Hyphen Press / 2023.05.15
As often, it began with a remark by Anthony Froshaug. I had told him that some book had a certain number of pages – it was an odd number. He observed that this must be a strange book. To imagine a sheet of paper with just one side, or to imagine a folded sheet or a gathered number of folded sheets, with five or seven or nineteen or twenty-one sides is to enter the world of M.C. Escher.
Hyphen Press / 2022.08.22
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.
Hyphen Press /
The visual work of Otto Neurath and his associates, now commonly known as Isotype, has been much discussed in recent years. This short book explains its essential principles: the work of ‘transforming’, or putting information into visual form. This deeper level of their work – which is applicable in all areas of design – is routinely neglected in the assumption that Isotype is just a matter of symbols and pictograms. At the core of the book is a previously unpublished essay by Marie Neurath, the principle Isotype transformer, which she wrote in the last year of her life. This is supplemented by Robin Kinross with commentary on illustrated examples of Isotype and other supporting short essays.
Hyphen Press /
The work of Karel Martens occupies an intriguing place in the present European art-and-design landscape. Martens can be placed in the tradition of Dutch modernism – in the line of figures such as Piet Zwart, H.N. Werkman, Willem Sandberg. Yet he maintains some distance from the main developments of our time: from both the practices of routinized modernism and of the facile reactions against this. His work is both personal and experimental. At the same time, it is publicly answerable. Over the now 50 years of his practice, Martens has been prolific as a designer of books. He has also made contributions in a wide range of design commissions, including stamps, coins, signs on buildings. Intimately connected with this design work has been his practice as an artist. This started with geometric and kinetic constructions, and was later developed in work with the very material of paper; more recently he has been making relief prints from found industrial artefacts. This book looks for new ways to show and discuss the work of a designer and artist, and is offered in the same spirit of experiment and dialogue that characterizes the work it presents.
Hyphen Press /
This remarkable volume is a collection of eleven essays and shorter articles which for the first time provide rich contexts – social, cultural, and political – for graphic design in Britain. Reaching from the Second World War to the early 1970s, they fizz with provocative interconnections: between print culture, photojournalism and publishing, the London of émigrés, political meetings and demonstrations, cultural cafés and art schools. From these disparate milieux emerged new ideas about designing: configuring and picturing the world of facts and processes, shaping them for understanding, learning, and action. Presented here are documents of the nation’s life in war, its reconstruction through the passages from scarcity to plenty, the seeds of later fragmentation, always fertile with multiple intersections between biography and history.
Hyphen Press /
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.
Hyphen Press /
A book of and about E.C. Large, which contains a selection of his shorter writings – travel essays, reportage, reveries, reviews, critiques, autobiographical pieces – and which reveals the extent of his achievement. These show a notably exact writer, with sane no-nonsense views, and yet with great imagination. Some unpublished texts are shown in facsimile. Also here is a bibliography of his published writings (both ‘literary’ and scientific), and an essay by Stuart Bailey, which sees his work with present-day eyes.
Ash / 2022.07.12
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.
Hyphen Press / 2022.05.06
Gerrit died a few weeks ago, aged 90. Even more than most human beings, he was complex. He was simple, sophisticated, dogmatic, open, authoritative, anti-authoritarian, inquiring, certain, proud, humble, unpretentious, masterly, amateur. I did not know him well, but did encounter and engage with him and his work over many years.
Hyphen Press / 2021.01.11
An appreciation of the work of the artist-designer George Mackie (1920–2020)
Hyphen Press / 2019.06.25
The latest issue of Oase, the journal of architecture, is worth getting hold of. It is devoted to a discussion Kenneth Frampton’s theory of ‘critical regionalism’, which he published first in an essay of 1983. In this special issue of Oase, the original article is reprinted in facsimile, with Dutch translation added; there is a retrospective interview with Frampton, and discussions of the critical regionalism theory by other, younger practitioner-historian-critics: the combined role that Frampton has himself exemplified in his now long career.
Hyphen Press / 2018.10.08
In the 1990s the annual meetings of ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) were often fascinating events. The organization was in transition. Formed in 1957, as a grouping of type manufacturers, it represented the industry’s attempt to regulate itself, and especially to prevent – without recourse to the courts of law – one company from copying the designs of another.
Hyphen Press / 2018.03.13
In 2006, invited by Giovanni Lussu and his colleagues on the editorial board of the journal ‘Progetto grafico’ (published by Aiap, the association of Italian graphic designers), I wrote a consideration of Beatrice Warde’s ‘Crystal goblet’ essay. This became part of a symposium on Warde’s view of typography, which was published in ‘Progetto grafico’, no. 8.
Hyphen Press / 2017.11.09
This article follows on from the more general considerations on copyright in Isotype published here.
Hyphen Press / 2017.05.08
A previous installment of this occasional series on book production concerned a novel by Julian Barnes, The noise of time. 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.
Hyphen Press / 2016.07.04
Comments on the picture-sharing service Instagram 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.
