Typography Lessons From the Masters

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Last year, when we decided to do an issue on typography, I casually slugged the

February 2015 volume “Typography Today.”* We thought nothing more of it, and went about the business of gearing up for the long RDA haul and wrapping up the rest of our 2014 issues.

Months later, Allan Haley’s fascinating story for the February issue about type visionary Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and the formation of the ITC pinged into my inbox. I read it. Curious about a random fact on Burns’ middle years, I began Googling around, and came across a page that referenced a Burns quote on typography from a 1960s-era issue of Print.

Into the archives I went. The Print archives are a comically vast and amazingly thorough set of documents chronicling the history of American graphic design. And every time I feel I’ve gotten a decent handle on them, something new pokes out of the sand.

In this case, I tracked the quote down—in a 1964 issue of Print entitled “Typography Today.”

… Guest-edited by none other than Aaron Burns himself.*

And in its pages, Burns, Paul Rand, Leo Lionni, Herb Lubalin and many others share their insights on the art and craft of typography.

Here, we present a selection of them. Enjoy.

* Matteo Bologna would eventually shorten my longwinded title to “Type Today” to make aesthetic sense of our core coverline. But still.

* Real-edited, of course, by Martin Fox.


Aaron Burns’ editor’s letter. Click for higher res.


Table of Contents. Click for higher res.


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“Modern Typography in the Modern World” by Paul Rand. Click for higher res.


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A contribution by Herb Lubalin. Click for higher res.


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Jan Tschichold looks back on what he got wrong in Die Neue Typographie. Click for higher res.


Strathmore ad featuring Lubalin.


Lubalin’s response.


Check out the February 2015 issue of Print, featuring a profile of Aaron Burns and the rise of the ITC, essays from the top minds in typography today, Matteo Bologna on why you should design your own typefaces, a Q&A with Oded Ezer, and much, much more.