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exclude any sort of artistic initiative on the part of the user: they are
a ready-made substitute for individual artistic ability. They are mostly
inspired by the vogue of the moment and, therefore, utterly ephemeral.
As a rule, they hardly ever survive the day of their first application and
the question is whether, like the tomb-stones in old cemeteries, they
are likely to inspire positive emotions at a later day or whether they
will be regarded as the last witnesses attending the death of the
esthetic appreciation of organically grown type faces. Typography is
a living thing - but all of those who devote themselves to this medium
will have to keep returning to its original sources if they want to grasp
the message which the typographic tradition has for our own time. The
supreme achievements of this tradition are reflected by old cultural
monuments, in museums and libraries. But there are also village church
yards, streets and narrow lanes whose inscriptions demonstrate the
immortal expressive force of type and letter. The tomb-stones reproduced
here were photographed by the young graphic designer Ralph Görtler
in the old cemeteries of Freiburg im Breisgau, a city famous for its
a structure d'un caractère, qu'il soit latin, cyrillique, arabe ou chinois,
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