At Encyclopedia.Design, we are fascinated by all aspects of design, both current and historical. It is essential to recognise the influential designers who have paved the way. Jan Tschichold (1902 – 1974), was a typographic genius. Tschichold was first introduced at Shillington College, where I studied Graphic Design. His straight lines and hierarchical structure appeal to me as a digital designer. His concepts, in my opinion, work well in the digital realm.
Jan Tshichold, one of the most prominent and influential typographers of the time, pioneered a typographical movement that created many new typefaces to reflect the emerging machine-driven age.
Tschichold, born in Germany, is regarded as one of the most outstanding and influential typographers of the twentieth century. He removed the pre-1925 typography to create a new, modern, structured and regulated one. His work is distinguished by its rigorous structure, asymmetrical placement of contrasting elements, and layouts based on horizontal and vertical underlying grids. You will notice a harmonious composition of balance, white space, straight lines, and thick rules throughout his designs.
Tschichold was born in Leipzig, in 1902. His first book, “Elementary Typography,” was published in 1925. In 1927, he became a lecturer at the Master School for Printing in Munich. He held this position until 1933 when the Nazis dismissed him. He relocated to Switzerland, where he continued to design and teach. In his third book, “Typographische Gestaltung,” he begins to turn away from “the new typography” as he begins to associate its rigid style with the totalitarianism of the Nazis.
Tschichold is known for his famous typeface Sabon. He authored several books, the most influential being The New Typography, published in 1928. A modified version of his font family Sabon, for example, is widely used in publications such as Vogue and Esquire.
He is, however, most remembered for his post-war refashioning of Penguin paperbacks. During his career with Penguin, he re-designed over 500 books. Below you will see some examples of his work for Penguin.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL
Typography Books – Amazon
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Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals
The Essential Type Directory
Moholy-Nagy and the New Typography A-Z
Sketching Type: A Guided Sketchbook for Creative Hand Lettering
The Typography Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters
Designing with Type, 5th Edition: The Essential Guide to Typography
Thinking with Type, A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Graphic Design: The New Basics: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
More on Typography
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