and-mortar shop. It was indeed based in Seattle, and its employees, one imagined, were mainly grunge-kids in baggy jeans and t-shirts, fetching and packing the books for minimum wages. The company seemed endearing to those of us who like brave new ventures. Read more

Domus reprinted

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Robin Kinross / 2006.11.28

In a bravura act of publishing, Taschen Verlag has put out an extended selection, in facsimile, of the magazine ‘Domus’. This short review of the venture appears in the November issue of ‘Architecture Today’. Read more

A visual field

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Robin Kinross / 2006.09.26

An article by Juliet Fleming on ‘How to look at a printed flower’ Word & Image, vol. 22, no. 2, 2006) throws surprising light on a usually unregarded element of the typographic armoury. Fleming works her way from early appearances of flowers in English printing (Henry Denham in the 1560s), via the aesthetic theory of Immanuel Kant (‘flowers are free natural beauties’) and the printed floral wallpaper that was contemporary with Kant, via ‘arabesques’ and the pattern-making of Islamic art, to the suggestion that these flowers and arabesques achieved their effects just through this exoticism that ‘allowed them to appear to presuppose no concept, with a technology that transformed copying into standardised reproduction, and thus took it out of the force field of imitation’. Read more

Is it possible to determine what typeface of the 1990s will become a classic in the future?

Fred Smeijers / 2006.09.26

With its issue of April–May 2006 (no. 70), the magazine ‘Tipográfica’ entered its twentieth year of publication. Published from Buenos Aires since its first issue of May 1987, the magazine is now established as one of the liveliest and most internationally minded design magazine: though rooted in typography, most issues contain pieces on graphic design and design more generally, with a strong interest in the social and philosophical aspects of the subject. More than most design publications of the moment, ‘Tipográfica’ puts European and North American preoccupations into salutary perspective. For this anniversary issue, ‘Tipográfica’ asked twenty ‘prominent personalities’ to write brief pieces in response to questions posed by the magazine’s editorial group: a different question for each respondent. Among respondents were Robert Bringhurst, Christopher Burke, Matthew Carter… and on to Hermann Zapff. Perhaps the most entertaining contribution came from Fred Smeijers. We reproduce it here, with kind permission of ‘Tipográfica’. Read more

‘The stroke’: a review

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Erik Spiekermann / 2006.09.26

Reviews of ‘The stroke’ have begun to appear. Gerrit Noordzij’s writings present a particular challenge to their readers. ‘Do not believe what you read’, the author seems to say. ‘What I am saying is what seems to me to be true; but you need to sort it out for yourself, with the help of my explorations, if they interest you.’ He asks for a thinking-along with him. Not so many reviewers want to put in the work of engagement. Erik Spiekermann’s review appears, in its original German, in the journal ‘Text’ (no. 11, 2006), edited at the Institut für Textkritik, and published in Frankfurt a.M. by Stroemfeld Verlag. For permission to publish this translation, thanks to the editors and publishers of ‘Text’, and Erik Spiekermann. Read more

Kinneir, Reading, ‘Typography papers’

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Paul Stiff / 2005.05.13

Designers, places, publications are woven together and put in historical perspective in this short text by Paul Stiff. It appears in Italian translation in Progetto grafico, no.4/5, 2005, to whose editors we extend thanks and greetings. Read more

The architects of the book

Linda Eerme & Robin Kinross / 2002.05.22

Architectural and design publishing has seen remarkable changes in recent years. How does this sector of publishing work now? How did it come to have this structure? What part does the design of these books play? This article tackles these questions and suggests some answers. After a wide-ranging survey, we profile a number of publishers that help to make up the liveliest sector of the present scene. This text was published, with many illustrations of the books discussed, in ‘Domus’, no. 847, April 2002. Read more

Interview with Christopher Burke

Andreu Balius and Juan J. Arrausi / 2002.05.17

We publish an interview with Christopher Burke, conducted and introduced by Andreu Balius and Juan J. Arrausi, graphic designers in Barcelona. This is the original English text of the interview published in Spanish in the magazine ‘GRRR’ (no. 8, 2001). The discussion opens with a consideration of the work of Paul Renner, and especially his typeface Futura, then moves on to Christopher Burke’s own work as a type designer. Read more

Some considerations on biography

Tanya Harrod / 2000.11.24

We are pleased to publish this address given by Tanya Harrod to the meeting on 10 October 2000 at the Conway Hall, London, to launch the book ‘Anthony Froshaug’. Read more

Typography is a grid

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Anthony Froshaug / 2000.08.21

This article was first published in ‘The Designer’, no. 167, January 1967. It is one of the ‘texts’ published in our book Anthony Froshaug: Typography & texts / Documents of a life’. Froshaug wrote this at the height of the vogue for grid-based graphic design, imported into Britain from (especially) Switzerland. In an earlier contribution to ‘The Designer’, Brian Grimbly – a friend and colleague of Froshaug – had discussed grids in a purely pragmatic way, as a tool for designers. (‘Designing to a grid’, ‘The Designer’, no. 162, August 1966, pp. 4–5). Anthony Froshaug then wrote this ‘call to order’, restating central tenets of his approach to typography.

Some slight editorial changes have been made in reprinting the article here. Notes to the text and illustrations were originally numbered in one sequence, but have here been renumbered in two sequences. ‘Typography is a grid’ was first reprinted in ‘Design Dialogue’, no. 1, 1969: a magazine edited by students at Stafford College of Art and Design. Froshaug’s work was important for the design course at Stafford, as Peter Burnhill implied in his retrospective: ‘Outside the whale’, ‘Information Design Journal’, vol.8, no.3, 1996, pp. 195–218. More recently, ‘Typography is a grid’ has been reprinted with illustrations and notes reshuffled and misnumbered, within the grimly utilitarian pages of the anthology ‘Looking closer 3’, edited by Michael Bierut and others for Allworth Press (New York, 1999). Read more

An interview with Robin Kinross

Petra Cerne Oven and Robin Kinross / 2000.08.21

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. Read more

Counterpunch: how the book was made

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Robin Kinross / 1998.07.22

This article was written in October 1996 for the ‘Typelab Krant’. This was a laser-printed and stapled publication circulated at the ATypI meeting in The Hague in that year: it was published in the issue of 25 October 1996. We resurrect the piece now, because it gives some picture of the way in which Hyphen Press books come into existence. Read more

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