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Archive for December, 2011


The revised edition of Die Neue Typographie.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

summary

650-MaartenKanters5  As part of the graduation program at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, we were asked to write a thesis. I conducted a research into the early days of Modernism and Constructivism. One of the books on my list was the English translation of Die Neue Typographie, by Jan Tschichold.
This publication included an introduction by Ruari McLean, translator of the original, German version, who was also a personal friend of Jan Tschichold. On the first page of his foreword, McLean tells us that already in 1967, Tschichold asked him to translate Die Neue Typographie. McLean continues his introduction: “He planned it as a second, revised edition.” McLean states that he translated the greater part of Die Neue Typographie, incorporating all the revisions, but no publisher could be found. For the 1995 edition, McLean together with the University of California Press, made the editorial decision to translate the original text, treating it as a historical document.

covernew DieNeueTypographie TheNew Typography

original ©1928 "Die Neue Typographie" by Jan Tschichold - first English edition "The New Typography" ©1995

After finishing the introduction, I was curious about the revisions Tschichold made to his original text. McLean tells us in his introduction that after the death of Tschichold, in 1974, he placed the draft of his translation in the St Bride Printing Library. So, the next day I called the library. It took me some weeks, to finally get hold of the document, but these weeks gave the opportunity to research Tschichold’s personal and professional life.
Tschichold transmogrified from a traditional, German trained typographer, into a “true modern designer” (his own words), to finally reform back into his old working method, a classical and traditional approach to typography. Over time, he became his own frenetic antagonist, with Die Neue Typographie in the center.

Tschichold_book-4

What I found out, is that Tschichold during his life, tried, but repeatedly failed, to publish a revised edition of Die Neue Typographie. Throughout his life – while criticizing himself and others, who were still confederated to Die Neue Typographie movement – he worked on this document, trying to mitigate his rather excessive statements from his younger self. This revised edition of Tschichold was now fragmented in different archives. As an archaeologist I started to recollected these sparse pages and revisions by Tschichold, and incorporated all my findings into a version, as coherent as possible.
While working out the manuscripts by Tschichold, I tried to find out in what physical form, Tschichold wanted to present his revised edition. In correspondence with Piet Zwart, he speaks about presenting it in A4 format, a format he later labeled as: “devils format”. Die Neue Typographie was set in either Aurora Grotesk, or Akzidenz Grotesk. The choice of typeface, was decided by practical circumstances: no other sans serif font was available in an amount large enough, to set a whole book. I took this opportunity to design my own sans serif font, called Takhir. The shapes of Takhir were drawn, to tell a story about Modernism. But, it is too bumptious to appear, as pure, as Modernism would have wanted it to be.

Tschichold_book-2

This whole project resulted in the revised edition of Die Neue Typographie, containing all the revisions I collected in my research. The publication is introduced by a foreword, that I wrote as my thesis [presented as pdf at the end of this post], in which I present the historical background of Die Neue Typographie movement, and the publication by the same name. Beside all the revisions Tschichold made to his text, he made a number of personal comments, which reflected or criticized the content. The combination of these two, are really important for me, because it shows Tschichold’s difficult relationship to Die Neue Typographie. In one hand he rewrites its whole content, but he no longer agrees with its tenor. In the final publication, these personal comments are presented on errata’s, placed on the corresponding page of the content.
The whole publication is set in the typeface Takhir, which was finally created in two weights, both with Italics. Printed digitally in an edition of 50 copies 157 pages on 110 grams silk machine coated paper with a silkscreened cover, for sale at San Serriffe Bookstore [x].

text by Maarten Kanters [graduate student department of Graphic Design 2011] : more www.mrtnkntrs.nl

 

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The condition of Techno Craft in 2011


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Impression of STRP 2011. This video reflects my personal experiences at STRP 2011, the 9th day, November 26th.
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STRP Festival [strp.nl] is one of the largest art & technology festivals in Europe where music, art and technology meet. The multidisciplinary program combines 360 degree experiences with adventure to appeal to a wide audience. You will find projects by young game designers alongside major works from established international artists, experimental live cinema, and successful pop artists and DJs. At STRP, interactive art, light art, robotics, concerts, theatrical and dance performances, experimental music, interviews, discussions, films, lectures, video art, animation and workshops co-exist dynamically.

STILLS, The Frozen Image


Sunday, December 4, 2011

This essay by Elki Boerdam is about a new type of image: the still. A stopped movement. A scene frozen in time, a paused frame.
Its a mysterious image. Filled with references, context and suggestions. You feel there is more to see than that one frame, that there is a story. And that this is just a flash out of a bigger thing.
Its a type of image that requires intense participation from the reader. It asks questions about recognition, relation and reference.
This investigation explores this new kind of image. Trying to define it by placing it in an art environment. Could the still be seen as an autonomous artwork? Is the context the still gives us really important for the meaning of the image? And does a still always needs to stand still? The still is a sort of image not to be overlooked and that is getting more and more importance every day. For normal users as well as artists and designers.

www.elkiboerdam.com

download thesis: STILLS, Het Vastgevroren Beeld  download reader: STILLS, In Text [Reader]
publications will be translated in english soon. Use 'comments' for english request

 


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