Islam Mahrouss March 10

Typographic design is one of those things that happen to be overlooked by everyone. However it has an important role in design and should be appreciated more. In this case, “Jan Tschichold, The New Typography ”, discusses the importance of typography. He especially  discusses the difference between old and new typography. As Tschichold states, “old typography whose aim was “beauty” and whose clarity did not attain the high level we require today”. Old typography was based on decorative typefaces and having multiple different typefaces in one design. The design of the type was also centered, however this center axis based structure and decorative typefaces made reading very difficult. The function of typography is to communicate a message and this was the issue with old typography. People did not understand the importance of its function and focused more on its appearance. New typography was made to fix this problem, it is based on clear simple san serif typefaces and an asymmetric layout. According to Tschichold, “It also expresses the diversity of modern life, unlike central-axis typography, which, apart from variations of typeface, does not allow such variety”. The new typography is an expression of the new modern world and it makes sense considering the purpose of this new way of designing type is to be more improved and legible. 

Art, science, and math, those three areas tend to overlap lap a lot. One person who has combined both art and science is Karl Gerstner who discusses how he did it in his reading ”Designing Programmes’ ‘. Gerstner talks about how when there is a problem there is always a solution, but that there is never just one solution. Instead there is a group of solutions which and the way to find those solutions is by combining different elements. According to Gerstner, “The creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means: to pick out determining elements and combine them”. This reminds me of mind mapping which is when you write down different words or things that are related to a subject and you combine those words to create a design. Looking at Gerstners chart in the reading, I noticed how similar it was to mind mapping. The concept of using this kind of chart helps to find the group of solutions that was mentioned earlier. Over all this way of thinking shows the relationship of problem and solution in design. 

Karl Gerstner also talks about the importance of a grid. A grid provides structure and consistency in design. The measurements help keep text and images proportionate and also keeps the design overall balanced. The use of a girl reminds me of new typography because its purpose was to be simple and well structured and with a grid that is something that you can achieve. Josef Müller-Brockmann also talks about grids in his reading Grid and “Design Philosophy”. He states, “The designers’ work should have the clearly intelligible, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking”. All three of the readings have shown me that with modern design a lot of mathematical and science thinking is happening and as a result we are getting clean and efficient designs. It shows that art is not just about a beautiful image but the thinking and concept behind it. 


Assignment for March 10

Our next reading assignment includes 3 short texts from designers who employed rational, systematic methods in their work. They are as follows:

Jan Tschichold, The New Typography (1928): Tschichold_NewTypo

Karl Gerstner, Designing Programmes (1964): Gerstner_DesigningProgrammes

Josef Müller-Brockmann, Grid and Design Philosophy (1981):  MullerBrockmann_Grid_Des-Phil

Here is this week’s question:
According to Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner, and Josef Müller-Brockmann, How should one design?

(Remember, you can answer with 3-4 paragraphs, as per usual, or you can use some of the visual-linguistic ideas discussed in class, or outlined in these readings, to design your answer in a jpeg or pdf file.)