Jan Tschichold – New Typography

German-born typographer Jan Tschichold revolutionized the field of graphic design with his bold, asymmetrical compositions, use of sanserif type, and exacting attention to detail.

Tschichold was the son of a provincial signwriter, and he was trained in calligraphy. This artisan background and calligraphic training set him apart from almost all other noted typographers of the time, since they had inevitably trained in architecture or the fine arts. Tschichold, perhaps the most visible proponent of modern graphic design prior to World War II, eventually embraced a more classical sensibility, raising that to a new level of refinement. Today, Tschichold remains one of the most important figures in the history of graphic design. Through his many books andarticles, showing that he was as much an explainer as a designer.



* Born April, 1902 in Leipzig, Germany.

* Tschichold attended the “Akademie for Grafische Künste and Buchgewerbe “in Leipzig from 1919 until 1921.

* 1923 freelanced as a commercial graphic artist.

* From 1926 until 1933, taught typography at Paul Renners Master Classes for Book Printers in Munich.

* 1928 saw the publication of perhaps his most influential work, The New Typography.

* 1933 Tschichold emigrated to Switzerland, where he worked for several publishers in

  Basel and taught at the School for the Applied Arts.

* In 1946 Tschichold went to London, where he was art director at Penguin Books until 1949.

* Between 1955 and 1967 he worked as a design consultant for the Basel pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche before retiring.


– 1928 saw the publication of perhaps his most influential work,

The New Typography.

Materials the Nazis deemed improper during World War Two

all copies of Tschichold’s  books, most likely ended up in the

mountains of burning books .






A better world by design

      WHAT’S THE POINT OF DESIGNING something gorgeous and useful if it makes us feel guilty, because we know that it’s ethically or environmentally irresponsible?
     At this time of unprecedented environmental, social and economic crises, should we be 
creating the deceptions that encourage continuous consumption or figuring out a way to 
help counter it?

     In a world where design has become a recognised corporate asset, designers and their 
clients have the opportunity to use their persuasive skills responsibly and to accelerate 
awareness. Just think of how quickly the plastic bag has become taboo in many countries. 
Designers create much of what the world sees, wants, buys, uses and experiences.
Imagine using their professional power, persuasive skills, and wisdom to help distribute 
ideas that the world really needs: health information, conflict resolution, tolerance, 
technology, freedom of the press, 
freedom of speech, human rights and democracy.
      Studies have found that up to 80% of a product’s environmental impacts are already locked in at the design stage when key decisions are made about materials, production, distribution, operation and end-of-life management.  Design can make an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. Making sustainable design affordable is a huge factor. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the life cycle of the product.
Factors to consider.
* Product need
* Product durability and longevity
* Specification of environmentally preferable materials
* Energy and water efficiency during manufacture and use
* Reduction or elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, toxic and hazardous substances and embodied energy

* Design for straightforward disassembly, reuse, refurbishment and recyclability

* Product stewardship such as take-back and recycling schemes

* Packaging minimisation

* User information and education


Up-cycle your world – Hemensley

The concept of “upcycling” is a process of upgrading used material,  making it more desirable than it was at the start. Upcycling is a  procedure akin to recycling in which waste material and worn out goods  are reprocessed directly into new products of higher value. In normal  forms of recycling the opposite is usually the case; recycling is usually  “downcycled”. This happens when recycling product components and they turn  to lower forms of raw material. Up-cycling is more than just recycling. It is hugely popular and can be very  artistic. I landed 119,074 results for up-cycled products on the crafty diy site ‘etsy’.

A beautiful example of up-cycling for the benefit of our environment and  communities is ‘Bead for life’ in Uganda. Bead for Life not only makes jewelry  out of a recycled material, nor does it stop at teaching business skills to  women in Uganda in the process—it’s also striving to be a carbon-neutral operation The beads are made from almost any kind of used, stiff paper—old cardboard,  cereal boxes, posters, etc.—that they find as trash or collect from a local  printing business. Women learn to turn this into a resource and roll it into  paper beads and make jewelry out of it.

Another example is Galit Begas, an Israeli designer, who was sick of seeing plastic  bags polluting our world and decided to gather these pesky things up and make  something with them. Free, waterproof, readily available and brightly coloured… why, they’re the perfect raw material for shoes!  Wrapped around an insole, the  plastic bags are heated gently to help them retain their shape whilst keeping them  flexible and comfy. They are on display as part of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and  Design Jerusalem’s Thinking Hands show during Milan Design Week.

