Thursday, November 20, 2008

Book Group in Fusion

This was mentioned briefly on Things a little while ago, but is well worth flagging up here: a vast, thoroughly illustrated (inside and out) archive of Swiss-German book design from the 1920s onwards. Although there's some good stuff from the mid-30s-present, the really interesting material is in the period that is the peak of all human aesthetic achievement, i.e from around 1920 to 1933. Here what is so stunning, other than the play of shape against blank space, of sans serif font against lustrous photogravure image, is how much of this intense attention to the beauty of the object (or if you will, the commodity) was associated with leftist causes (nobody has adequately explained why this should not always be the case). Note not merely the amount of books on Socialist summer camps, the joys of the Neues Bauen and so forth, but how much was for the equivalents of the Left Book Club (and what a typically Brit bit of bet-hedging that was: a lovely font, but otherwise pretty nondescript...). There are plenty of brilliant, bitter covers by John Heartfield, and loads of covers and layouts by Jan Tschichold for the book club bücherkreis. Hours of viewing/coveting pleasure...


Blogger Melmoth said...

This is nice too..

9:44 pm  
Blogger Melmoth said...

that is to say...

9:47 pm  
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11:48 pm  

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