7 May 2002

The New Typography

Jan Tsichold’s Die neue Typographie appeared in Weimar Berlin in 1928. An English translation was published in 1995. The book, one of the founding documents of Modern design in the Machine Age, caused an uproar in the world of design. Starting first with some historical context, Tsichold describes the principles of the new typography as a revolutionary movement towards clarity and readability; a rejection of superfluous decoration; and an insistence on the primacy of functionality in design. A critque of its populist rhetoric in the journal of the bauhaus challenged him “to address not just the visual appearance of advertising but the very existence of such advertising.”