Category Archives: Typography

The Big Sale. It's Big, and It's a Sale.

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring, and we all know what that means:

Cleaning!

No? Okay then, let’s try:

Sale!

That’s right. In honour of the season and its renewing, motivating forces, we’ve decided to comb through our collection at the 401 Richmond store and reduce prices on a selection of products, books and magazines for pretty much all of the next month. It’s the inaugural Big Sale, and it’s aptly named, unlike our former annual Sidewalk Sale (which we were never actually allowed to have on the sidewalk).

Big Sale offerings include Bodoni’s mammoth Manual of Typography from Taschen;
$5 back issues of magazines and annuals such as Communication Arts, Archive and Print; a mixture of classic and contemporary products from Nava, Arzberg, Umbra, imm Living and Rosti; information-loaded digital weather-station clocks designed by Philippe Starck; past issues of the architecturally uplifting 2G Magazine (which has – rather sadly – just gone digital with the newest issue, so grab those printed copies while you can); and some elegant one-off pieces of silverware (because really, who says you need a table setting of four?).

We’ll be discounting these items, and more, right through to Sunday, May 26, when we’ll be open for the final day of Doors Open Toronto. (Another excellent reason to visit the 401 Richmond building, and Swipe in particular.)

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit Swipe at 401 Richmond Street West, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

A Stunning Tribute to the Private Book Collector

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Click on the image to browse this book’s contents
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Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 1 : 1628–1900

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 2 : 1900–1938

? 2009 & 2010: Cees de Jong, Alston W. Purvis & Jan Tholenaar

Taschen has a knack, unrivaled among contemporary art and design publishers, for successfully balancing price against quality and content. By licensing existing text and photography, and through the creative use of out-of-copyright material, the publisher consistently manages to create desirable, yet affordable, books. Unfortunately, such books generally add little to the public record or to a critical understanding of their subject. Every so often, however, Taschen produces a book of grand significance. Drawn from the collection of the late Jan Tholenaar, these astoundingly beautiful surveys of the printed type specimen are probably the most consequential design books Taschen has ever published. The majority of the examples are exquisitely rare Continental specimens from the Nineteenth Century. Typical of Taschen, there is precious little explanatory text. The introductory essays, by Cees de Jong and Alston W. Purvis, are superficial and provide practically no context for the material that follows. Which would be more of a shame if the material that follows were not so extraordinary and otherwise completely unavailable. In fact, the illustrations embedded in the introduction, a Berthold Hebrew script specimen from 1924 and an Arabic and Turkish specimen from Stempel in 1922, are so lovely that it’s hard to even pay attention to the text. What these volumes also demonstrate, quite dramatically, is the continued relevance of of the private book collection as both an intellectual exercise and a cultural record. There are certainly institutional collections that rival the one amassed by Mr. Tholenaar, but such collections are typically not accessible by the public and are virtually never documented in so glorious a fashion. (2009: Taschen; ISBN 9783836511018 & 2010: Taschen; ISBN  9783836515146)

Each: $64.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

The Typographic Grid: Essential Framework or Elegant Prison?

The layout grid, in its modern conception, has its origins with a group of Swiss graphic designers and educators working in the early postwar era. Ironically, while the grid was intended to create a modern system of layout flexible enough to accommodate type and image together, and to organize more complex textual hierarchies, it is firmly grounded in the structure and limitations of metal type composition. It could be argued that the enduring success of the ‘International Typographic Style’, as the methods of the Zürich and Basel Schools came to be known, has as much to do with the conventionalized visual vocabulary the typographic grid has imposed on Twentieth-Century publication design as with any inherent superiority of the approach.

