How his carrier
as a typographer began
Jan Tschichold didn't start his carrier life as a typographer. He was actually calligrapher for advertisements who has always been interested with prints at the same time. This was muchly influenced by how his home town, Leipzig, was at that time german's center for book trade. During his early 20s, Tschihold was drawn to the world of typography when he visited an exhibition by Bauhaus (an art and craft school by Walter Gropius. One of the focus of their exhibition was typography and they introduced its importance in communication to the world of print. This became a massively effective inspiration for him which lead him to end up as the chief propagandist for the new movement of Typography. He started to become a great person in the field of typography and soon published his major work in 1928 - The New Typography.
His carrier life as a typographer
Unfortunately, his style wasn't warm hearted accepted by public, especially not by the Nazis. They were very unsupportive towards his works as they do not line up with the traditional german designs. The Nazis became very suspicious of his Modernism movement and this brought him and his working partner at that time Paul Renner (founder of the Futura font) into private custody. Fortunately he managed to get out after four weeks and moved to Switzerland. After teaching again in Switzerland, he was offered to contribute in designing Penguin's new face, where Penguin at that time was one of England's largest book company. Tschihold took the job and became a typographist who did not only succesfully brought Penguin to the market to its new design, but he also brought great impacts towards english typography. During his time in London, he has worked a lot with criticising and correcting english typography with its spacing, lining and arrangements. He has collided his traditional german rules in typography and his new modernism ideas into reforming english typography and the types in his design.
He revolutionized graphic design in his era and shifted it to the more abstract side of design rather than having everything neatly oriented. In terms of composition, he used a lot of assymetrical layouts rather than neatly organized symmetrical arrangements. With color, he used not as many color, at most times less than two. He also replaced the role of hand drawn illustration in a design with photographs yet again in a new modified technique which includes them to not be presented in its original form (rectangular), however more of circle cuts and sllhouttes.
What I like about
his style of design
I really admire his courage in creating something new, in fact, something very different and opposed to what typography is generally illustrated as and referred as at that time. I think it takes not only a lot of courage but also great creativity, deep analysis, strong critical skills as well as a lot of experiments to finally come up with his revolutionary style of design. In terms of specific techniques, his choice in using minimal number of colors within his design is in my opinion a very wise choice. With an abstract layout, involving assymetrical arrangements and diagonal composition, as well as involving sens serif types, they already brought complexity to the design and the minimal number of colors used helps to balance it out so that it wouldn't be so crowded, condensed or simply too much in one design. The minimal colors act as if it is giving some touches of simplicity to the designs. At the same time, in terms of layout, assymetrical and diagonal arrangements in composition does help bring more excitement and expressiveness in communicating the ideas or message.
"Jan Tschichold: A Titan of Typography." Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 05 Dec. 2008. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.
"Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History." The Bauhaus, 1919–1933. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.
"Tschichold's New Typography." Tschichold's New Typography. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.