Historical Contextual Studies

Anything with “History” in the title fills me with dread. I think partly because my memory is awful and history means remembering. His story. Their stories. Maybe if I look at it that way. Chip Kidd’s story. Saul Bass’ story. Paul Rand’s story. Peter Blakes story and today William Addison Dwiggins’ story.

He coined the term “Graphic Design” in 1922. He gave it a name, a start, but really graphics and using pictures to express meaning has been around since the start of man as soon as we could pick up a mark making implement and make that mark.

This week has been a wonderful quick stop tour scratching the surface of graphic design, but around every corner there has been something that makes me want to learn more. This isn’t just history but languages too.

Glyphs. A week ago I had never heard of them. Ephemera. Typography on every corner. Bliss. Eyes in the Phi. Peter Blake since way back through Sgt Peppers, my younger 90s Paul Weller days and more recently appreciating the Dazzle boat bobbing by. Paul Rand. A new one, but love the simple effectiveness of the designs. Swissted. Saul Bass. Beautiful illustration in Henris walk to Paris. My kind of colours. The kids are definitely not allowed to touch. Bauhaus. Calligraphy. Art Nouveau. Mucha. Verso. Recto. Type foundries – imaging designing a font that is used so much almost 60 years later. Max Miedinger. Legends. Most importantly it is inspiration. and a little bit of what not to do sometimes.

So, … graphic design stories and what we can learn from them. That sounds better.

Henri's walk to Paris_Saul Bass


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