This Massimo Vignelli poster publicizes the College of Visible Arts’ “third in a collection of exhibitions honoring the good visible communicators of our time.” February 22 to March eight, 1991 on the Visible Arts Museum. In keeping with Vignelli:

The exhibition confirmed work that we had achieved over a few years through the use of solely 4 typefaces: Garamond, Bodoni, Century Expanded, and Helvetica. The purpose of the exhibition was to indicate that a big number of printed matter might be achieved with an economic system of sort with nice outcomes. In different phrases, just isn’t the kind however what you do with it that counts. — The Vignelli Canon, 2009–10

Vignelli is known (or infamous) amongst designers for sticking to a handful of typefaces and publicly poo-pooing all the brand new stuff that was sprouting within the early years of DTP. He expounds on his philosophy in Canon:

As I mentioned, on the time, if all individuals doing desktop publishing had been medical doctors we’d all be useless! Typefaces skilled an unimaginable explosion. The pc allowed anyone to design new typefaces and that grew to become one of many greatest visible air pollution of all instances. …

I nonetheless imagine that almost all typefaces are designed for industrial causes, simply to earn a living or for id functions. In actuality the variety of good typefaces is moderately restricted and many of the new ones are gildings on pre-existing faces. Personally, I can get alongside nicely with a half a dozen, to which I can add one other half a dozen, however in all probability no extra. In addition to these already talked about, I can add Optima, Futura, Univers (essentially the most superior design of the century because it is available in 59 variations of the identical face), Caslon, Baskerville, and some different trendy cuts. As you’ll be able to see my listing is fairly fundamental however the nice benefit is that it could actually guarantee higher outcomes. It’s also true that lately the work of some proficient sort designers has produced some exceptional outcomes to offset the dearth of function and high quality of many of the different typefaces.

Vignelli himself was partially chargeable for creating a brand new typeface (nicely, technically a contemporary revival) just some months earlier than this SVA exhibition: WTC Our Bodoni. From its release specimen:

When Bert Di Pamphilis of the World Typeface Corporation, New York, requested us to design a brand new typeface, we instructed him that we don’t imagine in “new” typefaces, however that there was room for enchancment on current, basic typeface designs. We contemplate the ratio between upper- and lower-case Helvetica letters to be the perfect there’s. We wished to revamp Bodoni utilizing an analogous ratio between the circumstances, with brief ascenders and descenders; and articulate the kind in 4 weights: mild, common, medium, daring. We labored on this venture with Tom Carnase, undoubtably one of many absolute best sort designers on this planet. We had been fairly happy with the outcomes of our efforts, and we plan to use the identical idea to some different basic typefaces, similar to Futura, Century and Garamond.

The exhibition poster, nonetheless, doesn’t use WTC Our Bodoni, opting as an alternative for a extra commonplace digital or phototype model of Bodoni, maybe to replicate the work proven within the exhibition utilizing older cuts of the typeface.



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