Typographic principles

I have been asked to do a presentation on a typographic movement of my choice, the movement I have chosen is called International Typographic Style.

International Typographic Style 1945:

International Typographic Style or Swiss, was a major force in graphic design and remains so today. This style of design, as the name implies originated in Switzerland in the 1940′s and 50′s and was the basis of much of the graphic design development of the 20th century.

The term International Typographic Style came about due to the strong reliance on typographic elements. The characteristics of the Swiss International Style included:

  • Asymmetrically organizing the design elements on a mathematically-constructed grid to create visual unity in a composition.
  • Presenting visual and textual information clearly and with clarity, using photography and illustration.
  • Using sans-serif typography set flush left, ragged right — people believed sans-serif typography expressed the spirit of a progressive age and that mathematical grids were the most legible and harmonious means for structuring information.
The style was cultivated at two Swiss design schools, one in Basel led by Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder, and the other in Zurich under the leadership of Joseph Muller-Brockmann. This new style became the look for many Swiss cultural institutions that used posters as advertising vehicles. It was considered that this style was ideal for the increasingly global postwar marketplace. The use of the International Typographic Style spread rapidly throughout the world and had a major influence on postwar American graphic design where it remained a prominent aspect of graphic design for over 2 decades.
gute_form_hofmann_poster     konstructive_grafik_neuberg_poster     VisualKontakt_1955brockmann2

Hofmann Armin      Neuberg Hans             Muller-Brockman Josef


Thinking Hans Neuburg. 03 20 1904


Emil Ruder:

Emil Ruder was a typographer and graphic designer. He taught that, above all, typography’s purpose was to communicate ideas through writing. He placed a heavy importance on sans-serif typefaces and his work is both clear and concise, especially his typography. Ruder advocated systematic overall design and the use of a grid structure to bring all elements such as typography, photography, illustration, diagrams, and charts into consistency with each other while allowing for design variety. My favourite things about each one of Ruders pieces of work is how he’s arranged his layouts and typography with careful attention to counter, shape and white space. His work, especially the ‘Glas’ poster, develops sensitivity to negative or unprinted spaces, including the spaces between and inside letter-forms.

Untitled-2     Untitled-4     Untitled-6

Neville Brody:

Neville Brody is one of the most influential graphic designers of the late 20th Century. His work in the 1980’s revolutionised the look of magazines, advertisements, album covers and packaging. Brody is mainly known for his use of typography. He was influenced by the likes of Armin Hoffman and Alexander Rodchenko. Brody used contrasting sizes, shapes or colours of type. This meant that a variety of different sizes and styles of lettering would be on the same page, which was very unusual at this time. In his designs for the “The Face”magazine, he arranged the type in diagonals or in circles, some letters were extra large, some undersized. My favourite piece of typography he produced was the ‘Just Do It’ Nike spread, in my opinion it has a timeless yet contemporary quality due in part to his use of mainly ultramodern San Serif font sand the use of bold imagery cropped in an unexpected way.
Untitled-2     Untitled-5
International Typographic style or Swiss has come along way since the 20th century, a great image to show this is Alexander Rodchenko’s 1924 portrait of Lily Brik, along side Matthew Coopers 2002 Franz Ferdinhand album cover design.
Untitled-2     Untitled-2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s