God’s amateur: the writing of E.C. Large

Stuart Bailey and Robin Kinross, God’s amateur: the writing of E.C. Large

Stuart Bailey and Robin Kinross, God’s amateur: the writing of E.C. Large
Softcover, 96 pp., offset 3/1, 170 x 240 mm
Edition of 2000
ISBN 978-0-907259-38-1
Published by Hyphen Press

$20.00 · add to cart

A book of and about E.C. Large, which contains a selection of his shorter writings — travel essays, reportage, reveries, reviews, critiques, autobiographical pieces — and which reveals the extent of his achievement. These show a notably exact writer, with sane no-nonsense views, and yet with great imagination. Some unpublished texts are shown in facsimile. Also here is a bibliography of his published writings (both ‘literary’ and scientific), and an essay by Stuart Bailey, which sees his work with present-day eyes.

Karel Martens: Counterprint

Karel Martens: Counterprint

Karel Martens: Counterprint
Softcover, 32 pp., offset 4/4, 210 x 297 mm
Edition of 4000
ISBN 978-0-907259-25-1
Published by Hyphen Press

$35.00 · out of stock

Throughout his career as a designer, Karel Martens has made artistic (uncommissioned) work. In his early days he used sheets of paper, cut to make reliefs. Then he began to make prints from Meccano, metal plates and washers, and other found objects. These prints were made in very small numbers, or were perhaps one-offs. They were studies in form and colour, done as experiments or intended as gifts to friends. The work was very much in the Dutch tradition of experimental printing (the artist H.N.Werkman is the great exemplar here). But Martens kept this work largely apart from his graphic design work. He has occasionally shown it in exhibitions, and some pieces were published in the book Karel Martens: printed matter / drukwerk.

This is the first publication devoted to Martens’s prints. It is made in association with the printer Lecturis, in Eindhoven, and is produced to the highest quality. Bound in Chinese/Japanese fashion, like the first Martens book, it has a strong quality as an object. The main text in the book is an essay by the English designer Paul Elliman: ‘The world as a printing surface’. Dutch critic and teacher Carel Kuitenbrouwer provides a short introduction. The book is designed by Hans Gremmen, under the supervision of Karel Martens, at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem.

Paul Renner: the art of typography

Christopher Burke, Paul Renner: the art of typography

Christopher Burke, Paul Renner: the art of typography
Softcover, 224 pp., offset 4/1, 170 x 240 mm
Edition of 2000
ISBN 978-0-907259-12-1
Published by Hyphen Press

$35.00 · add to cart

German culture in the twentieth century moved quickly and intensely, bound up with the politics of the country. Paul Renner (1878–1956) lived and worked through constituent episodes of this history, both embodying the patterns of his times and providing a critical commentary on them. In this book Christopher Burke provides the first extended account of an essential and still underrated figure.

Beginning his career in the thick of the Munich cultural renaissance, Paul Renner worked as a ‘book artist’, applying values he had learnt as a painter to this everyday item of multiple production. An early and prominent member of the Deutscher Werkbund, he was committed to the values of quality in design, always tempered by a certain sobriety of attitude and style. In the 1920s Renner engaged with the radical modernism of that time, briefly in Frankfurt, and then in a more extended phase at the printing school at Munich. Under Renner’s leadership, and with teachers such as Georg Trump and Jan Tschichold, the school produced work of quiet significance. In those years Renner undertook the design of the now ubiquitous typeface Futura. Christopher Burke’s analysis of the design process reveals the characteristic Renner approach: he took up with current tendencies, but through an extended process of finely judged development, helped to deliver a product that has long-lasting quality. In the Nazi seizure of power of 1933, Renner was dismissed from his teaching post — in days recounted here in dramatic detail — and entered a state of ‘inner emigration’. Burke’s account of the Nazi years shows Renner negotiating events with dignity. After 1945, Renner lived in retirement, but entered public discussion of design issues as a voice of experience and sanity.

Paul Renner is a work of discovery. As part of its fresh narrative and analysis, it includes much new illustrative material and the first full bibliography of Renner’s writings.

Detail in typography

Jost Hochuli, Detail in typography

Jost Hochuli, Detail in typography
Softcover, 64 pp., offset 2/2, 125 x 210 mm
Edition of 2000
ISBN 978-0-907259-34-3
Published by Hyphen Press

$25.00 · add to cart

Detail in typography discusses in simple steps the factors that make text easy to read and good to look at. Hochuli starts by describing what we know about the reading process. Then he looks at the letters of the Latin alphabet: what is good form in letters? How has script and type developed? How do letters work as visual elements? He goes on to discuss words: how do they hang together? How do we recognize them? Next, he looks at lines of words, and thus at the space between words. Also here he considers punctutation as an element of the line. Then there is the question of the space between lines (‘leading’): what are the factors there? The book is rounded off with a look at typefaces and their properties.

Detail in typography, designed by its author, is printed and bound in Switzerland to the best standards. It provides, in its own form and manufacture, a demonstration of how books can be made.

Modern typography: an essay in critical history

Robin Kinross, Modern typography: an essay in critical history

Robin Kinross, Modern typography: an essay in critical history
Softcover, 272 pp., offset 4/2, 125 x 210 mm
Edition of 2000
ISBN 978-0-907259-18-3
Published by Hyphen Press

$27.00 · out of stock

A brisk tour through the history of Western typography, from the time (c.1700 in France and England) when it can be said to have become ‘modern’. A spotlight is directed at different cultures in different times, to trace the developments and shifts in modern typography. Attention is given to ideas, to social context, and to technics, thus stepping over the limited and tired tropes of stylistic analysis.

This history of typography starts with the early years of the Enlightenment in Europe, around 1700. It was then that typography began to be distinct from printing. Instructional manuals were published, a record of the history of printing began to be constructed, and the direction of the printing processes was taken up by a new figure: the typographer. This starting point gives the discussion a special focus, missing from existing printing and design history. Modern typography is seen as more than just a modernism of style. Rather it is the attempt to work in the spirit of rationality, for clear and open communication. This idea is argued out in the introductory chapter.

The chapters that follow trace the history of typography up to the present moment. Different cultures and countries become the focus for the discussion, as they become significant. In the nineteenth century, Britain provides the main context for modern typography. In the twentieth century, the USA and certain continental European countries are prominent. Kinross provides concise accounts of modernist typography in Central Europe between the wars and in Switzerland in the 1950s and 1960s. Traditionalist typography in the USA, Britain, Germany and the Low Countries is also discussed sympathetically. A concluding chapter considers ‘modern typography’ in the light of the social, political and technical changes of the recent period.