Monday, March 8, 2010

Josef Muller-Brockmann
The Bauhaus influence

“After realising that my strengths were not lying in the field of illustration and, on the other hand an illustration is not an objective form of communication but rather a subjective depiction of a specific situation, I focused my efforts on learning typography and photography. In drawing as well as in typography I wanted to avoid subjective, emotional design and to look for a system conforming the traditional rules of typography: length and spacing of a line and contrast in the typeface with optimal legiblity were, for example, matters which had to be taken into consideration. I avoided decorative elements and strived for the highest degree of objectivity. The same goes for photography: The suject had to appear with its own values and characteristica and without any form of alienation. In purely typographic designs I tried to put the areas into a contrasting tension with areas remaining empty. In its execution I did not rely on my feeling but on measurable proportions. The understanding for typographic values gained from various sources.
I was essentially influenced by the typography put in practice at the Bauhaus and by Tschichold.”

Translated from: J. Müller-Brockmann
Mein Leben: Spielerischer Ernst und ernsthaftes Spiel.
Verlag Lars Müller, Ennetbaden. ISBN 3-906700-78X

Author of two reference books

In 1971, by then already an internationally renowned Swiss designer, Müller-Brockmann wrote together with his second wife Shizuko Yoshikawa „Geschichte des Plakats“ (history of the poster) for the Zurich publishing house ABC. It is the first book placing posters into five categories according to thematic aspects: the illustrative, the objective-informative, the constructive, the experimental and the serial poster. 300 posters, mainly in color, are illustrating the text. Up to 14 colors were brought into the printing. The book was out of print very quickly and a new edition was not initiated due to the high printing costs.

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