Monday, May 10, 2010


WolfGang WeinGart.

About 1950, in Switzerland, a new style came out, very clean, objective, neutral, using sans serif type, known as the International Style or ''Swiss Style''. It was based on the idea that type should be neutral and not a distraction from the content. Its concepts expanded to other arts, like architecture, product and graphic design, becoming a world-wide style.

Wolfgang Weingart
It was he who ignited the spark of ‘typographic anarchy’ that exploded on the verge of the nineteen
nineties. It was he who fathered what was subsequently dubbed ‘Swiss Punk’, ‘New Wave’ or whatever you care to call it – perhaps even post-modernism. His name is Wolfgang Weingart. Weingart was born in the midst of the World War II in Germany. Most famous for his experimental, expressive work that broke the mould of classical Swiss typography, Weingart began his typographic career in the early sixties as an apprentice of hand composition at a typesetting firm.

Weingart’s work is characterized by his painterly application of graphical and typographical elements. The emotionally-charged lines, the potent, image-like qualities of his type, the almost cinematic impact of his layouts, all speak of his great passion of creating with graphical forms. His typographic layouts are compelling yet lucid, free yet controlled.

Weingart’s typographic experimentations spanned across three different eras of typesetting technology: letterpress, phototypesetting and the computer. Yet, despite how readily he accepted and pushed the boundaries of the letterpress and phototypesetting processes, he is rather unenthusiastic about the computer technology. The computer, to him, is too illusive. He compares the computer to a digital watch: a traditional watch shows a ‘landscape’, it tells a story; a digital watch only shows a particular moment. That’s why Weingart’s students do not design on the computer.

Jerome Quinert.


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