Design Classic – New Standards Layout and Design
Penguin Book Covers
- Designer: Jan Tschichold
- Manufacturer: Penguin
Jan Tschichold was born in the German city of Leipzig, but moved to Switzerland in 1933 and became a Swiss citizen in 1942. He became one of the most recognized typographers of the twentieth century. His success was to spearhead new postwar typographic advancements while keeping steadfastly devoted to conventional Modernist ideas. Tschichold was persuaded to the Modern Movement concepts after seeing an exhibition of work from the Weimar Bauhaus in 1923. Edward Young, Penguin’s Production Manager, developed the Penguin book covers, including the Penguin Logo, in the 1930s. Sir Allen Lane, chairman of Penguin Books, hired Tschichold in 1946.
Tschichold created new standards of text arrangement and style that inspired all of the British postwar graphic design, although only working for the publication for three years. Then, with the formulation of the “Penguin Composition Rules,” he was able to apply Modernist theory to the requirements of book manufacturing.
Tschichold was also an accomplished historian and author, having published over twenty volumes on Chinese calligraphy to design polemics. In addition, he worked as a freelance consultant for several Swiss and German publishers in the 1960s. Tschichold retired to Locarno in 1968 and died there six years later.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
McDermott, C. (1999). Modern design: classics of our time. Carlton Books.
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At Encyclopedia.Design, we are fascinated by all aspects of design, both current and historical. It is important to recognise the influential designers who have paved the way. Jan Tschichold (1902 – 1974), is a typographic genius. Tschichold was first introduced to me at Shillington College, where I studied Graphic Design.
Jan and Joel Martel (1896 – 1966) were twin brothers and French sculptors. They were born in Nantes and active in Paris. Cement, glass, steel, mirrors, ceramics, lacquers, and synthetics were all used in their projects. Their first commission was the Vendée memorial monument, which was completed between 1920 and 1922.