In common with another mainstay of the International Typographic Style, the typeface Helvetica, the popularity of the grid approach has followed something of a typical pendulum motion, wherein a once-revolutionary idea becomes mainstream, spawns a backlash, only to be rediscovered by a new generation and readopted with uncritical reverence. For anyone who has been working as a graphic designer for more than a decade, the grid carries unfortunate associations with corporate culture – the graphic equivalent to the ubiquitous office cubicle. And as such, the sight of a psychedelic rave poster that appears to have been designed by Max Bill is simultaneously amusing and vaguely disturbing.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design / Raster Systeme für die Visuele Gestaltung, 4th Edition
? 1961 (1996): Josef Müller-Brockmann

Originally published in 1961, this seminal work on the subject, by the renowned Swiss graphic designer and professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, covers the process of grid development and the application of grids in modern publication design. A Bibliographic 100 title. (1996: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 9783721201451)

$99.95

The Typographic Grid
? 2000: Hans Rudolf Bosshard

Published in 2000, also by Swiss publisher Verlag Niggli, Brosshard’s sophisticated treatment can be considered a follow-up to Josef Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems and is, in many ways, the (obsessive compulsive) last word on the subject. Bosshard, also a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule and a contemporary of Müller-Brockmann, looks at increasingly complex grids, discusses the limits of the system, and analyses a variety of salient examples from the International Style cannon. (2000: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 3721203402)

$129.95

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Typographie: A Manual of Design, 7th Edition
? 1967 (2001): Emil Ruder

Originally published in 1967 and now in its sixth edition, this classic textbook of the new typography is based on the curriculum that Ruder developed as head of the departments of typography and graphic design at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel (posts subsequently held by Armin Hofmann and Wolfgang Weingart). This edition features an introduction by Ruder’s like-minded friend Adrian Frutiger. (2001: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 978372120043)

$129.95

For a thorough look at the origins and influence of Swiss graphic design in the Ruder, Hofmann, Müller-Brockmann era, see: Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920-1965 by Richard Hollis, available, not surprisingly, at Swipe, for $62.95. (2006: Yale Art; ISBN 0300106769)

The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books
? 1978: Allen Hurlburt

Published more than 30 years ago, this is the first and most orthodox English-language introduction to the grid as a publication design tool, and has served as the standard (hopelessly overpriced) textbook for several generations of graphic designers. (1978: John Wiley; ISBN 9780471289234)

$89.95

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Designer and the Grid
? 2005: Julia Thrift & Lucienne Roberts

One of the first post-Macintosh reassessments of the grid, The Designer and the Grid examines the work of several leading (at the time) contemporary graphic designers, including Simon Esterson, Vaughan Oliver and Ellen Upton, to explore its renewed relevance in the digital era. (2005: RotoVision; ISBN 2880468140)

$41.95

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
? 2005: Timothy Samara

This very popular title uses case studies to explore the potential and limits of grid-based design. Projects are arranged according to function and structure, and the featured designers provide commentary on their rationale and design processes. (2005: Rockport; ISBN 1592531253)

$34.95

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Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids
? 2009: Beth Tondreau

A relatively simplified introduction to grid layout, this practical guide identifies 100 typographic and layout variables, from typeface selection to optimum leading and optimum measure, that contribute to the success of most grid-based projects. (2009: Rockport Publishers; ISBN 9781592534722)

$43.95

Basics Design 07: Grids
? 2008: Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris

An accessible, highly visual introduction, this seventh volume in the admirable Design Basics series focuses on ordering the page or screen through the effective use of the grid. (2008: AVA Publishing; ISBN 9782940373772)

$34.95

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Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition
? 2001: Kimberly Elam

Using a clever and attractive system of vellum overlays, Geometry of Design illustrates a range of classic and modern proportioning systems and demonstrates their application in modern graphic design, industrial design and architecture. (2001: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568982496)

Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type
? 2004: Kimberly Elam

With Grid Systems, Elam again uses transparent overlays to make visible the hidden structures of a series of modern graphic layouts. This intuitive form of presentation makes the grid system immediately comprehensible, making this an excellent companion to a more detailed textbook treatment. (2004: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568984650)

Typographic Systems, Rules for Organizing Type
? 2007: Kimberly Elam

Typographic Systems goes beyond the Basel School grid to explore a variety of alternative, rule-based, typographic layout systems (i.e., random, radial, modular or bilateral). In common with Elam’s previous books, this study is disappointingly brief; however, it is currently the only presentation of these ideas that we have to offer and, as such, is essential student reading. (2007: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568986874)

