New TypographyPosted: May 17, 2011
In the 1920s and 1930s, the so-called New Typography movement brought graphics and information design to the forefront of the artistic avant-garde in Central Europe. Rejecting traditional arrangement of type in symmetrical columns, modernist designers organized the printed page or poster as a blank field in which blocks of type and illustration (frequently photomontage) could be arranged in harmonious, strikingly asymmetrical compositions.
Almost overnight, typographers and printers adapted this way of working for a huge range of printed matter, from business cards and brochures to magazines, books, and advertisements. This installation of posters and numerous small-scale works is drawn from MoMA’s rich collection of Soviet Russian, German, Dutch, and Czechoslovakian graphics.
The designer Jan Tschichold codified the movement with accessible guidelines in his landmark book Die Neue Typographie (1928). Die Neue Zeit (“The New Times”) was a German socialist theoretical journal of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) that was published from 1883 to 1923. Founded by leading socialist politicians and theorists, it became the most important organ of the SPD competing with Sozialistische Monatshefte. It was edited by Karl Kautsky and Emanuel Wurm until their withdrawal from the SPD in 1917. Following that, Heinrich Cunow took over as its chief editor. The magazine’s first edition was released on January 1, 1883. After the abolishment of the Anti-Socialist Laws, the magazine was transformed from a monthly into a weekly on October 1, 1890. 1901 it became the official magazine of the SPD and its property. The magazine’s decline and end came with the hyperinflation of the 1920s. Die Neue Zeit was succeeded by Die Gesellschaft, whose first issue was published on April 1, 1924.