Jan Tschichold, “The Principles of the New Typography” pg35-38, Karl Gerstner, Designing Programmes pg55-61, Joseph Muller-Brockman, “Grid and Design Philosophy” pg62-63 from Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field by Helen Armstrong.


Here are the questions to which you should respond in your reading response:

  • How do each of these designers/authors think you should approach design?
  • Include an example of contemporary typography/layout that embodies each of these three design systems or philosophies. And explain why

Each of these designers thinks people should approach design as a technical system that’s easy to understand like a math equation where you can use theories as rules to make a clear and concise visual form. They think beautiful extravagant designs should be rejected in favor of form that clearly shows the function. Beautiful designs also distract from the function of the text. Asymmetry allows creativity and flexibility and design needs to be objective.


This poster advertising a font embodies the three design systems. There is no ornamental aspect on any of the text or shape. All the text and shape are on a grid and the grid can be seen because the left corner and sides of the purple shadow can be seen aligned on the grid as well as the right side of the white text “Big words deserve big letters”. The hierarchy can be seen through the different font sizes and alternate characters of the same font like the skinny “slim joe”. The reading directions are left to right and top to bottom. It has an axial arrangement because there is a line going down the middle of the page and each of the words is only placed on either side.