Monacelli Press has published the first English translation of an historic 1972 debate between Dutch graphic designers Wim Crouwel and Jan van Toorn, at Amsterdam’s Museum Fodor.
Held in response to an exhibition of Van Toorn’s work at Stedelijk Museum, including student posters protesting the Vietnam War—in an era of youth culture and increasing resistance to authority, capitalism, and the power of media—the stakes were aesthetic, ethical, and politically charged.
Crouwel defended his approach of neutrality and austere rationalism, attention to typography and worksmanship, and professionalism in service of the client’s message. Van Toorn argued for his use of chaos, collage, and photographs of everyday life; that a designer’s ideas, personality, and political commitments are integral to the work.
Order vs. Disorder. I vaguely remember reading about this debate, but I’ve never seen a transcripts of it. Definitely interested in checking this out.
The clothbound book also includes a foreword by Rick Poynor, and a gallery of work from Crouwel and Van Toorn.
And starting today, Design Observer will be publishing four excerpts from the book.
Remember those fellas who found an original copy of the NYC Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual in the basement of Pentagram? Well, they’re partnering with the MTA to release a limited run of manual through Kickstarter.
It won’t be exactly like the original manual. The original is ring bound in binder, but the reissue will feature a cloth hardcover and unaltered high-resolution scans of each page of the manual, all Smyth sewn together. It will measure 13.5” W × 13.5″ H (343 x 343 mm).There will be an introduction by Michael Bierut, and an essay by New York magazine writer Christopher Bonanos.
The manual will be printed in Italy on 100 and 140 gsm Munken Pure ivory offset paper. The cover, introduction, and essay headings will be set in a custom version of Standard Medium by type designer Nick Sherman, that he recreated from the photographs of the original manual.
This is a great way to get this wonderful piece of design history in the hands of more people. I’ve backed it.
Book publisher Phaidon has annoucned “The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design”, a massive reference guide on graphic design that includes newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record covers and moving graphics from around the world. Sounds like a good addition to any collection.
The publication will be released in September, but you can pre-order a copy from Amazon.
The Penguin on Design series has been extended with four absolutely gorgeous reissued books on artists Bruno Munari, Marshall McLuhan, Susan Sontag and John Berger.
Yes Design was approached to redesign the covers for the four titles and they did an outstanding job.
I love the simple and minimal design and pure white wasn’t used in the colour palette to create an history feel. Just perfect.
Must. Get. Full. Set!
You can read more at Creative Review.
I found this little site on the history of graphic design. Pretty good read. It’s unfortunate that the design of the site isn’t all that great.
A simple site that takes you through a brief history of the world’s largest design firm, Unimark International. Founded by Ralph Eckerstrom and Massimo Vignelli, Unimark only lasted 13 years but some of the most famous corporate identities were born behind its doors. My favorite is the work done for Memorex.