Design Culture

A Master of the German Modern Logo

Max Körner (1883–1963) was a painter and German trademark designer. From 1913 to 1921 he was a teacher of visual design and crafts at the School of Applied Arts in Stuttgart, and along with Wilhelm Deffke, he mastered the modern logo. Gebrausgraphik called him “one of the most characteristic and original figures among German...

Tschichold In The Rough

Last week I previewed a splendid book by Prof. Patrick Rössler (Universität Erfurt) in Germany on 1920s-30s illustrated German magazines. Today I bring you another awe-inspiring history of the New Typography, Blicke in den Nachlass Jan Tschichold: Ein Jahrhundrettypograf! (Wallstein Verlag) by Stephanie Jacobs and Rössler. With an introduction by the biographer of Paul...

Illustrated Magazines, The Genius Thereof

Picture Magazines of the Times (Bildermaga Zin Der Zeit) (Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin) by Patrick Rössler is just what the doctor ordered today. In the 1920s, “The illustrated Magazine” was planned to be among the celebrated series of Bauhaus Books (Bauhausbücher). Edited by Moholy Nagy it was to be a “critical inventory” of contemporary...

Willem Sandberg’s Maverick Typography

Willem Sandberg (1897-1984) was a typographic maverick until the day he died. Much of his most signature work were catalogues and posters, often designed in the evenings and weekends. Sandberg was the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum from 1945 to 1962, and his association with the local state printer “produced an identity that transformed...

Bringing Out The Best And Worst

Donald J. Trump brings out the best and worst in people, especially satirists. The best is spot on visual satire and worst is spot on visual satire. Jeff Gates, an artist, writer and graphic designer, was lead designer at the Smithsonian Institute from 1998 to 2018. He is the creator of the Chamomile Tea...

Mainstreaming the Mainframe

Do You Compute? Selling Tech from the Atomic Age to the Y2K Bug 1950 -1999 (Hat and Beard Press) is a illuminating anthology of advertisements that helped promote and launch the computer revolution. Is written and edited by Ryan Mungia with an introduction by me. Like so many words and images, which in hindsight...

An Archive For The Ages

“The Animated Archive. Work in progress ” the current exhibition at the Fondazione Cirulli, the archive and collection of Massimo Cirulli, is a “real laboratory” of history and culture of the twentieth century established to tell the story of the century of modernity. This is a story told through design artifacts of Italian creativity...

Stamps On Approval

If you’re a philatelist, you’ll recall when stamps were sent from collector vendors on approval (if you liked the selection, you paid for the stamps or sent them back). If you are a stamp collector and a design accumulator you’ll be interested in Kat Ran Press’s most recent publication ICONIC: The Postage Stamps of...

There Are No Free Lunches (Or Books)

If you are a Charles Burns fan, as I am (despite the monsters in my dreams), you’ll want to get his latest Fantagraphics Book FS for the insomniac of your choice. Remember it is the holiday season. If you are new to FS, as I was, let me explain. FS is Free Shit, Burns’...