In the art world the artist Duchamp (Dadism), with his work the Bicycle Wheel and the Urinal, was leading in the concept of upcycling and a great inspiration for all.

Carmina Campus is a brand (designed by a previous Fendi designer) that creates really  expensive bags all made out of pieces of different things as shower tubes, tapestry,  bottle caps, crochets, all put together.

Maison Martin Margiela is a master of up-cycling. Best known for its tastes for ‘transgression‘  and ‘deconstruction‘. A graduate of Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and a former assistant  to Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris, Mr. Margiela was among a group of designers from Antwerp who caused a shift in fashion in the late ’80s by tearing apart and reassembling garments at the seams,  introducing techniques that would have a lasting impact on everything from streetwear to haute couture. He has shown coats reconstructed with a sock at the elbow or sleeves protruding from the front and  back; jackets with the sleeves turned inside out into capes; i love the bag jacket with its obvious  handle down its back. These works are an example of artistic garments. Margiela’s upcycled garments are highly exclusive, very fashionable and ridiculously, they represent the top of the fashion industry.  Remade in such way that they leave the consumer cycle forever.






Dadism 1916- 1922 (Khemensley)


Dada was an artistic and literary movement that started in Europe when World War I was going on.  Because of the war, many artists, intellectuals and writers, especially those from France and  Germany, moved to Switzerland, which was a neutral country. Instead of being relieved that they  had escaped, the artists, intellectuals and writers were furious with the modern society.  So, they decided to show their protest through artistic medium. They decided to create non-art  since art in the society anyway had no meaning.

Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary  journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a  variety of media. Abstraction and Expressionism were the main influences on Dada, followed by  Cubism and, to a lesser extent, Futurism. There was no predominant medium in Dadaist art. All  things from geometric tapestries to glass to plaster and wooden reliefs were fair game. Assemblage, collage, photomontage and the use of ready made objects all gained wide acceptance due to their  use in Dada art. For something that supposedly meant nothing, Dada created a lot of offshoots.  In addition to spawning numerous literary journals, Dada influenced many concurrent trends in the  visual arts (especially in the case of Constructivism). The best-known movement Dada was directly responsible for is Surrealism. The movement went onto influence later styles like the avant-garde  and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art, Fluxus  and punk rock.

Using an early form of Shock Art, the Dadaists thrust mild obscenities, scatological humor,  visual puns and everyday objects (renamed as “art”) into the public eye. Marcel Duchamp performed  the most notable outrages by painting a mustache on a copy of the Mona Lisa (and scribbling an  obscenity beneath) and proudly displaying his sculpture entitled Fountain (which was actually a  urinal, sans plumbing, to which he added a fake signature). The public, of course, was revulsed – which the Dadaists found wildly encouraging. Enthusiasm being contagious, the (non)movement spread from Zurich to other parts of Europe and New York City. And  just as mainstream artists were giving  it serious consideration, in the early 1920s, Dada (true to form) dissolved itself. In an interesting twist, this art of protest – based on a serious underlying principle – is  delightful. The nonsense factor rings true. Dada art is whimsical, colorful, wittily sarcastic  and, at times, downright silly.







Arts and Craft 1890-1915 (Hemensley)

The Arts and Crafts movement flourished in England between 1890 and 1910. . 

It soon spread to Europe, North America and Australia.

The movement was a reaction against the poor quality of design and lifestyle 

during the Industrial Revolution. Members of the movement included artists, 

architects, designers, craftsmen and writers. These members believed that 

the growth of industry had destroyed traditional skills and had removed the 

pride that a craftsman could find in their work.

             William Morris was a leading member of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  Best  known for his amazing fabric and wallpaper pattern designs. Morris combine  his  love for medieval literature with his craftsman workshop ethic into the Kelmscott  press. The first and most famous of the private press movement.  Kelmscott books re- awakened the lost ideals of book design and inspired higher standards of production at a time when the printed page was at its poorest. The private press movement increased appreciation for fine printing as well as revived the field of typographic  design.



The font Jugendstil Kunsthand is based on a sample of late 19th century lettering 

in a style often associated with artists of the Jugendstil Art Nouveau movement 

in Germany. The characters are done in heavy outline with a rough-hand drawn look. 

The style is interesting because it shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement 

on Art Nouveau with many of the characters featuring alternate versions that nest 

together in a manner typical of Arts & Crafts lettering.