Design Studio: Typography (Project 4 – 20th century type)

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Brief:

This project requires you to design an information panel featuring aspects of type and typography from a particular decade of the 20th century. The panel is to be designed for display at a temporary exhibition at the State Library of Victoria. It is a free public exhibition on typography, type design and related technology of the 20th century, presenting the material chronologically by decade as a combination of full colour large format information panels and objects/artefacts.

My Decade: 

1960⏤1970

Suggested process:

  1. Investigate the various aspects within the nominated decade. Collect a lot of related information, as quickly as you can, about what was happening in the typographic/design world in that period.
  2. Select the three aspects to work with in consultation with your eLA. Carefully consider the significance and relationship of the components.
  3. Continue researching, image sourcing and referencing. Make sure you record and provide evidence of the source material.
  4. Record your process for your Design Process Document using the Design process document brief (AdditionalResources/Design-process-document-brief.html).
  5. Present a project proposal and work in progress in Week 9.
  6. Thumbnail layout and design sketching and development
  7. Begin execution and present work in progress Week 11 (tile output at scale).
  8. Critique, review and continue to refine and develop design and layout.
  9. Finesse the typographic detailing.
  10. Source suitable printer and check file for accuracy and completeness.
  11. Print A1 information panel, submit print, PDF file and design process documentation.

My Three Aspects:

  1. Typeface: Helvetica
  2. Typographer: Wim Crouwel
  3. Typographic Technology: Phototypesetting with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)

Week 9

In the previous week, I was able to complete steps 1 and 2, as well as conduct a lot of research into my decade of 1960 to 1970. This week I have three primary activities to complete; provide the detailed summary for review, create three A4 layout sketches and begin computer layout arrangements/mockups. To complete these steps, I am going to refine my research into my three main aspects and begin to compile it in a constant and relevant way (so that there is association between each aspect). I also have to decide on the imagery that will be used, and if I am creating my own illustration, how this will be done, or the time to create it, making sure that it can be easily edited to modify colours. Lets do it…

Typeface: Helvetica

Helvetica is one of the most popular typefaces of all time. It’s modern aesthetic and neutrality have allowed designers to communicate clearly and effectively for almost 60 years. Helvetica, originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger (under direction from Edouard Hoffman for the Haas Type Foundry) and based on the 1898 typeface Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk (Vit & Gomez-Palacio 2009). It was renamed Helvetica (meaning “the Swiss”) to attract greater market interest and to distance it’s association to it’s inspired ancestor. The typeface was heavily promoted and produced to work with evolving technology, such as Linotype and Phototypesetting, prevalent in the 1960s (Kupferschmid 2011). The popularity of Helvetica was prominent in the 1960s, and used by many designers from the International Typographic Style (or Swiss) design movement. Designers were able to utilise the typeface in their work that could express the clarity and precision of modernist principles, and allow the content to be the primary focus (Designhistory.org 2011). This commerciality was seen not only in the posters, advertisements and graphic design of the era, but also assimilated into the corporate identity and branding of enterprises (Vit & Gomez-Palacio 2009).

Inspiration

Websites on Helvetica

  1. Helvetica® Font Family – Fonts.com
  2. Helvetica® font family | Linotype.com
  3. FontShop | Helvetica
  4. The Helvetica font | 30 typefaces – their look, history & use
  5. 50 Years of Helvetica | MoMA

Books including information on Helvetica

  1. Tselentis, J & Haley, A & Poulin R & Seddon, T 2012, ‘Typefaces and Specimens’, in Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 176.
  2. Vit, A & Gomez-Palacio, B 2009, ‘On Letterforms’, in Graphic Design, Referenced : A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 373.
  3. Saltz, I 2009, ‘THE LETTER’, in Typography Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 26.

Typographer: Wim Crouwel

Willem Hendrik “Wim” Crouwel is a graphic design and typographer born in the Netherlands in 1928. He studied (fine arts) at Academie Minerva (1947—49) and typography at Gerrit Rietveld Academie (1951—52) (Tselentis et al. 2012). Crouwel found inspiration in many principles of modernism as well as the spacial stability of architecture (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 2011), the ideals of Bauhaus and The International Typographic (Swiss) style (iconofgraphics.com n.d.). In 1963 he co-founded the studio Total Design, that combined the ideals of modern design principles, structural grid systems and uniformity. He produced compelling designs for the Stedlikj Museum (Amsterdam) that were heavily influenced by the use of functional grid frameworks (Tselentis et al. 2012). Crouwel was influential not only in his graphic design, he also was aware of the limitations that were apparent in the technology of the 1960s. He designed a typeface (as an experiment) to combat the inabilities of CRTs to translate curved letterforms. New Alphabet (1967) used straight lines, that could be easily interpreted and reproduced through phototypesetting with CRT displays (Clifford 2013).

