help! type2 final, 1920's typography history

kldolinger's picture

first off, i’m not sure i fi posted this in the right area! haha

does anyone know the history of the 1920’s typeography? maybe how it started, why geometric shapes became the it thing. or when i could get history about it instead of you telling me haha. i would appreciate it a lot. i have to do a whole type book on it, and i am noooot looking forward to this one!

any links will be helpful, please, i have nothinggggg

blank's picture

Get off your ass and get to the library.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Jan Tschichold
Paul Renner
Herbert Bayer
etc. pp.

and i am noooot looking forward to this one!

Why not? This is one of the most thrilling periods of design history.
Some more keywords for you: Russian Constructivism, Suprematism, El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko, Josef Albers, Alexey Brodovitch, Imre Reiner, Georg Trump, Friedrich H. E. Schneidler, Paul Schuitema, Piet Zwart, Theo van Doesburg, Dada, Kurt Schwitters, Art Deco, Cassandre, Rudolf Koch, Eric Gill, Jakob Erbar

Now: what James said.

kldolinger's picture

whyyyyy go to the library when i have the largest one on my lap right now. thanks so much for those links. it's not that not i'm excited there's just so much i could go with on the topic i just don't know what to narrow it down to. and once i know THEN i'll get into it. it's due in six days, wish me luck! haha

Nick Shinn's picture

why geometric shapes became the it thing.

But they didn't.
The 1920s was a period of historicist design.

kldolinger's picture

isn't art deco based on geometric shapes?

Nick Shinn's picture

Art Deco is an all the history books, but at the time it was a marginal part of typography, as was Modernism.
If you look at any mass circulation magazine of the era, there may be one ad out of hundreds that has a "modern" or art deco style. The rest are historicist.
The same thing is true of typefaces.
Most of the types designed during the 1920s were historicist.
The seminal sans serif types Gill, Futura, and Kabel were published at the end of the decade, and became established in the 1930s.
But if you want to appeal to your professors, by all means write about modernism in the 1920s, because they are academics who live in a dream world divorced from reality.
Just remember that you will probably end up working in the real world.

Here is a high-tech audio ad from the 1920s.
The headline type is Benton's Cloister Bold, based on the 15th century work of Jenson.
The rest of the type is Goudy's neo-Renaissance design, Old Style.
This, rather than a poster by someone who taught at a small Weimar art school, is what most 1920s typography looked like.

kldolinger's picture

going through the era of 1920s, i decided to make the book on the art deco of the 1920's. the jazz age and blah blah, focus it on the more geometric typefaces that were meant to be big and decorative. anything on that would help to

thanks everyone

jlt's picture

@kldolinger - the internet isn't anywhere near the biggest library in the world. Libraries are full of good books - 99% of the Internet is unsubstantiated crap, full of holes and misleading "facts" and biased articles by people with something to prove, so heavily slanted that you can't trust it.

Art Deco is an interesting movement, but as others said here, it was marginal at the time and is only the focus of so much attention now due to its relevance to modernism and what came from it.

Unfortunately much design education today focuses only on what reverberated later, looking back at it through a lens colored only by things that informed later pop & trendy styles. It's an unfortunate fact that many of the design programs I've had experience with almost totally exclude the much more interesting and philosophically intricate Arts & Crafts influence that was peaking in the mid 1920s in all aspects of design.


kldolinger's picture

would it be safe to say that art deco type was inspired by the industrial art deco?

kldolinger's picture

i'm so freaking lost with what to do with this book about. i'm just about close to giving up and not doing it

Nick Shinn's picture

Art Deco Graphics by Patricia Frantz Kery.

This will give you are far better understanding of the subject than bouncing around on the internet.
Plus, it's nicer to look at high res printed samples.

eliason's picture

For broader context and more on the roots of Art Deco you can probably find in a library Nancy Troy, Modernism and the Decorative Arts in France.

iradinosaur's picture

I realize I'm reading this a year late, but dang, kidolinger. I didn't get to go to design school, I pursued journalism instead. Now I would love to study design but don't have the funds. Don't take this for granted, particularly if you want to be a designer. You're lucky to study this!

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