Born May 28 1885, Zaandijk, Netherlands. Died 1977, Wassenaar Piet Zwart ( Zaandijk , 28 May 1885 – Wassenaar , 24 September 1977 ) was a Dutch photographer , typographer , and industrial designer . He started his career as an architect and worked for Jan Wils and Berlage . As a designer, Zwart was well known because of his work for both the Nederlandse Kabelfabriek Delft (the Dutch Cable Factory in Delft ) and the Dutch Postal Telegraph and Telephone , and as a pioneer of modern typography. He did not adhere to traditional typography rules, but used the basic principles of constructivism and " De Stijl " in his commercial work. His work can be recognized by its primary colors , geometrical shapes, repeated word patterns and an early use of photomontage . He created a total of 275 designs in 10 years for the NKF Company, almost all typographical works. He resigned in 1933 to become an interior, industrial and furniture designer. Piet Zwart died at the age of 92 in 1977. Typography
The New Consciousness Following WWI, artists realized that their work must be inspired by the new conditions of life, and that they had to reshape the world around them to reflect the consciousness of their day and age. He and many of his contemporaries held a constructivist view that a new world order would arise from the devastation of the Russian Revolution and World War I. There, art would be based on technology, universality, abstraction, and functionalism. Zwart wrote in 1919: "Our time has become characterized by an enthusiastic desire for change, born out of a growing discontent over social conditions, determined and guided by new means of production new spiritual insights and new ideals." Zwart's reading of Marx and Hegel further crystallized his socialist philosophy on the responsibilities of the artist toward society.
Zwart referred to his method as "Functional" typography, whose purpose was to "establish the typographic look of our time, free, in so far as it is possible, from tradition; to activate typographic forms; to define the shape of new typographic problems, methods, and techniques."
The reality of the machine age meant that reading was a time consuming activity in a world where people had less and less time to spare. Always concerned with both attracting the attention of the viewer, and respecting their experience, Zwart designed his work so that function always came first, the essential elements were separate from the accessory elements , and the viewer could easily and quickly grasp the central message , and then decide to read further.
(Dutch Cable Factory). In the subsequent 10 years, Zwart would produce 275 advertisements and the publication Sterkstroom (Strong Current). Essentially typographic, these advertisements constitute Zwart's major contribution to Dutch typography.
At the end of his work with NKF in 1933 there was an abrupt change in Zwart's work, and his attention turned more toward industrial, interior, and furniture design, where it remained for the remainder of his life. Piet Zwart died in 1977
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