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Grid Index, Includes CD-Rom
? 2009: Carsten Nicolai

Not strictly a ‘grid systems’ book, Grid Index attempts to codify the range of possible two-dimensional patterns, from the humble square grid to the most complex irregular and unpredictable lattice. Similar to the out-of-print and highly sought-after Neubau Modul, the book features an accompanying CD-Rom containing all of the catalogued patterns as editable vector graphic files free for use in your own layouts. (2009: Die Gestalten Verlag; ISBN 9783899552416)

$74.95

The Grid Book
? 2009: Hannah B. Higgins

For those looking to find deeper meaning in the utilitarian grid, Higgins examines the cultural significance of 10 historical antecedents to this Modernist mainstay. This is a highbrow celebration of the best of the square and the repeating: the brick, the tablet, the gridiron city plan, the map, musical notation, the ledger, the screen, moveable type, the manufactured box and the net. (2009: MIT Press; ISBN 9780262512404)

$34.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Bibio: -graphic, -mania, -phile, etc.

bibliographic

Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books
? 2009: Jason Godfrey

Let us begin by admitting that it is impossible for this book to have been sufficiently good for us not to have found reason to criticize it and, conversely, that the book would have had to have been quite terrifically bad for us not to be thrilled to see it published. We sell books. Specifically, we sell graphic design books. Write a history of live bait and Ned “Dew Worm” Johnson* is gonna love it. And yes, we love Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books. In his introduction Godfrey is quick to point out that this is not intended to be a history of Twentieth Century graphic design nor should it be taken as exhaustive. And, while one might take issue with some of the titles included (Chuck Anderson’s Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z) and be offended by (or feel smug about) the absence of one’s personal favourite (Otl Aicher’s Typographie), there are selections here that demonstrate an unexpected level of thoughtful sophistication. The sight of the Morgan Press wood type samples should be enough to encourage any typophile to forgive nearly any other omission (though, as Canadians, it’s hard to accept that Carl Dair’s Design with Type didn’t even make the Further Readings list!). (2009: Laurence King Publishing; ISBN  9781856695923)
* A real guy (as a teenager I tried picking worms to make pocket money) – David

$62.50

OK, so here’s the list (*asterisks mark the titles that are in print and available from Swipe). Scoff away!

Typography
American Line Type Book
Spécimen Général: Tome 1

Die Neue Typographie
, Jan Tschichold*
Modern and Historical Typography, Imre Reiner
The Letter as a Work of Art, Dr Gerard Knuttel
Manuale Typographicum, Hermann Zapf
The Encyclopaedia of Type Faces, W. Turner Berry, A.F. Johnson & W.P. Jaspert*
Alphabet Thesaurus Nine Thousand
An Atlas of Typeforms, James Sutton & Alan Bartram
Wood 2
American Wood Type: 1828–1900, Rob Roy Kelly
Letraset
A Constructed Roman Alphabet, David Lance Goines
Igarashi Alphabets, Takenobu Igarashi
London’s Handwriting, Colin Banks
Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, Lars Müller*

Sourcebooks
Handbook of Designs and Devices
, Clarence P. Hornung
Printed Ephemera
, John Lewis
Semiologie Graphique, Jacques Bertin
Letter and Image, Robert Massin

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Trade Marks & Symbols, Yasaburo Kuwayama
Label Design, Claude Humbert
Symbol Sourcebook, Henry Dreyfuss*
Handbook of Pictorial Symbols, Rudolf Modley*
Words and Buildings, Jock Kinneir
The Dictionary of Visual Language, Philip Thompson & Peter Davenport
Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z, Charles S. Anderson
Today’s Hieroglyphs, Hans-Rudolf Lutz*
Alphabets & Other Signs, Julian Rothenstein & Mel Gooding (editors)

