Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Discussion Point 2- Rachael Hillier

Select two innovative typographic designers - one pre-digital (1984), the other contemporary. Provide a brief comparative analysis of their contributions to typographic practice supported by relevant examples of their work.

Jan Tschichold and Anna Garforth have made many distinguishing contributions to typography both pre and post digital. They have both worked in innovative ways to create their typefaces, looking at type in new and exciting ways. Jan Tschichold has shaped the way in which we view and use type in design, advocating clean, simple lines that were uncluttered and stylish in their simplicity. Tschichold brought about a steadiness to the world of typographic design in a time when irregularity and disproportion were the main tools of the designer. He moved type design out of the heavy set, thick black type of the gothic styles that came before him. He created firm boundaries, straight lines and rigid compositions.

Tschichold simplified typography designs and layouts, creating many different fonts, including Sabon and Transit.

Sabon Typeface

This simplification can be easily seen through Tschichold’s Penguin Book covers. Pre Tschichold, Penguin Books used two different fonts, along with a mix of bold and normal weights. Tschichold simplified the covers down to one font and weight, and focused wholeheartedly on the tracking and kerning of the individual letters, spacing out each one to give a more refined and cared for design.

Tschichold's Cover on Right

Tschichold was a typographic designer creating before his time; he was supremely influential in showcasing how type can be more than simply type. It can be an art form and design in itself. He taught others to take care in the positioning of their type on a page, as well as the simplification of the actual typeface.

Another designer who is innovative in the field of type and type design is Anna Garforth. She creates tactile typefaces in response to the world around her. She creates typefaces using many different mediums, including dough. Garforth’s ‘Edible Poster’ is an experimentation into linking type with new forms of creation, that of edible work. Garforth has also experimented with other forms of creating type. She creates type by growing moss in the form of the letters in her work for Saatchi and Saatchi as well as her own work ‘Grow’. Garforth highlights that type does not simply have to be 2D. As digitalized design becomes more commonplace, designers are branching out and further extending themselves by pushing the boundaries to create bigger and bolder designs that are constantly evolving and innovating.

Edible Poster Type

Grow Type

Saatchi and Saatchi

Both Tschichold and Garforth were innovative before their time, creating a shift within their own design fields. While they created their typefaces in very different ways, and very different forms, they were similar in that they were leaders in the typographic design field. They were also similar through their handling of type as an art form and not just simply a way to convey information; type is used to convey meaning as well.


Jan Tschichold- www.historygraphicdesign.com- information
                       - retinart.net- information
                       - www.olivertomas.com- Penguin Book picture
                       - identifont.com- Sabon Typeface
                       - heathershawdesign.com- Page Layout

Anna Garforth- www.annagarforth.co.uk- all pictures and information

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