Florence Margaret PaiseyJan TschicholdPrecision, perfection and print characterize JanTschichold’s illustrious vocation as a typographer andgraphic designer. Trained initially as a calligrapher, his eyefor exactitude developed, leading him through a diversity ofperspectives that included the modernist view, Russianconstructivism, and finally to a post-modernistsensibility. Although this plurality of attitudes – reflectedboth in Tschichold’s writings and design – encompass thetenets of these schools, he clearly values the formalism (inthe sense of exactness) associated with each.Tschichold’s groundbreaking work, “The NewTypography” is an impassioned statement that calls for acomplete break from past typographic principles andstyle. Rejecting the constraints present in the tightlyorganized and classical mise-en-page, he sets forth principlesresonate with those of free verse. Yet, even in his
protestations against classical, formal structure typified bymasterworks of the past, Tschichold is explicit and exactingin his freedom. His type is precisely defined, placed andbalanced on a page. His design, even when asymmetrical,balances relationships between textual inscriptions, theirsize and weight, as it is integrated with images. The poiseinherent in his design captivates the eye while alsocommunicating visually.In kicking off this bibliographic foray into Jan Tschichold,his name had loomed in memory – mostly for hisachievement in reinventing the design of PenguinBooks. Furnishing an overview of his accomplishments andinfluence seemed perfectly manageable. One learns.Tschichold’s reputation rests among the greats intypography, graphic design and book design, but only withinlimited circles. However, his influence, along with othermodernists and post-modernists, has affected visual cultureboth subliminally and palpably.
Esteemed in his lifetime for innovations in typographyand graphic design, his prominence is, once again, rising.More than thirty years after his death, his principles oftypography and book design are garnering attention andmomentum. Richard Hollis recently wrote a remembrance inhonor of his achievement in 20th century design. Hollispointed to Tschicholds titanic importance as a twentiethcentury typographer and a resurgence of interest in hisachievements. Recent publications on Tschichold arenumerous.Having reviewed the enormity of his influence andprominence as well as his principles and perspective on thethe mise-en-page, typography and materiality, it is clear thatfurther study can potentially bear rich fruit, providing freshinsight into contemporary visual and graphic culture. Inperforming this, paradoxically one will also grasp thoseclassical principles he disavowed, but are unmistakablyevident within his precision.
Bibliography: A Brief Overview of Tschichold’s InfluenceBirdsall, David. Notes on Book Design. New Haven: YaleUniversity Press, 2004. Print.Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of TypographicStyle. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, 2004. Print.Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Styleapplied to the Web. Online.Bruckner, D. J. R. "On Our Good (and Bad) Books." DesignQuarterly 155 (1992): 29- 33. Print.Bungard, Brigitta. "Rediscovering the NewTypography." Inside/Out 12 (2010) New York: MoMA.Burke, Christopher. Active Literature: Jan Tschichold NewTypography. London: Hyphen Press, 2008. Print.---. The Art of Typography. London: Hyphen Press, 2008.Print.Chappell, Warren, and Robert Bringhurst. A Short Historyof the Printed Word. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, 1999.
Print.Charchar, Alex. "Jan Tschichold". New York, 2009.“Refections of the Joyous Elegance of Graphic Design &Creative Thought.” Retinart. 2012.Constantine, Mildred. "The Poster Collection." The Bulletinof the Museum of Modern Art 18.4 (1951): 2-16. Print.Day, Kenneth. Book Typography: 1815-1965 in Europe andthe United States. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1965.Print.De Jong, Cees W. Jan Tschichold, Master Typographer: HisLife, Work and Legacy. London: Thames & Hudson,2008. Print.Doubleday, Richard B. Jan Tschichold Designer: ThePenguin Years. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press,2006. Print.Frascara, Jorge. "Graphic Design: Fine Art or SocialScience?" Design Issues 5.1 (1988): 18-29. Print.Godfrey, Jason. 100 Classic Graphic Design Books:
Bibliographic. 2009. Print.Hutner, Martin. A Century for the Century: Fine PrintedBooks 1900-1999. New Hampshire: David R. Godine,2004. Print."Jan Tschichold." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012.Jubert, Roxane, and John Cullars. "The Bauhaus Context:Typography and Graphic Design in France." DesignIssues 22.4 (2006): 66-80. Print.Kinross, Robin. "Emigre Graphic Designers in Britain:Around the Second World War and Afterwards." Journal ofDesign History 3 (1990): 1. Print.Kinross, Robin, and Richard Hollis. "Conversation withRichard Hollis on Graphic Design History." Journal ofDesign History 5.1 (1992): 73-90. Print.Lupton, Ellen. Letters from the Avant Garde. New York:Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. Print.
---. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide. DesignBriefs. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004. Print.Lyon, Christopher. "The Poster at the Modern: A BriefHistory." MoMA 48 (1988): 1-2. Print.McLean, Ruari. Jan Tschichold: A Life in Typography. NewYork: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997. Print.Moran, James, ed. Printing in the 20th Century: A PenroseAnthology. New York: Hastings House, 1974. Print.Martijn F. Le Coultre and Alston W. Purvis. Jan Tschichold:Posters of the Avante Garde. Trans. Mader, Don. Basel:Birkhäuser Architecture, 2003. Print."Printing and the Mind of Man." Ed. British Museum. EarlsCourt, London: Bridges & Sons LTD and The Association ofBritish Manufacturers of Printers Machinery LTD, 1963.Print.
Spencer, Herbert. Pioneers of Modern Typography. London:Lund Humpheries, 1969. Print.Storkerson, Peter. "Jan Tschichold and the Language ofModernism." Visible Language 30.3 (1996): 314-29. Print.Tschichold, Jan. "Something About Book Design." DesignIssues 9.2 (1932): 77-79. Print.---. "Chinese and Japanese Colour Wood-BlockPrinting." Leonardo 4.1 (1971): 75-79. Print.---. The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of GoodDesign. Trans. Hadeler, Hajo.Graphic Design in thePostmodern Era. London: Hartley & Marks, 1997. Print.---. The New Typography: A Handbook for ModernDesigners. Trans. McClean, Ruari. Berkeley:University of California Press, 2006. Print.
Twyman, Michael. Printing: 1770-1970. London: Eyre &Spottiswoode Ltd, 1970. Print.---. "Assymmetric Page Design in Lithgraphed Books of theNineteenth Century: The Convergence of Manuscript andPrinting." Journal of Design History 5.1 (1992): 5-17. Print.Vanderlans, Rudy, ed. Emigre No. 70: The Look BackIssue. 1st ed. Berkeley: Gingko Press, 2009. Print.Wilson, Adrian. The Design of Books. New York: Reinhold,1967. Print.