In issue 44, historic typography classics rub shoulders with new approaches and experiment. Caroline Archer’s exploration of the delightful ‘typogrammes’, from the 1930s stock blocks of Parisian typefounders Deberny & Peignot, gets us off to an elegant start.
Had El Lissitzky developed a ‘proto-grid’ as early as the 1930s? Wolfgang Homola discovers and analyzes early evidence, in the Russian artist’s layout for a 1930s book on photography in Paris. This makes a fascinating contrast with Derek Birdsall’s proposals, published first in these pages, for a new, mathematically ordered approach to typographic grids.
There is an antidote to the maths, as Steven Heller uncovers the career of the ‘lost adman’, Alvin Lustig, who created great ads with compositional flair, but without artificial aids.
Finally, Gérard Mermoz explains the purpose of his intriguing ‘action research’ in the city of Istanbul, where a team searches, with widely differing approaches, for the essence of a cityscape and records their varied discoveries. And this is an urban landscape without the benefit of a grid.