While not normally a magazine that dispenses advice on relationships, we nevertheless are increasingly drawn to the subject. Typography is built on them. And not just the spatial relationships between text and images, grids and page structures. Human interactions shape the eventual form of things. Completing another section of our Baseline lexicon of typography causes us to pause, and consider the myriad connections: designer to typeface, typographer to colleague, teacher to student, publication to movement, that influence our subject.
In an homage to designer and teacher, Kurt Hauert, Helmut Schmid considers his exceptional influence at the Basle School of Design. While Philippe Apeloig regrets the passing of Jean Widmer’s design practice in Paris, he points to the impact of Widmer’s Swiss modernist principles on French graphic design.
Los Angeles-based photographer Mike Powers provides a visual interlude, recording the fascinating world of Latino vernacular art on the east side of the city. Steven Heller proposes a wider audience for the work of ‘playful modernist’ Rudolph de Harak, before we introduce a new e-learning resource, the Typography e-Lexicon, that helps us to explore typographic relationships more deeply.
Finally, Caroline Archer describes the connections between the St Bride Printing Library, in London and the work led by Anthony Froshaug at the college in Watford. Further positive typographic relations.
The work of Jean Widmer now forms part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of Modern Art in the Pompidou Centre, in Paris.
In May 2003 ‘Visuel Design’, Jean Widmer’s studio, went silent. In Paris, Jean Widmer’s friends, admirers and colleagues looked on discreetly at the end of one of the most influential French graphic design firms.
The sense of helplessness and loss, felt as a result of Visuel Design’s passing was very touching. Particularly as I recall the successful exhibition I curated for the Herb Lubalin Study Centre of Design and Typography, at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. The exhibition, ‘Jean Widmer, a devotion to modernism, itinerary of a designer from Zurich to Paris’ was open from Autumn 2002 to 2003. Jean Widmer, who pioneered the introduction of Swiss modernism into French graphic design, became a leader of the graphic design community in France and remained so for more than 40 years…
This issue of Baseline publishes the final section of the lexicon of digital typefoundries. Beginning in issue 25, the Baseline lexicon of typography has now grown into a comprehensive reference of typographers, type designers, typefoundries and typographic terms. This has taken nearly ten years.
Both Baseline’s editors – Hans Dieter Reichert and I – are involved in education, as external examiners or advisors at various higher education establishments. Through these valuable contacts, and through Baseline’s subscriptions department, we know that our lexicon has become a valued source of reference for students.
But Baseline is a printed item, not inexpensive we acknowledge, and no college can provide sufficient copies for simultaneous research. And the design student population grows, seemingly exponentially, (and way beyond the needs of the profession – although that’s a different story). Neither can the Baseline lexicon, popular though it is in printed form, allow for interactivity…
©2004 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.