Jan Tschichold (1902–1974) released his article “The New Typography” in 1928. Many regard Tschichold’s critical account, “Handbook for Contemporary Creators,” to be a pioneer of current graphic design. It is fundamentally about the transition from ornamental to functional typography. Tschichold ‘s New Typography, on the other hand, has almost mythic status to this day. On the other side, it has been canonised and has become a victim of its own success. The contradiction of being taken for granted as a quasi-mythical work yet rarely questioned or scrutinised more carefully was the beginning point for the study project “The Sources of Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography” at the ECAL/Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Lausanne. The project reconstructed, collected and contextualised the bibliographical sources contained in the essay.
On April 26, the university will host an international conference titled “Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography: Its Roots and Impact on National Scenes” to better understand the cultural context of the book by Tschichold and the typographic movement that emerged from it. Dr. Paul Stirton, Professor Emeritus at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, Dr. Christopher Burke, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Reading, and Dr. Julia Meer, Curator of the Poster and Graphic Collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, will deliver keynote lectures at the conference. Two panels will also be dedicated to the essay’s reception and debates in Italy, Belgium, England, and Scandinavian countries, as well as non-European settings such as the United States, Canada, Japan, and colonial India. The exhibition “Unpacking Tschichold’s Library” will also open at the end of the conference day.
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