Le Corbusier: The modulor (1954)

Le Corbusier's The Modulor Cover

26/01/12 – Select illustrations from Le Corbusier’s The modulor: a harmonious measure to the human scale universally applicable to architecture and mechanics published by Faber and Faber (1954). (more…)

Imre Reiner: Grafika (1947)

Grafika: modern design for advertising and printing (1947)

19/09/11 – Selections from Imre Reiner’s Grafika: modern design for advertising and printing published in New York in 1947. English edition limited to 1000 copies. (more…)

Karl Gerstner: Kompendium für Alphabeten (1972)

Karl Gerstner: Kompendium für Alphabeten

15/08/11 – Excerpts from Swiss artist and designer Karl Gerstner’s Kompendium für Alphabeten published in 1972 by Verlag Niggli AG. (more…)

Books from 1960s Czechoslovakia: part 2

Czechoslovak books (1960s)

27/05/11 – Second installment of book covers, dust jackets, endpapers and title pages from Czechoslovakia circa 1960. (more…)

Books from 1960s Czechoslovakia: part 1

Czechoslovak book covers

20/05/11 – A selection of book covers, dust jackets, endpapers and title pages from Czechoslovakia circa 1960. (more…)

The Penguin Poets redesign by Jan Tschichold (1948)

penguin-poets-comp

15/12/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Poets series: (left) John Overton’s [?] original design of 1946 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1951. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s design for Penguin Scores 1949

Penguin Scores no. 3: 1949

23/11/10 – A selection of examples from the Penguin Scores series designed by Jan Tschichold in 1949. The series used a horizontal version of Penguin’s larger B size with typography set in Garamond and background patterns by Stephen Russ, Elizabeth Friedlander, Barbara Lambourne, and many others. (more…)

The Penguin Classics redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Classics: 1945 & 1949

25/10/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Classics series: (left) John Overton’s original design of 1945 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. Both feature circular illustrations (roundels) by William Grimmond. (more…)

Jan Tschichold: Penguin composition rules (1947)

King Penguin standard (detail)

18/10/10 – One of the first tasks Jan Tschichold set upon himself after becoming head typographer for Penguin Books in 1947 was to create the Penguin composition rules, a document outlining the core typographic standards to be practiced across all Penguin publications. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s redesign for Pelican Books 1949

pelican-compare2_500

11/10/10 – Two examples of early Pelican titles: (left) Edward Young’s original horizontal grid design of 1937 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. (more…)

The Penguin Shakespeare redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Shakespeare: 1947 & 1949

27/09/10 – The Penguin Shakespeare series: Edward Young’s [?] original design (1938) and Jan Tschichold’s revision (1949). (more…)

Max Bill: Form (1952)

Form: a balance sheet of mid-twentieth century trends in design (1952)
20/09/10 – Selections from Max Bill’s Form: a balance sheet of mid-twentieth century trends in design published in 1952 by Verlag Karl Werner, Basel. (more…)

Design in Scandinavia exhibition catalogue (1954)

Design in Scandinavia: an exhibition of objects for the home (1954)

13/09/10 – Exhibition catalogue for Design in Scandinavia: an exhibition of objects for the home (1954), the first major exhibition of Scandinavian design to travel to North America. The exhibition showcased ceramics, furniture, glassware, metalwork and textiles from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and was pivotal in introducing modern Scandinavian design to North America. (more…)

Penguin’s horizontal grid design and Tschichold’s reforms

Penguin Books: 1938 & 1958

31/08/10 – Two examples of early Penguin paperback covers: Edward Young’s horizontal grid of the 1930s and Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of the 1950s. (more…)

Karl Gerstner: The forms of colour (1986)

gerstner-spread_1000

25/03/10 – In his book, The forms of colour, Karl Gerstner examines the complex interaction between colour and form and develops his own system: ‘The Colour Form Model.’ (more…)

C.P. Hornung: Handbook of designs and devices (1946)

Handbook of designs and devices (1946)

22/03/10 – A small selection from the 1,836 examples outlined in C.P. Hornung’s Handbook of designs and devices (1946): (more…)

Eric Gill: An essay on typography (1936)

Eric Gill An Essay on Typography

16/03/10 – A selection of excerpts from the second edition of Eric Gill’s An Essay on Typography (1936). Gill’s frequent use of the ampersand (&) retained throughout.

The Theme
Even if a man’s whole day be spent as a servant of an industrial concern, in his spare time he will make something, if only a window box flower garden. (i)

The application of these principles [i.e., the the industrial and the 'humane'] to the making of letters and the making of books is the special business of this book. (ii) (more…)

Vision + value series edited by Gyorgy Kepes (1965-6)

Module Proportion Symmetry Rhythm

28/03/10 – Between 1965 and 1966, New York book publisher George Braziller published a six volume series under the title Vision + Value. (more…)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: The new vision (1938)

15/01/10 – A selection of excerpts from Moholy-Nagy’s The New Vision (1938).

Foreword

The New Vision was written to inform laymen and artists about the basic elements of the Bauhaus education: the merging of theory and practice in design. (5) (more…)

A new history of Canada vol. 1 (1972)

A New History of Canada

25/10/09 – Volume one, New Worlds to Find 1000-1600, in the fifteen volume series: A New History of Canada. Educational textbook for children. Published by Editions Format in 1972 in Montreal. (more…)

Oliver Tomas

  • Design historian and archivist based in Vancouver, Canada.
  • info[at]olivertomas[dot]com