BAUHAUS ARCHIVE: ON-TYPE: TEXTS ON TYPOGRAPHY

Until August 5th the Bauhaus Archiv Berlin is presenting ”On-Type– Texte zur Typografie/ Texts on Typography”, an exhibition devoted to the development of typeface design and typography in the course of the 20th century.
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Based on a research project by students at the Fachhochschule Mainz, originally shown at the Gutenberg Museum Mainz, and curated by Prof. Petra Eisele (Mainz University of Applied Sciences), Dr. Annette Ludwig (Gutenberg Museum, Mainz) and Prof. Isabel Naegele (Mainz University of Applied Sciences), the exhibition presents classics of type design from the past century in Germanophone Europe through examples of important fonts – gathering theories, manifestos
, font patterns and typography magazines.
Starting with pioneers of the art such as Peter Behrens or Otto Eckmann the exhibition moves over the 1920s, Nazi Germany and onto the development of the so-called Swiss Style before ending with postmodern standpoints and the current state of typography. While claiming to be based on thorough research some central debates in the history of typography are also introduced, reflecting major developments, such as the typographical dispute over the use of blackletter typefaces (e.g. fraktur) in German in the early twentieth century, the topic of legibility, typographic experiments at the Bauhaus, the discussion, and the effects of digitization.
What raises the exhibition above most other typography exhibitions and the often navel-gazing discussions about letters, is not just that that these developments are placed in context of the social, political and cultural changes and conflicts of the period, but are also presented in an easily digestible, participatory and playful way that doesn’t overburden the visitor. Panels providing leaflets with example fonts and quotations that can be taken away, allowing visitors to compile their own individual catalogue. Graphic design: Marcel Häusler. Exhibition architecture: Andreas Kulp, Marcel Häusler, Franziska Haube, and Lisa Bader. (mb)

ON-TYPE: Texte zur Typografie/ “On Type: Texts on Typography”
Through August 5 2013 at the Bauhaus-Archiv Klingelhöferstraße, 14Berlin. In addition to the exhibition the Bauhaus Archive is running a series of fringe events including a TYPO TALK on Thursday June 6th and a discussion on contemporary font design on July 24th. A 243‐page publication is available in the museum. Full details can be found at http://bauhaus.de/ Photo: Lena Giovanazzi.

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