10.22.14 / AG Fronzoni Reappreciated
AG Fronzoni was an Italian graphic, furniture and exhibition designer and architect who was born in Pistoia in 1923 and died in 2002. He edited magazines such as Punta and Casabella and was a teacher first at the Società Umanitaria, then at the Istituto d’ Arte of Monza and the Istituto delle Industrie Artistiche in Urbino, and finally at his own school in Milan in 1987. But his name is largely unknown, says Sébastien Hayez, the designer who is the force behind the Fronzoni website. I ask Hayez what we can learn from Mr. Fronzoni (quotes by him here).
What is Fronzoni’s main contribution to Italian design?
Invisible also, because he was active in many fields, so he produced few graphic design pieces (or few architecture, industrial design) as it was one of his activities. He refused to write a line about his work and philosophy. So, few publications share his work, and as his production was mainly seen in Milan, his contribution remains quite unknown to a large public (which is now different with the latest exhibition).
Where does his work fit into the history of Modernism?
He avoided using detail, ornaments, color if possible in order to catch attention, to communicate and first to do a democratic design. For him, the end of the Ulm school was a great disaster. Even if more of his work was into the cultural fields, it was a design for everyone, not for the elite. But, what is interesting to see, it’s that with his minimal style he was probably postmodern in a way. He broke the grid to keep structure, and the white space. This free aspect of his posters, for example, is like a bridge to a minimal kind of postmodern style. But in a way he was closer to minimal artist than modernist graphic designer.
What is your goal with the website?
What has been the response from young designers to his work?
Print’s Typography & Lettering Awards
• Subscribe today and get 6 issues for $40 — save 57% off the newsstand price
• Are You a Design VIP? Join today and get Print and HOW for one low price!
• The PANTONE PLUS SERIES SOLID COLOR Set offers graphic designers, pre-press professionals and printers 1,755 solid color choices — including 644 new colors added since 2010, with 84 colors added just this year — in both fan guide and chips formats. Use fan guides to select, specify and match color, and attach tear-out chips to artwork and digital files for easy and consistent color communication. Lowest prices + free U.S. shipping on all Pantone!
• Most companies use their website as a static, informational only site, but what if you could create a website that helps your bottom dollar? Learn how to transform your website from an expense into a measurable source of income in this 1-hour webcast.
• When: November 6, 2014
• Time: 1pm - 2pm ET (1 hour)
• PRINT Typography & Lettering Awards - Allow your type to sing - See more at: http://www.printmag.com/design-competitions/print-typography-lettering-awards/
• HOW Interactive Design Conference - Oct. 19-21 at Chicago, Nov. 17-19 at San Francisco - Register Now!
PREVIOUSLY ON THE DAILY HELLER
That Pesky 1 Percent
Warn and Cover
Weekend Heller: Learn Sign Painting
Previously on heller goes here
CURRENTLY ON IMPRINT
• New Design Competition: Print’s Typography and Lettering Awards
• Best Book Covers: Penguin Drop Caps
• Like, OHMIGOD! A Totally Bitchin’ Valley Art Show
is the co-founder and the co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts. He writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review and the Graphic Content blog for T-Style. He is the author, coauthor, and/or editor of more than 120 books on design and popular culture, including the recent book Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig (Chronicle).