Category Archives: typography

The Gutenberg Revolution: How Printing Changed the Course of History

By John Man (2009)
In 1450, all Europe’s books were handcopied and amounted to only a few thousand. By 1500, they were printed and numbered in their millions. The invention of Johann Gutenberg had caused a revolution: printing by movable type. Born in 1400 in Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg struggled against a background of plague and religious upheaval to bring his remarkable invention to light. His story is full of paradoxes: his ambition was to reunite all Christendom, but his invention shattered it; he aimed to make a fortune, but was cruelly denied the fruits of his life’s work. Yet history remembers him as a visionary; his discovery marks the beginning of the modern world.

Posted in culture, design, history, language, media, printmaking, technology, typography

Design Life Now: National Design Triennial

By Barbara Bloemink, Brooke Hodge, Ellen Lupton and Matilda McQuaid (2006)
The exhibition catalog inaugurates Cooper-Hewitt’s new self-publishing venture. The publication includes a foreword by director Paul Warwick Thompson; original essays by co-curators Barbara Bloemink, Brooke Hodge, Ellen Lupton, and Matilda McQuaid; a designer profile of each of the 87 designers featured in the exhibition; and more than 300 images, most in full color. The book is designed by COMA (Cornelia Blatter and Marcel Hermans), who are also featured in the exhibition.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography

Emigre No. 70 the Look Back Issue: Selections from Emigre Magazine 1-69

By Rudy VanderLans (2009)
During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, graphic design was experiencing one of its most exciting and transformative periods. The Apple Macintosh computer had been introduced, design schools were exploring French linguistic theory, the vernacular had become a serious source of study and inspiration, the design and manufacture of typefaces was suddenly opened up to everyone who could use a computer, and for the first time in the United States, New York City was no longer the place to look for the latest developments in graphic design. And in Berkeley, California, across the bay from Silicon Valley, Emigre magazine, like no other, recognized the significance of the events, and became both a leading participant and a keen observer of this innovative international design scene, generating a body of work and ideas that still resonate today.

Posted in design, theory, typography

Ray Johnson: Correspondences

Ray Johnson: CorrespondencesBy Donna De Salvo and Catherine Gudis (1999)

In 1995, the resolutely reclusive Ray Johnson reemerged into the spotlight when he died in a mysterious and spectacular way, leading to the discovery of thousands of works of art in his house. Drawing upon this vast trove, Donna De Salvo, the Wexner Center’s Curator at Large, has organized Ray Johnson: Correspondences, the first comprehensive exhibition to be mounted (with the complete cooperation of the artist’s estate).

Like Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, and later Andy Warhol and Jim Rosenquist, Johnson combined the signs and symbols of contemporary culture with the lessons of abstraction to develop a new lexicon of forms. A pioneer in the use of ‘found’ images and techniques of mechanical reproduction, Johnson created in 1955 what may have been the first informal happening.

Johnson first created ‘mail art’ in the fifties. These were part collage, part manifesto, part parody; he often instructed recipients to ‘add to’, ‘return to’, or ‘send to’, spawning an interactive art form, a continuous happening, that pre-figured electronic mail. Johnson was the nerve center of this pre-digital netscape that spread around the nation and, eventually, the world, which continues to flourish today.

By the eighties, Johnson was a legend in the artistic community. Ray Johnson: correspondences, offers the first opportunity for in-depth examination of the work of an artist who reflected and dissected many of the aesthetic, cultural, and theoretical preoccupations of the last forty years; a figure whose impact and influence will finally be made known.

Posted in art, biography, culture, design, exhibition, language, media, semiotics, typography

Inside Design Now: The National Design Triennial

Inside Design Now: The National Design TriennialBy Donald Albrecht, Ellen Lupton, Mitchell Owens, and Susan Yelavich (2003)
Inside Design Now takes the pulse of American design in the new millennium, providing a fascinating tour of cutting-edge trends in architecture, interiors, landscape, fashion, graphics, and new media.
Featuring eighty emerging and established designers – including 2 x 4, Mike Mills, Peter Eisenman, Fuse Project, Tod Machover, Paula Scher, Jennifer Siegal, and Isaac Mizrahi – Inside Design Now illustrates the most innovative and provocative thinking in design today. Each designer’s work is presented with a double-page spread and a series of full-color images. Essays explore the role of the designer in today’s culture, contemporary ideas of beauty and functionality, and what the future holds in the realm of design. Sensuous materials, lush patterns, and exquisite details come together with new technologies, pop imagery, and fresh approaches to scale, color, and construction in the works reproduced in this volume.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography

Cranbrook Design: The New Discourse

Cranbrook DesignBy Katherine and Michael McCoy (1990)
A book that documents Cranbrook’s Design Department faculty, student, and alumni work from 1980-1990. Although not defined by a style, the Cranbrook design philosophy has been influential in product, graphic and furniture design. Products have been treated as sensual objects to be interpreted. “We’ve tried to recognize that products carry the mythology of the culture,” said Michael McCoy, chairman of the design department with his wife, Katherine.

Posted in art, Cranbrook, design, education, media, semiotics, theory, typography

Whereishere

WhereishereBy Scott and Laurie Makela (1998)
What is driving communication and what are the real challenges facing designers today? Whereishere presents a radical new take on both these issues, breaks from the orthodox approach to understanding two dimensional design. Leading graphic design studios are represented including Bruce Mau and Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Posted in art, Cranbrook, design, education, media, photography, typography

Mixing Messages

Mixing MessagesBy Ellen Lupton (1996)
How do we disseminate information? And what does it look like? Ellen Kupton answers that in her new book, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. Lupton looks at the mission of design through discussions about publishing, signage, typography, corporate identity and the use of design in public places. Mixing Messages will fascinate fans of design, culture or social history.

Posted in art, culture, design, media, semiotics, typography

20th-Century Type Remix

20Th-Century Type RemixBy Lewis Blackwell (1999)
This book challenges the concept of how typographic communication works today, but in doing so strengthen its ties with the traditions of the past. An introductory essay shows how current creative trends are simply part of the continuum of change that can be plotted from the turn of the last century to the turn of the next. Strong illustrated intersection dividers, specially commissioned from leading designers, set the scene for each chapter, or decade, and the space devoted to the 1990s has been substantially expanded.

Posted in art, design, history, typography

Design Culture Now

Design Culture Now: The National Design TriennialBy Ellen Lupton and Donald Albrecht (2000)
This is the first-ever survey of American design that cuts across the four disciplines of architecture, product design, graphic design, and new media. Put together by the National Design Museum surveys the up-to-the-minute trends in American design from architecture to product and graphic design to new media. This comprehensive survey catalogs the best in architecture, interiors, environments, landscapes, products, furniture, fashion, objects, typefaces, posters, publications, film and TV graphics, and interactive media from the last three years.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography