Archive for the ‘Poster Design’ Category

Not So Grimm: Communication Arts Features One of Swipe’s Own

Friday, April 26th, 2013

It’s an exciting time here at Swipe – not only is the glorious Communication Arts May/June 2013 Illustration Annual (#54) now available, but we’re proud to announce that it features the illustration work of our very own Lisa Vanin.

You may have noticed Lisa’s decorative paper birds flapping their dreamy wings in Swipe’s window display at 401 Richmond, or picked up one of her sweet bookmarks celebrating the store’s 25th anniversary – see below.


Well, her signature blend of flora, fauna and fable appealed so much to the Canadian Opera Company that they commissioned her to create the poster art for their GrimmFest performance festival, held in late 2012. The result, lush and fantastical, and a Grimm-worthy fairy tale in itself, can now be admired on the glossy pages of Communication Arts.

Packed with talent, the Illustration Annual showcases the very best illustration work of the past year, featuring both firmly established and new-to-the-scene illustrators.

So congratulations, Lisa! You’re in illustrious company.

You can view Lisa’s work at lisavanin.com, or purchase one of her enchanting zines, buttons or magnets in-store at Swipe.

Communication Arts May/June 2013
Illustration Annual (#54)

2013: Coyne & Blanchard, Inc.
$29.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto locations, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

The Typographic Grid: Essential Framework or Elegant Prison?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The layout grid, in its modern conception, has its origins with a group of Swiss graphic designers and educators working in the early postwar era. Ironically, while the grid was intended to create a modern system of layout flexible enough to accommodate type and image together, and to organize more complex textual hierarchies, it is firmly grounded in the structure and limitations of metal type composition. It could be argued that the enduring success of the ‘International Typographic Style’, as the methods of the Zürich and Basel Schools came to be known, has as much to do with the conventionalized visual vocabulary the typographic grid has imposed on Twentieth-Century publication design as with any inherent superiority of the approach.

In common with another mainstay of the International Typographic Style, the typeface Helvetica, the popularity of the grid approach has followed something of a typical pendulum motion, wherein a once-revolutionary idea becomes mainstream, spawns a backlash, only to be rediscovered by a new generation and readopted with uncritical reverence. For anyone who has been working as a graphic designer for more than a decade, the grid carries unfortunate associations with corporate culture – the graphic equivalent to the ubiquitous office cubicle. And as such, the sight of a psychedelic rave poster that appears to have been designed by Max Bill is simultaneously amusing and vaguely disturbing.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design / Raster Systeme für die Visuele Gestaltung, 4th Edition
? 1961 (1996): Josef Müller-Brockmann

Originally published in 1961, this seminal work on the subject, by the renowned Swiss graphic designer and professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, covers the process of grid development and the application of grids in modern publication design. A Bibliographic 100 title. (1996: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 9783721201451)

$99.95

The Typographic Grid
? 2000: Hans Rudolf Bosshard

Published in 2000, also by Swiss publisher Verlag Niggli, Brosshard’s sophisticated treatment can be considered a follow-up to Josef Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems and is, in many ways, the (obsessive compulsive) last word on the subject. Bosshard, also a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule and a contemporary of Müller-Brockmann, looks at increasingly complex grids, discusses the limits of the system, and analyses a variety of salient examples from the International Style cannon. (2000: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 3721203402)

$129.95

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Typographie: A Manual of Design, 7th Edition
? 1967 (2001): Emil Ruder

Originally published in 1967 and now in its sixth edition, this classic textbook of the new typography is based on the curriculum that Ruder developed as head of the departments of typography and graphic design at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel (posts subsequently held by Armin Hofmann and Wolfgang Weingart). This edition features an introduction by Ruder’s like-minded friend Adrian Frutiger. (2001: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 978372120043)

$129.95

For a thorough look at the origins and influence of Swiss graphic design in the Ruder, Hofmann, Müller-Brockmann era, see: Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920-1965 by Richard Hollis, available, not surprisingly, at Swipe, for $62.95. (2006: Yale Art; ISBN 0300106769)

The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books
? 1978: Allen Hurlburt

Published more than 30 years ago, this is the first and most orthodox English-language introduction to the grid as a publication design tool, and has served as the standard (hopelessly overpriced) textbook for several generations of graphic designers. (1978: John Wiley; ISBN 9780471289234)

$89.95

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Designer and the Grid
? 2005: Julia Thrift & Lucienne Roberts

One of the first post-Macintosh reassessments of the grid, The Designer and the Grid examines the work of several leading (at the time) contemporary graphic designers, including Simon Esterson, Vaughan Oliver and Ellen Upton, to explore its renewed relevance in the digital era. (2005: RotoVision; ISBN 2880468140)

$41.95

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
? 2005: Timothy Samara

This very popular title uses case studies to explore the potential and limits of grid-based design. Projects are arranged according to function and structure, and the featured designers provide commentary on their rationale and design processes. (2005: Rockport; ISBN 1592531253)

$34.95

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Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids
? 2009: Beth Tondreau

A relatively simplified introduction to grid layout, this practical guide identifies 100 typographic and layout variables, from typeface selection to optimum leading and optimum measure, that contribute to the success of most grid-based projects. (2009: Rockport Publishers; ISBN 9781592534722)

$43.95

Basics Design 07: Grids
? 2008: Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris

An accessible, highly visual introduction, this seventh volume in the admirable Design Basics series focuses on ordering the page or screen through the effective use of the grid. (2008: AVA Publishing; ISBN 9782940373772)

