Archive for October, 2011


Bauhaus was a school of fine art and design and  was founded by Walter Gropius in Germany 1919. It was unique in the fact that it wanted to bridge the gap between art and industry. In the field of Graphic Design, the  people associated with its development were: Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer and Joseph Albers. Most of the work that these designers made was typography related as many of the designs were meant for mass production. Herbert Bayer was trained in Art Nouveau but was interested in Gropious, Bauhaus. In 1925 Gropious told Herbert Bayer to create a type face for the whole of Bauhaus letters and documents. He created a modern ideal type which was easy to read and strong. It was a simple san-serif type, which he called universal. He felt that serif type faces were pointless and also felt there was no need for upper case. This style was latter developed by Jan Tschichold. He never attended Bauhaus or worked there, but he visited many times and was influenced by the Bauhaus style of Type. Because Jan Tschichold was inspired by the designs in Bauhaus he went on to create his own work from that. His work then inspired many Graphic designers today, such as Neville Brody, Paul Rand and many more. It just continues on and on because of this one man and his work, many people are inspired by Paul Rand. The movements associated with Bauhaus was, De Stijl, Modernism, Expressionism and much more. It’s main aim was to create objects and buildings that was appropriate for mass production. It used simplistic forms so it could be easily used again and again. This is why they liked the work of Herbert Bayer and his typography. They tried to create an international style which could be used regardless of culture or tradition.  It was closed down in 1933 with the rise of the Nazi party. (n.d) ‘ The Bauhaus’. Available Online: [19/10/11] (n.d) ‘ The Bauhaus’ Available Online: [20/10/11]

Neville Brody

In someways I feel that Neville Brody has been inspired by the Constructivist movement, especially the poster designs that came with it. Neville Brody is a big name in Graphic design as he has done very famous pieces of work, such as creating new looks for the Guardian and the Observer newspapers. Before he became a graphic designer he worked on music records creating the designs that went on them. He then became more interested in graphics by creating designs and type. He also had some books published by Thames and Hudson, which is a very big brand name. Brody also created and mixed typography with decretive details such as geometric shapes, symbols and pictures. In some parts of his work he uses the colours and type face associated with the Constructivist movement. An example of this is figure no.1. Neville Brody also has showcases all over the world as a renowned designer many of his pieces are hung in galleries. Brody also mentions an Influence from the typographist and designer Jan Tschichold. Jan Tschichold also inspired Paul Rand, another big name in Graphic Design. Jan tschichold was born in Germany in 1902 and worked as an artist, songwriter and calligraphist. After the election of Adolf Hitler in germany, all designers had to register with the ministry of culture and all the teaching staff were threatened, if they was sympathetic. After this Tschichold was announced as a cultural Bolshevist. Ten days after the Nazi’s came to power in March 1933 his wife was arrested. Russian Constructivist posters were found at his house. He then was kicked out of Germany and ordered to move to Switzerland. Him and his family managed to escape the Nazi’s in August 1933. Although Tschichold was not to do with Russian Constructivism his work looks like it was heavily influence by this. Tschichold worked on creating various fonts most were san-serif. He was very famous as he worked on designs for Penguin books. Tschichold’s work seems to have rubbed off onto Neville Brody, this is why I believe that his work seems to emanate a touch of Constructivism.

Works by Neville Brody and Jan Tschichold

De Stijl was the art movement from 1917-1930’s. It consist of lines, squares and basic colours. It was founded in the Neverland’s by a small group of artists and architects which later became recognised throughout Europe.  In the 1920’s Paul Schuitema began his work in Graphic Design. He applied the principles of Constructivism and De Stijl to his work of Commercial advertising. His work consist of a series of flyers and posters. His techniques varied as he used photomontage, photography and typography in his work. These techniques are simple but effective if used properly, today we use technology to do this. It is sometimes quicker and easier to do it on a computers but, the tools that are used on the computer are almost the same as the tools they were using years ago. For an example the crop tool, paintbrush, rotate and so on. In the first word war from 1914-1918 it  showed that slogans and words were rubbish, that romance ended in bloodshed and that heroism was for profit. He claimed that art was lost and that Graphic art was more functional. Often in his work he world use the colours red, white and black with a bold san-serif font. This is similar to the works of Aleksandr Rodchenko, you can see the constructivist influence. But despite Schuitema’s big role in Typography for mass commercial advertising, he remains less recognised then his contemporaries.

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp was inspired by some of the movements  of the time. He was inspired by the movements of Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism. Marcel Duchamp’s first recognised work that received controversy was Nude descending a staircase. It shows a massive influence from Cubism , by the deconstruction of forms and shapes. He was trying to create movement using the medium of paint. It was rejected by Salon des independents because some members felt like Duchamp was making fun of Cubism. Many of his friends and family said the painting was objectionable and out of line. This is because the piece was two parts serious and one part mockery In 1915 Marcel Duchamp started to experiment with work associated with the movement of Dadaism. He created the Bicycle wheel in 1915 as a series of one of his readymades. He called them this because he made a use of already made objects. Dadaism was anti-art, this was because they were anti-war campaignists. Many Dadaists believed that the logic and thinking behind the bourgeois capitalist way of thinking, led to the war. They showed a rejection of this idea by embracing chaos and pandemonium. From this they expressed themselves through a variety of styles like poetry, graphic design, theatre and visual art. One of Duchamp’s most recognised work is The Fountain. The fountain was just an ordinary urinal and he wrote R.Mutt 1917 in pen on the side. He did this as a prank and submitted The Fountain as a piece of art in an art show. It was kept out of view because the organisers didn’t know if it was or wasn’t art. Shortly after The Fountain was misplaced and lost , presumably threw in the bin.

