This is the fourth of a series of articles based on the Type Directors Club talks held in New York in the Spring of 1953. T U R A This installment was designed and written by Alexander Nesbitt. The opportunity to discuss the history, form, and use of Futura is a project dear to my heart. I have long feit that Paul Renner, the designer of the face, was far too little known to students and professional typographers in the United States. To my mind he has been very much underrated. Other German graphic artists, Rudolf Koch for example, have commanded our entire interest, to the point of being slightly overrated. Renner was born in 1878. He attended the art schools of Berlin, Karlsruhe and Munich; and started his career as a painterthe State ment in one American book that he was an architect is erroneous. His First important job was as a book designer for the Georg Müller Publishing Company, a well-known Munich firm. Paul Renner has always been active in typographical education. He has written ex- tensively for graphic arts journals and is the author of four books which come to grips with many of the aesthetic and practical problems that concern the printer. These are not to be had in English translations; and they are there- fore little known in this country. Renner's credo as a teacher may be expressed in the following translation of one of his remarks: As difficult as it may be, there is little eise we can do ex- cept to train or teach each inaividual who is in any way connected with letters or typog- raphy to become an independent and self- sufficient judge of quality.'Frorn 1926 to 1933 he was the director and moving spirit of the Munich School for Master Book Printers; al- though this school did not really function until 1927. The National Socialist regime removed him because he spoke and wrote sharply against the turn of events. It is impossible, if we are to cover our subject adequately, to record any further biographical details. The reader may be assured, however, that the reasons Futura became under its various guisesthe most used advertising display letter lie largely in the character of its creator. 2 5

Print Magazine en | 1953 | | page 27