Instructional
Layout in Advertising
, W.A. Dwiggins
Mise en Page
, Alfred Tolmer
Colour in Advertising
, Joseph Binder
Language of Vision
, György Kepes
Vision in Motion
, László Moholy-Nagy
The Graphic Artist and His Design Problems
, Josef Müller-Brockmann
Typography
, Aaron Burns
Typography: Basic Principles
, John Lewis
Graphic Design Manual
, Armin Hofmann*

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Visual Presentation of Invisible Processes, Anton Stankowski
Typography
, Emil Ruder*
A Sign Systems Manual, Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
, Josef Müller-Brockmann*
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward R. Tufte*
Notes on Book Design, Derek Birdsall*

Histories
The New Graphic Art, Karl Gerstner & Markus Kutter
Functional Graphic Design in the 20’s, Eckhard Neumann

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Pioneers of Modern Typography, Herbert Spencer
Images of an Era
, John Garrigan, Margaret Cogswell, Milton Glaser, Dore Ashton & Alan Gowans
The Language of Graphics, Edward Booth-Clibborn & Daniele Baroni
A History of Graphic Design, Philip B. Meggs*
Bauhaus: Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame, Gerd Fleischmann
Typography: When Who How, Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott & Bernard Stein
Graphic Styles, Steven Heller & Seymour Chwast*
Graphic Design: A Concise History, Richard Hollis*

Anthologies
Seven Designers Look at Trademark Design, Egbert Jacobson (editor)
Polski Plakat Filmowy, Tadeusz Kowalski (editor)
Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons, Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes & Bob Gill
Publicity and Graphic Design in the Chemical Industry, Hans Neuburg
Design Coordination and Corporate Image, F.H.K. Henrion & Alan Parkin
Graphis Diagrams, Walter Herdeg (editor)
Top Graphic Design, F.H.K. Henrion
The Liberated Page, Herbert Spencer (editor)
Typography Now, Rick Poynor & Edward Booth-Clibborn (editors)
Carouschka’s Tickets, Carouschka Streijffert & Peter Kihlgard

Monographs
Thoughts on Design
, Paul Rand
Esposizioni e Mostre
, Erberto Carboni
Visual Design in Action
, Ladislav Sutnar
Love and Joy about Letters
, Ben Shahn
Milton Glaser: G
raphic Design, Milton Glaser
The Graphic Design of Yusaku Kamekura, Yusaku Kamekura
Jan Tschichold: Typographer, Ruari McLean

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The Art of Advertising, George Lois & Bill Pitts
The Complete Tadanori Yokoo, Tadanori Yokoo
‘Walk Away René’, George Hardie & Storm Thorgerson
Living by Design, The Partners of Pentagram & Peter Gorb (editor)
Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned about Graphic Design. Including the Ones in this Book., Bob Gill
Lo Studio Boggeri: 1933–1981, Bruno Monguzzi (editor)
Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art, Paul Rand
Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer, Gertrude Snyder & Alan Peckolick
Cassandre, Henri Mouron
The Left-Handed Designer, Seymour Chwast
Dorfsman & CBS, Dick Hess & Marion Muller
The Art of Graphic Design, Bradbury Thompson
The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, Neville Brody & Jon Wozencroft*
Brodovitch, Andy Grundberg
Siegfried Odermatt & Rosmarie Tissi: Graphic Design, Siegfried Odermatt, Rosmarie Tissi with Jack Waser & Werner M. Wolf (editors)
Nova: 1965–1975, David Hillman, Harri Peccinotti & David Gibbs (editor)
The End of Print, Lewis Blackwell & David Carson
Printed Matter, Robin Kinross, Jaap van Triest & Karel Martens (editors)*

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Wim Crouwel: Mode en Module, Frederike Huygen & Hugues C. Boekraad
I Am Almost Always Hungry, Cahan & Associates*
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall & Michael Bierut (editors)*
Weingart: Typography, Wolfgang Weingart
Maeda @ Media, John Maeda*
The Art of Looking Sideways, Alan Fletcher*
Sagmeister: Made You Look, Peter Hall*
Make it Bigger, Paula Scher*
Designed by Peter Saville, Emily King (editor)
8vo: On the Outside, Mark Holt & Hamish Muir*
Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography, Emily King*

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.