I’ve been reading a book called ‘Just My Type’ by Simon Garfield. In his book he has dedicated chapters to most prominent typefaces of the history. Among them is a famous typeface called ‘Sabon’. It was developed by a German Typographer named Jan Tschichold.
“He was a modernist, an enthusiast for the Bauhaus, who had been arrested by the Gestapo for communist sympathies before fleeing Nazi Germany for Switzerland.” (Garfield, 2010:251)
The name Sabon comes from the owner of sixteenth century type foundry in Frankfurt, Jacques Sabon. The typeface is very popular even today with lot of magazines and book publishers as it is good for large chunk of text.
Tschichold mentions his treatise ‘Die Neue Typographie’:
“The essence of the New Typography is Clarity. This puts it into deliberate opposition to the old typography whose aim was ‘beauty’ and whose clarity did not attain the high level we require today. This utmost clarity is necessary today because of the manifold claims for out attention made by the extraordinary amount of print, which demands the greatest economy of expression.” (Garfield, 2010:253)
I believe this holds true for every aspect of life, even digital design. We, have been generating so much content online that it has given even the big data companies a severe headache just to store that raw data, leave alone the interpretation and analysis of that huge data. I feel that if so much data has to be consumed then it has to be presented with ‘utmost clarity’. The words of Jan Tschichold can be used as a principle for all types modern designing. Upto some extent, we have already given it a start with minimalistic and flat design in the digital interfaces.
How do you think we can take it forward?
Garfield, Simon. (2010) Just My Type: A Book About Fonts. Profile Books, London.