May 13, 2021 - Sale 2568

Sale 2568 - Lot 338

Price Realized: $ 8,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000

JAN TSCHICHOLD (1903-1974)


25 1/4x35 1/2 inches, 64x90 cm. Benno Schwabe & Co., Basel.
Condition A- / A: minor creases at edges and in image; small unobtrusive tears at edges; hinged to mount. Paper. Framed.

A prolific practitioner, teacher and writer, Tschichold was one of the fathers of "New Typography," the title of his highly influential 1928 book. Son of a calligrapher, and a student at the Academy for Graphic Arts in Leipzig, Tschichold was influenced by both the Bauhaus and Russian Constructivists like El Lissitzky. He moved to Munich in 1926 and continued teaching and designing until intense pressure from the Nazi party forced him to flee to Switzerland. He eventually moved to England, where he was responsible for a complete redesign of Penguin Books. This poster for The Professional Photographer exhibition in Basel uses an underlying geometric structure based on a neat grid of vertical and horizontal lines to convey information in a clean and organized manner. The use of a photographic negative arouses curiosity and creates an eye-catching image, while also alluding to the technical aspects of photography. "Many graphic designers mastered the camera alongside the tools of illustration, layout and lettering . . . Tschichold's letterpress poster features precisely articulated elements that punctuate the page: the mechanical bite of the press is felt in the design. Tiny letters pierce the surface like tight black stitches while the larger headline contains a rainbow of colors printed with a single pass of the press" (Mechanical Age p. 76). Modern Poster 128, Mechanical Age p. 74, Berman / Juan March p. 146, Word & Image p. 76, Swiss Graphic Design p. 77, The Poster 295, Century p. 297, MoMA 290.1938.