Hyphen Press / 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. 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.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 2015.11.30
Roland Reuß teaches literature and text-editing at the University of Heidelberg, and co-directs the Institut für Textkritik there. As well as co-editing, with Peter Staengle, major historical-critical editions of Kleist and Kafka, he is a prolific writer on the subject of literature and editing. In addition, in the last few years he has published a stream of articles, especially in newspapers (notably the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung), on wider and more explicitly political themes: the rights of authors and publishers in the face of unlicensed copying of their work, the continuing virtues of the printed book as a means of embodying and duplicating texts and images, the role of independent publishers and booksellers in maintaining human culture.
Hyphen Press / 2015.03.12
The Gerrit Noordzij Prize, organized by the Type and Media postgraduate course at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Art) in The Hague, is awarded every three years. Last week it was presented to the type designer Cyrus Highsmith, and the previous winner, Karel Martens, was celebrated in a seminar, an exhibition, and a book.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 2014.01.02
At work over the holidays on a writer’s first draft, the following notes seemed of possible wider interest.
Hyphen Press / 2012.06.07
Next week in Vienna, two events hosted by the Typographische Gesellschaft Austria take place: a workshop with Jost Hochuli (Monday 11 to Friday 15) and a talk by Robin Kinross on ‘Design for meaning’ (Wednesday 13).
Hyphen Press / 2012.05.16
The photograph below records the entrance space at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, last week, where Robin Kinross gave a ‘conférence’ on the occasion of the publication of the French edition of Modern typography.
Hyphen Press / 2012.05.04
On the occasion of the publication of the French edition of Modern typography, Robin Kinross is speaking on the theme of ‘editing as design’ at ÉSAD Valence next Thursday, and at the Centre Pompidou on Friday.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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 Heu.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 2010.11.09
The book Modern typography has just been reprinted and copies are on sale now.
Hyphen Press / 2010.09.27
On Thursday 28 October (7.30 pm) at the Highgate Library in Chester Road, London N19, Robin Kinross will be speaking about his work with Hyphen Press.
Hyphen Press / 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
Hyphen Press / 2010.07.05
Last December, Michel Aphesbero and Thomas Boutoux came to London to interview Robin Kinross, for the rosab.net web-magazine, made at the École des beaux-arts de Bordeaux.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 2009.07.26
One of the most pleasing aspects of publishing is to see translated editions of your books appearing. Italian, Spanish, and now Korean editions of Modern typography have been made in recent years. Meanwhile our own second edition of the work is out of print and awaiting a reprint, with corrections and small updatings. We hope […]
Hyphen Press / 2009.06.02
On 11 June at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, Robin Kinross is giving a lecture on standard paper sizes. This is the culmination of his period this year as a joint Fellow at the KB and NIAS. The talk will have the character of preliminary survey, towards a long history of paper sizes.
Hyphen Press / 2009.03.21
Under this splendid title, a conference on the ‘norms, formats, supports’ of publishing (in a wide sense) was held a couple of weeks ago in Bordeaux.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 2009.02.04
From this week to the end of June, Robin Kinross is living and working in the Netherlands: taking up this year’s Fellowship at the Konkinklijke Bibliotheek [Royal Library].
Hyphen Press / 2008.09.04
On 15 October, in a talk at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival, Robin Kinross will attempt to explain what typography is.
Hyphen Press / 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).
Hyphen Press / 2008.02.18
Compare and contrast these two good books published by Verso in London and New York.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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.
Hyphen Press / 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. A version of this article was published here in May 2007. The text and images here are a new version of this article – thoroughly revised and reshaped in April 2018.
Hyphen Press / 2007.04.26
This review has just appeared in the new number (no. 11) of Text, within an issue on the theme of ‘Edition & Typographie’.
Hyphen Press / 2006.03.06
An edition of Modern typography in Italian, translated by Giovanni Lussu and published at the end of last year by the Stampa Alternativa & Graffiti, is now available from Aiap.
Hyphen Press / 2005.02.23
A long review of the book is published in the current (number 309) issue of Idea magazine.
Hyphen Press / 2004.09.21
The much delayed second edition of Robin Kinross’s Modern typography is now finished and available.
Hyphen Press / 2003.11.11
Robin Kinross is giving a talk with this title at the Information Design Histories conference at Coventry (UK), 10 December 2003.
Hyphen Press / 2002.09.29
At the ATypI conference in Rome last week, three Hyphen authors spoke.
Hyphen Press / 2000.10.12
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.
Hyphen Press / 2000.08.21
This interview was recorded in London on 28 May 1999, and published in Slovenian translation in the cultural magazine Emzin’.
Hyphen Press / 1999.09.06
In the September issue of the magazine Lingua Franca (the bright and irreverent ‘review of academic life’, published from New York), the topic of the ‘breakthrough books’ column was design.
Hyphen Press / 1999.07.16
A long interview between Petra Cerne Oven and Robin Kinross has just been published in Emzin.
Hyphen Press / 1998.08.16
Robin Kinross is contributing to the ‘Ma[r]king the text’ conference at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, England, 3–6 September 1998. The topic of his talk is ‘Judging a book by its material embodiment’.
Hyphen Press / 1998.07.26
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.
Hyphen Press / 1998.07.24
The book is now officially out of print, though a few copies may be available still from Coen Sligting, our Dutch distributor. We do not plan to reprint in its present form, but a revised edition is being considered.