This is the first Baseline produced by its new publishers. In contrast with many re-launches we have no new charter to announce, no new strategy and no change of direction. Continuity is our keyword and we intend to work hard to maintain Baseline as a leading typographic magazine, presenting a full reflection of the world of type with creativity and, we hope, insight. Our editorial panel which includes Mikhail Anikst, Martin Ashley, Colin Brignall, David Ellis and Alan Fletcher will help us to ensure that Baseline’s content will be original, worth keeping and not gratuitously serious.
And they ensure the development of our central themes of type and typography – their creation, the people behind them, their ideas and opinions. And this is a Baseline which reflects strong personalities and equally strong opinions.
At Alan Fletcher’s suggestion we found the illustrated maps of Paula Scher. Her ‘opinionated’ approach to them may disqualify her from becoming a cartographer for the US government but it qualifies her admirably for our pages.
Through Martin Ashley’s connection with BBC designer Mark Chaudoir we discover the background to that award-winning example of our growing anthropomorphism – the animated symbol for BBC 2, a numeral 2 which gets fan mail. A figure with personality. Designer and typo-businessman Erik Spiekermann is invited to lecture as often for his personality, his humour and inventiveness, as for his type design and typography – among the most influential of the last decade. Strong political opinion in Northern Ireland finds an outlet through the vernacular lettering and graffiti of the agitator, illustrated in these pages. Typographic personalities, typographic opinions and ideas, at the heart of our subject matter, just as they have been in previous Baselines, and just where we intend to place them in our future plans.