If typographic discipline is the (loose) thread, which we can trace through this issue, then contrast is the sub-plot. The anarchic punk zines receive a lively analysis (from the American side) by Steven Heller, a subject where establishing typo-rules would defeat the object.
From anarchy to social responsibility, as Frank Philippin strives to achieve a design structure, for consumer packaging, where setting the correct rules should eliminate visual ambiguities Meanwhile, can a random selection of printed ephemera reflect the image of a city? Quentin Newark argues the case.
Back to discipline, as the students of the daunting GG Lange reflect on the impact of his teaching methods. Breathing space, with Nicola Bailey’s photographic essay on another of our favourite themes – typographic distress. And, sticking to the rules has played its part in the typographic œuvre of Frank Overton, journeyman designer, enthusiastically endorsed by Tony Richards.
Typography rules, OK?
‘Punk is a late 20th century aesthetic, political, social and philosophical revolution against status quo positions of reigning norms. It’s a reactionary movement defined by nihilism, anarchy and a quasi-religious devotion to the concept of “DIY” (do it yourself) as the solution to all problems on all levels - private as well as public. Punk is, in a single phrase, “FUCK YOU!!!”’ – Art Chantry
‘Punkzines established the do-it-yourself affectation. They were the embodiment of the “Anybody can do it! You don’t need them!” attitude in visual form,’ says poster and record cover designer Art Chantry, who edited the book Instant Litter, a collection of early Seattle do-it-yourself flyers and leaflets…
Frank Overton is a typographer who has always aimed for perfection.
He was born in 1923 and began his working life in North Wales, as a 14 year old apprentice compositor at a local printing works. Following his apprenticeship Frank joined the printing company Hunt Barnard (printer of Penguin Books) as a typographic assistant. During this time he became aware of Jan Tschichold (1902–74) who was the typographic adviser to Penguin Books. Working on Tschichold’s Penguin specimen pages he trained his eye for typographic detail. This made him aware of Tschichold’s traditional yet functional design and influenced his design thinking. It was here at Hunt Barnard that he began to develop his passion for typography…
©2001 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.