$34.95

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Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition
? 2001: Kimberly Elam

Using a clever and attractive system of vellum overlays, Geometry of Design illustrates a range of classic and modern proportioning systems and demonstrates their application in modern graphic design, industrial design and architecture. (2001: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568982496)

Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type
? 2004: Kimberly Elam

With Grid Systems, Elam again uses transparent overlays to make visible the hidden structures of a series of modern graphic layouts. This intuitive form of presentation makes the grid system immediately comprehensible, making this an excellent companion to a more detailed textbook treatment. (2004: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568984650)

Typographic Systems, Rules for Organizing Type
? 2007: Kimberly Elam

Typographic Systems goes beyond the Basel School grid to explore a variety of alternative, rule-based, typographic layout systems (i.e., random, radial, modular or bilateral). In common with Elam’s previous books, this study is disappointingly brief; however, it is currently the only presentation of these ideas that we have to offer and, as such, is essential student reading. (2007: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568986874)

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Grid Index, Includes CD-Rom
? 2009: Carsten Nicolai

Not strictly a ‘grid systems’ book, Grid Index attempts to codify the range of possible two-dimensional patterns, from the humble square grid to the most complex irregular and unpredictable lattice. Similar to the out-of-print and highly sought-after Neubau Modul, the book features an accompanying CD-Rom containing all of the catalogued patterns as editable vector graphic files free for use in your own layouts. (2009: Die Gestalten Verlag; ISBN 9783899552416)

$74.95

The Grid Book
? 2009: Hannah B. Higgins

For those looking to find deeper meaning in the utilitarian grid, Higgins examines the cultural significance of 10 historical antecedents to this Modernist mainstay. This is a highbrow celebration of the best of the square and the repeating: the brick, the tablet, the gridiron city plan, the map, musical notation, the ledger, the screen, moveable type, the manufactured box and the net. (2009: MIT Press; ISBN 9780262512404)

$34.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Tschichold (and let’s not get into a long, boring discussion about how his name is pronounced).

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

One of the most influential European typographers this century, Jan Tschichold (1902-74) also made a remarkable contribution to English typography when he redesigned the entire output of Penguin Books between 1947 and 1949. Here we present a trio of new books (and a couple of classics, one rarely seen) which go a long way toward remedying the surprising lack of English-language commentary on his life and work.

Active Literature: Jan Tschichold and New Typography

? 2007: Christopher Burke

An in-depth, illustrated study of Jan Tschichold’s modernist period by Hypen press regular, Burke, based on extensive archival research drawing on Tschichold’s published books, articles and personal correspondence. (2007: Hyphen Press; ISBN 0907259324)

Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avantgarde

? 2006: Martijn F. Le Coultre & Alston W. Purvis

This is the first book-length examination of Tschichold’s poster designs, which are, perhaps the clearest expression the ideas presented in Die Neue Typographie. In addition to showcasing the seventy of his posters designs, the book also includes a selection from Tschichold’s own collection, with works by Hans Arp, El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and others. (2006: Birkhäuser; ISBN 9783764376048)

Jan Tschichold: Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legac

? 2008: Cees W. de Jong

In this exhaustive and beautifully illustrated study de Jong attempts to place Tschichold’s work in the broader context of contemporary culture. Unique in its coverage of Tschichold’s entire career, various contributors discuss the designer’s major influences and innovations, including his seminal poster design, his work with Penguin Books, and his later partial repudiation of modernist typography in favour of classical traditions. (2008: Thames & Hudson; ISBN 9780500513989)

Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years

? 2006: Richard B. Doubleday

Though not at all well received, this is the only publication to fully document Tschichold’s years at Penguin and to examine the typographic conventions that he applied to mass produced books. Includes a bibliography and historical appendices including office memoranda. (2006: Oak Knoll; ISBN 1584561785)

The New Typography

? 1928: Jan Tschichold

Widely recognized as the definitive treatise on book and graphic design in the machine age, this long overdue English translation is published in a form that respects Tschichold’s original typography and design. (2006: California University Press; ISBN 0520250125)

Asymmetric Typography, 1st English Edition

? 1967: Jan Tschichold & Rauri McLean

The first (and only) English translation of Tschichold’s 1935 classic, the first of Tschichold’s works to be published in English translation. Designed by the author and typeset at Cooper & Beatty in Toronto. In his autobiography, True to Type, A Typographical Autobiography, translator and Tschichold’s collaborator at Penguin Books, Rauri McLean says of the project: “He asked me to translate his Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design) which had been published in Basle in 1935. It was a more measured and persuasive account of his views than his first and epoch-making Die neue Typographie of 1928. This proposed new translation was to be really a new edition: Jan wanted to omit some passages which he considered had been of interest only to Swiss and German readers, and he had also found several new and better illustrations. We called the new version Asymmetric Typography, and it was published, i.e. financed, not by a conventional publisher, but by a highly intelligent firm of typesetters in Toronto called Cooper & Beatty. The book was published in 1967, and we were eternally grateful to Cooper & Beatty. It was the first ever of Jan Tschichold’s books to be published in English, and the only one until the 1990s.” (1967: Cooper & Beatty / Reinhold Publishing Corporation)

Active Literature: Jan Tschichold and New Typography: $82.50
Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avantgarde: $63.50
Jan Tschichold: Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legacy $84.95
Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years: $52.95
The New Typography; $39.95
Asymmetric Typography (1st English Edition 1967 as new): $199.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.