MoMA: The New Typography

Graphic design has undergone many incarnations in the last century, but before even Alexey Brodovitch’s name rang any bells in the United States, the so-called New Typography movement was taking hold in countries like Germany, Russia and Czechoslovakia. Modernist designers rejected the traditional two or three column layout for text and instead of working from a grid, they began instead from the blank page. Free from constraints, images moved across the plane, often with little adherence to spatial relationships. But before image and line came into play, typography was at the forefront of the design revolution, and leading the pack was designer and author of the seminal book, “Die Neue Typographie” (1928), Jan Tschichold.

You may recognize Tschichold’s work from MoMA’s Bauhaus exhibition. It’s a fitting connection to pay tribute to him at the same time in the museum space since a 1923 visit to the first Weimar Bauhaus exhibition converted Tschichold into a staunch Modernist and changed his life – and the landscape of design – forever.

The New Typography” at MoMA until July 12, 2010.