It comes as no surprise, to the typographically aware, to discover that the euro symbol received little in the way of careful craftsmanship before its launch. Conor Mangat’s fascinating exposé reveals how the conundrum (character or logo?) remains woefully unresolved.
A much clearer thinking bunch of politicians determined the graphic imagery of Fascist Italy, a stunning mix of imperialism and corporate identity, described by Steven Heller. A bigger surprise, perhaps, is Helmud Schmid’s account, from Seoul, of adults and children alike queuing around the block to get into a typographic exhibition (with no apparent political compulsion).
Hand-written books come under Ken Garland's affectionate microscope. Read how the inimitable English Lakeland guide, Wainwright, set himself the challenge of writing to a set, justified measure. And Caroline Archer reminds us how the 1963 cooperation, between a fledgling D&AD and the Kynoch Press, engendered a series of designers’ Essays-thought-provoking pieces with a contemporary resonance. Much to occupy us, then, and some surprises.
All decades have a delusive face. Viewed from a distance we are captured by their different names, ascribe each with sundry characteristics, and label them. They are not, of course, really periods at all, no more than any other ten-year span would be. ‘The Swinging 60s’ started to sway somewhere in the 50s and continued to reverberate in to the 70s. It was a time when Britain rocked to the Beatles and Rolling Stones; was alarmed at the Great Train Robbery; and scandalized by the Profumo affair. Mary Quant dressed the nation’s youth and Terence Conran furnished their homes. David Bailey and Terence Donovan captured it all on camera and Oz magazine satirized it in print.
While 60s society was swinging, typography was not idle. A succession of sans serif typefaces arrived quickly on the scene: Helvetica, Optima, Folio, Univers and Eurostile. New magazines were launched: Neue Graphik Design, Communications Arts, and Herb Lubalin’s Eros started in New York. The Fletcher|Forbes|Gill design agency was formed in London, and Adrian Frutiger joined Deberny & Peignot in Paris. There were new tools for the designer when the fibre tip pen was invented, and Letraset retailed its first sheet of dry transfer lettering. Offset lithography started its rise to pre-eminence and the first phototypeset book was produced; graphic reproduction techniques were refined, and computers became an industry reality…
©2002 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.