• PrintMag

Lubalin Old and New

To look at Herb Lubalin’s (1918-1981) design from the 1970s in the light of 2011 may be jarring. It is either going to strike some – those who lived back then – as old fashioned, while others – whose parents had not even reached puberty – as a new experience.

Lubalin worked with what we now call “retro” typefaces, but he invested them with contemporary style. The father of smashed and overlapping type in an age of Akzidenz and Helvetica, was a neo-modernist. His compositions were clear and clean, yet also complex and illustrative.

I recently came across the above mini-poster (thanks to Louise Fili, who worked with Lubalin). For me, it was at once old and new. I could smell the musk of decades and yet, having thought I saw everything Lubalin had done, this was a new delight.

I hope it delights you too, whatever your chronological perspective.



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