Inspiration

Websites on Wim Crouwel

  1. Wim Crouwel – Design Museum
  2. 6 decades of excellence | Total Identity
  3. Typefaces by Wim Crouwel for The Foundry | Dezeen
  4. wim crouwel: a graphic odyssey – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
  5. Wim Crouwel – iconofgraphics.com
  6. Wim Crouwel | Biography, Designs and Facts
  7. Wim Crouwel’s extraordinary alphabets | Art and design | The Guardian
  8. Striking The Eye: An Interview With Wim Crouwel – Creative Review
  9. Dutch design legend Wim Crouwel – Typedeck
  10. Wim Crouwel | MoMA

Books including information on Wim Crouwel

  1. Clifford, J 2013, ‘Wim Crouwel’, in Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, Peachpit Press, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 168–171.
  2. Vit, A & Gomez-Palacio, B 2009, ‘Of Design’, in Graphic Design, Referenced : A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 153.
  3. Tselentis, J & Haley, A & Poulin R & Seddon, T 2012, ‘Type Designers’, in Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 86.

Digital Illustration Ideas
wim-crouwel wim-crouwel2 wim-crouwel3 wim-crouwel4 wim-crouwel5 wim-crouwel6 wim-crouwel7 wim-crouwel8 wim-crouwel9 wim-crouwel10 wim-crouwel11 wim-crouwel12 wim-crouwel13 wim-crouwel14 wim-crouwel15

Illustrations were based on the image found on Pinterest, 2013.

Quotation
“The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much.”
Wim Crouwel


Typographic Technology: Phototypesetting with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)

Phototypesetting is a technology developed in the 1960s that allowed light to capture (or photograph) type provided on a negative (that contained the typeface) and imprinted on photosensitive paper. Phototypesetting allowed the designer greater freedom on the size of designs, and could alter the scale of type by the placement of the light source (Bosler 2012). As technology continued to evolve, CRT (or cathode ray tubes) screens allowed the designer to input type via a keyboard and to see the result on the monitor. Gatter describes the process as “machines contained a wheel on which four strips of film were clamped, each carrying the entire character set of a particular font… The wheel turned at high speed, and as the appropriate letter passed in front of a strobe light, the light fired. The beam passed through the letter, then through one of five lenses mounted on a rotating turret, then through a prism that projected it up onto a roll of photographic paper. At the end of the job, the paper would be advanced into a light-fast container so that it could be removed and transferred to a film processor.” (2010)

Websites on Phototypesetting with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)

  1. Phototypesetting
  2. Graphion Museum: Old Phototypesetter Tales
  3. Monotype and phototypesetting – Letterpress.ch [PDF]
  4. 1960 – 1969 | The history of prepress & publishing

Books on Phototypesetting with CRT

  1. Gatter, M 2010, ‘Advances in typesetting’ in Production for Print, Laurence King, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 15.
  2. Tselentis, J & Haley, A & Poulin R & Seddon, T 2012, ‘Type History and Timeline’, in Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 24.
  3. Bosler, D 2012, ‘Type Moving Forward’ in Mastering Type, HOW Books, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 9-10.

Sketches

sketches


Digital Mockups

digital-mockups digital-mockups2 digital-mockups3 digital-mockups4 digital-mockups5 digital-mockups6 digital-mockups7 digital-mockups8


References

Bosler, D 2012, ‘Type Moving Forward’ in Mastering Type, HOW Books, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 9-10.

Clifford, J 2013, ‘Wim Crouwel’, in Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, Peachpit Press, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 168–171.

Designhistory.org 2011, The Sans Serif, viewed 14 September 2016, <http://www.designhistory.org/Type_milestones_pages/SansSerif.html>.

Gatter, M 2010, ‘Advances in typesetting’ in Production for Print, Laurence King, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 15.

Helvetica 2007, [film], Gary Hustwit, UK.

iconofgraphics.com n.d., Wim Crouwel – iconofgraphics.com, viewed 14 September 2016, <http://www.iconofgraphics.com/Wim-Crouwel/>.

Kupferschmid, I 2011, Neue Haas Grotesk — History, viewed 14 September 2016, <http://www.fontbureau.com/NHG/history/>.

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 2011, wim crouwel: a graphic odyssey – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, viewed 14 September 2016, <http://www.stedelijk.nl/en/news-items/wim-crouwel-a-graphic-odyssey>.

Tselentis, J & Haley, A & Poulin R & Seddon, T 2012, ‘Type Designers’, in Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 86.

Vit, A & Gomez-Palacio, B 2009, ‘On Letterforms’, in Graphic Design, Referenced : A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design, Rockport Publishers, Safari Tech Books Online, pp. 373.

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