History

The Chatter Of Type

  Through its publications and gallery, the Composing Room promoted the new American design. The Composing Room in New York was no mere type shop. While no other type business was more aggressively self-promoting, none so determinedly advanced the art and craft of type design or made such a remarkable contribution to design history...

The Rand Book That Never Was

Paul Rand’s first monograph, “Thoughts on Design” (Wittenborn, 1947, reprinted by Chronicle Books), showcased and explained his “first stage” from when he launched his design and art directorial career in 1937 at Esquire/Coronet. He was occasionally involved in the editorial layout of Esquire fashion supplements but mostly designed promotion and a brilliant series of...

Promoting the Times Is Timely

Even before The New York Times newspaper was graphically designed to enter the 20th century, its promotion department created memorable graphic design that underscored the greatness of the institution and won the hearts and minds of New Yorkers (like me). Opening on Wednesday Sept 5 at the Times Building, a mini-exhibition produced by the...

TDC’s 1957 Stellar Lineup

Ask any designer (well, any designer that I have spoken to) and they agree that the TDC annuals are the best. They are also among the precious few still publishing printed books. But when TDC started giving out awards for Typographic Design Excellence in 1954 the documentation was a pamphlet. According to TDC Carol...

Typography By Paul Rand

If you live to be 82 as Paul Rand did, you’ll probably have produced a lot of work that gets lost in the shuffle of life. This 1948 issue of the AIGA Journal is one such lost piece that recently surfaced among Rand’s long filed artifacts. Rand was the typographer for the cover and...

The Three Plakateers

In 1905 the first modern advertising poster was created: bold eye-catching lettering with flat colors; simplified shapes and objects and the composition focused on a central object. The Plakatstil was born. Lucian Bernhard, Ludwig Hohlwein, Julius Klinger: these were the three plakateers who revolutionized the approach to advertising and left a heritage of ideas...