Three outstanding designers dominate proceedings in this issue, each viewed from a different perspective, providing new insights to their lives and work.
Kerry Purcell’s overview of Alexey Brodovitch, arguably the most influential of magazine designers, tells us about the man who introduced Americans, through Harper’s Bazaar, to European designers and photographers including Cassandre, Dali, Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, and Robert Frank Brassaï.
Otl Aicher’s early work for Volkshochschule Ulm between 1946 and 59, is analyzed in detail by Markus Rathgeb, illustrating the depth of thinking behind his designs. While Gertraude Poppl’s article about her late husband, Friedrich, provides an unusually personal insight to the master of the calligraphic line.
Interspersed between these exponents is an eclectic mix of topics. Howard Brown lets us into his private collection of postcards; Steve Heller writes on the swastika – the universal icon, which fell from grace, and Ian Teh‘s photographic essay makes some thought-provoking literary connections.
Finally, the reviews and lexicon complete the mix, the latter updated to reflect the astounding growth of the internet and its influence on type, design and publication.
As the revolutionary art director of Harper’s Bazaar at its zenith (1934–58), as an educator of some of the most renowned and respected photographers in recent history, and as a photographer who, with one book, set free the expressive potential of this medium, Alexey Brodovitch was one of the most important influences on visual culture in the second half of the 20th century.
In the 25 years he spent at Harper’s Bazaar he became the archetypal modernist, charged with a restlessness that never permitted him to stand still. During these years he simultaneously revolutionized the concept of the magazine layout and introduced many photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Brassaï and Bill Brandt to an American audience…
Otl Aicher was born in 1922 into a working class family with traditional values. At a rather early age he started to question the handed down bourgeois values about life. This attitude, which was guided by a deep aversion to and a strong opposition against Nazi ideology, lead him to those spiritual and moral sources, which could only be accessed by a young person thirsty for knowledge and spiritual guidence. Aicher read philosophers like Aristotle and church fathers like Thomas Aquinas. Their theories regarding state, truth and justice for the individual were discussed amongst Aicher’s friends, trying to develop practical methods of action…
©2000 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.