Jan Tschichold and Avant-Garde Typography

In This article at first i would like to start by having a look at Avant-Garde Typography which was the subject that the lecture began with.

Avant-garde is originaly a french term meaning in English, vanguard or advance guard (the part of an army that goes forward ahead of the rest)”. The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics. Avant-garde art can be said to begin in the 1850s with the Realism of Gustave Courbet, who was strongly influenced by early socialist ideas. This was followed by the successive movements of modern art, and the term avant-garde is more or less synonymous with modern. Some avant-grade movements such as Cubism for example have focused mainly on innovations of form, others such as FuturismDe Stijl or Surrealism have had strong social programmes.

The next matter Alan power discussed in the lecture was Jan Tschichold who was born in Leipzig on April 2, 1902 known as one of the most defining voices in 20th century typography Because of his strong ideological stances.

He was a master in his field, worked as a teacher, wrote a number of books, designed typefaces, and worked his entire life as designer and writer.He broke off his teaching studies after three years when he realized that he wanted to be a typeface designer and attended the Academy for Graphic Arts in Leipzig.His work has been described and illustrated in his own publications and those of Ruari Mclean, who was also responsible for the translations into English of his two chief books of instruction, Die Neue Typographie (The New Typography, 1928) and Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design, published in English as Asymmetric Typography, 1935).

Jan Tschichold’s seminal piece on graphic design, the New Typography.

I feel that his book on graphic design to be a great introduction to the field, particularly for those looking to begin his/her understanding of the modern era of modern design from a historical perspective.

Although Die neue Typographie remains a classic, Tschichold slowly abandoned his rigid beliefs from around 1932 onwards (e.g. his Saskia typeface of 1932, and his acceptance of classical Roman typefaces for body-type) as he moved back towards Classicisim in print design.He later condemned Die neue Typographie as too extreme. He also went so far as to condemn Modernist design in general as being authoritarian and inherently fantastic.


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