The New Typography – Brett

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. New typography is defined as a rejection of classical rules of typography and symmetry. There have been many different “definitions” given to typography throughout the history of graphic design. Some very utilitarian, such as this definition by Stanley Morison: “Typography may be defined as the craft of rightly disposing printed material in accordance with specific purpose; of so arranging the letters, distributing the space and controlling the type as to aid the maximum the reader’s comprehension of the text.


The forms of the “New” Typography are at the fore of blurring the lines between graphic design and fine art. These typographic experimentations did not start on their own but took their cue from the innovations that took place in the world of fine art at the turn of the century. Many of these “fine” artists of the avant-garde worked commercially. The proponents of Futurism, Dada, Constructivism, De Stijl.
The work broke from the traditional vertical and horizontal structure of the page, setting it in motion. In his poster for the New Futurist Theater Company, the painter turned designer, Fortunato Depero, illustrated how the use of flat planes of vibrant color, diagonal composition and angular repetitive forms contribute to a dynamic page layout.

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.


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