TheTypography of Order buch -g Monq n rioud hcub H u D Emil Ruder In the last few years Switzerland has produced a new form of typography which is quj: gaining ground. Known to the rest of the world as 'Swiss typography', it has spread m two centres, Basle and Zurich. We have asked one of its most active exponents, Emil Rt |r who has taught typography for seventeen years at the School of Applied Art (Allgerrjit Gewerbeschule) in Basle, to give our readers an account of the underlying principhbt this new movement. His theoretical statement is followed on pages 408-413 by examplipf its practical application in various forms of printed matter. Editor Typography is regarded primarily as a means of ordering the various coi i- tuents of a layout. Exacting artistic postulates or creations are no longeli- volved; the endeavour is simply to find a formally and functionally satisfac'y answer to daily requirements. The rule that a text should be easily readable i n r unconditional one. The amount of text set on any one page should not be rr'.e than the reader can readily cope with; lines that are over 60 letters are considre r---; difficult to read; word and line spacing are closely interrelated and have a n!;t important influence on effortless reading. It is only when these elementary stipV tions have been fulfilled that the question of form arises. These rules, hower, do not by any means imply any restriction of artistic freedom for the sake o n p'"": inflexible system. Typography, which is characterized by the mechanical manufacture of ;e faces and composition to exact dimensions in a rectangular pattern, callsdr clear type structures with orderly disposition and terse, compact formulati, The free, untrammelled line of an illustrationa hair or a coil of ropewill tin provide the strongest possible contrast to it. All attempts to infringe these rules are detrimental to good typography. Irrei- larities in the forms of characters, or alternative letters introduced to give vary to a single type face, though sometimes excused by citing the 'handicraft' elenit in typography, are foreign intrusions which have really come in from other rev- duction techniques. Typography, perhaps even more than graphic design, isln ir-srs expression of our own age of technical order and precision. Interrelation of Function and Form. When letters are used to build up wo;>y life lines and type areas, problems of function and form arise. We shall explain ti n here with reference to the German word 'buch'. In figure 1 we first read 'buch', while the graphic pattern is a secondary main Legibility is thus assured as a first essential. Typography Is good when this id is attained by formally unexceptionable means, which is here no doubt the c|;. In figure 2 the line is stood on end; legibility is now impaired, while emphis is placed on the pattern; form thus comes before function. In figure 3 the inveid line makes an almost pure pattern of very doubtful legibility. The mirror reflecn t (figure 4), though familiar to the compositor, is likewise illegible to the layin and is seen only as a pattern. By re-arranging the letters (figure 5), a patterd some beauty may be created, but the word is now quite illegible (a proof that e formal qualities of a type face are more easily recognized in a strange langua In figure 6, the letters are completely re-organized. Straight lines and curves c - stitute an interplay of graphic forms without any communicationtypography s lost its purpose. It is by no means an easy matter to strike the correct balance between funcn and form, because even a slight weakening of one may result in its being ovein i-.i, by the other. 1 2 3 i Unprinted Spaces. The white spaces within a character have an important beaig on its form, and the spacing of words and lines greatly affects the looks and l< - bility of a text. Similarly, an optical impression may very largely depend on the - printed spaces. Our example shows white spaces of various sizes and with distinct opt<l values, as they appear when three letters are set up. The spaces between let -s are narrow and therefore intensely bright, the white inside the o is somevit milder, while the white above the o is weakest. Taken together, the three let s produce a lively and forceful white pattern. The unprinted space accordingly a a value of its own of which deliberate use is made in typography. 404

Graphis de | 1959 | | page 36