Aleksandr Rodchenko was one of the famous and successful artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution of the early 20th Century. Originally Rodchenko studied fine art and painting, but later gave that up for graphic design. The work that got him noticed was his graphic poster designs. His work shows great use of type, such as the scale he uses and the movement it seems to create. He worked with the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky creating a series of advertising posters. Mayakovsky wrote the text and slogans for the posters andbecame a close friend. Rodchenko also created magazine cover layouts and illustrations,  for this he liked using a photomontage method. Their work introduced modern art into Russian advertising.  In his poster designs Aleksandr Rodchenko uses strong contrasts, bold colours and arranges them so it gives a maximum impact which contrasts with the photomontage. He also used bold sans-serif type which was used throughout Russia. He also uses figure ground in his work, which is a technique which are still using today as doing this makes the image look more satisfying.His work inspired many people even today. Constructivism didn’t like art for the sake of art, they thought that art should have a deeper meaning and purpose. This is why nearly all of Constructivist art is political or social. Especially because of the war and the Russian Revolution. He also became friends with Vladimir Tatlin, who was another leading artist in the Constructivist movement. In fact it was Vladimir Tatlin was one of the people who started Constructivism .

Filippo Marinetti

Marinetti was a Italian poet and editor, he was also the founder of Futurism. Futurism is the supposed first movement in art. Dating from 1909-1916 it depicted contemporary ideas about future events. The concept of Futurism was they wanted nothing to do with the past, they only cared about the future. They admired things like the car, the plane, the industrial city and technology. Marinetti was educated in Egypt, France, Germany and Switzerland. He began his writing and poetic career in an Italian/French magazine. Most of his life he was based in France.  Marinetti wrote about futurism in the 1909 February 20th edition of Le Figaro, a french magazine. Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carra, among others who signed and joined the Manifesto of the Futurist Painters in 1910. Futurism was largely an Italian thing, but it had variations all over the world. After giving inspiration to so many countries he visited some of them to give lectures about Futurism. He visited St. Petersburg in 1910,  London in 1911 and Moscow in 1913. Futurism was inspired by the early works of Cubism. Futurist painters made a repetition of lines, brilliant colours and flowing brush strokes to simulate movement and rhythm. Futurism also inspired a lots of other movements, such as Art Deco, Constructivism and surrealism. I like Marinetti’s work especially his typography, at the time this was very unique and defined his work because of this. Now work similar to Marinetti’s can be seen almost everywhere, a good example of this has to be the work of David Carson. You can really tell that he has had some inspiration from Marinetti, although he claims to be original and claims what he has done hasn’t been done before is rubbish, because anyone can see the links. But that is really what Graphic designers do, they hodgepodge. (n.d) ‘ Neville Brody’. Available Online: [14/10/11]


Wozencroft,Jon ‘ The graphic language of Neville Brody’  [P.g 5-7]

Italy: Thames and Hudson. (2009) ‘ Jan Tschichold’ Charchar,Alex. Available Online: [14/10/11] (2008) ‘ Understanding Duchamp’

Stafford, Andrew. Available Online: [13/10/11]


Rudolf E. Kuernzli and Francis M. Naumann (eds) ‘Marcel Duchamp Artist of the Centaury’ 1996,  [Pg. 27] . Cambridge, London: The MIT Press,. (2011) ‘Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko’ Savvine, Ivan. Available Online:



Pantheon BooksAleksandr Rodchenko’ 1987, [Pg.2-3], New York. Pantheon Books.


Humphreys,Richard ‘Futurism’ 1999, [Pg. 19], Liverpool, Tate Gallery Publishing. (2005-2011) ‘Filippo Marinetti’. Available Online: [11/10/11] (2006) ‘Paul Schuitema: Visual Organizer’ Williams, Eliza.

Available Online: [14/10/11]

These are just some of the variations of Helvetica. Helvetica is easily known by its perfectly rounded shapes and structures for example the e and a. In the style of Helvetica it is joint and rounded making it symmetrical. On some of the variations, the main characters C,G,Q and R have drastically different styles for example on Helvetica Neue the R would be more rounded and the Q would be slightly different to another style of helvetica.

Helvetica Originated from Switzerland and was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann. Helvetica is one of the most basic and most used typeface known today. This type face was originally called Neue Hass Grotesk and was later changed in 1960 to Helvetica. It was originally going to be named Helvetia which is the Latin word for Switzerland. But Eduard Hoffmann decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate to name a type face after the country. Later it was decided that the type face would be called Helvetica, meaning swiss not Switzerland. The design for Helvetica was based upon Schelter-Grotesk and Normal Grotesk. The sans-serif type Helvetica can be seen almost everywhere today, as toilet signs, road signs and shop signs. Helvetica now comes in a variety of different texts. e.g. Helvetica neue, Helvetica rounded, Helvetica narrow. Some typographists say it is the box standard of type, like the white paint for a painter it is the most basic of basic. Some people say it is the simplicity of it and that it is so legible is the reason it is so perfect and so popular. In 2007 a movie was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Helvetica. It was shown in film festivals, museums and cinemas world wide. Directed by Gary Hustwit Helvetica the movie stars famous graphic designers such as Michael Bierut, Neville Brody and David Carson.