In 1929, ten years after the Bauhaus was founded, Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau launched the exhibition “New
Typography.” László Moholy-Nagy, who had left Dessau the previous year and had earned a reputation as a designer in Berlin, was invited
to exhibit his work together with other artists. He designed a room—entitled “Wohin geht die typografische Entwicklung?” (“Where is
typography headed?”)—where he presented 78 wall charts illustrating the development of the “New Typography” since the turn of the
century and extrapolating its possible future. To create these charts, he not only used his own designs, but also included advertising
prints by colleagues associated with the Bauhaus.
The functional graphic design, initiated
by the “New Typography” movement in the 1920s, broke with tradition and established a new advertising design based on artistic criteria.
It aimed to achieve a modern look with standardized typefaces, industrial DIN norms, and adherence to such ideals as legibility,
lucidity, and straightforwardness, in line with the key principles of constructivist art.
For the first time, this comprehensive publication showcases Moholy-Nagy’s wall charts which have recently been
rediscovered in Berlin’s Kunstbibliothek. Renowned authors provide insights into this treasure trove by each contributing to this
alphabetized compilation starting with “A” for “Asymmetry” and ending with “Z” for “Zukunftsvision” (“vision of the future”). By
perusing through the pages and allowing a free flow of association, the typographical world of ideas of the 1920s avant-garde is once
again brought back to life.
Prof. Dr. Petra Eisele, Prof. Dr. Isabel Naegele and Dr.
Michael Lailach for the Hochschule Mainz and the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Language: German, English
Format: 24 × 30 cm
Published August 2019