BASELINE 11. London: Esselte Letraset, 1988. The Bradbury Thompson Issue; Tibor’s Typo Tips; Punk Typography and Seattle Punk Culture by Art Chantry.

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BASELINE 11

Mike Daines [Editor],  Newell and Sorrell  [Art Direction]

Mike Daines [Editor],  Newell and Sorrell  [Art Direction]: BASELINE 11 [The Bradbury Thompson Issue]. London: Esselte Letraset, 1988. Original edition. A near-fine magazine in printed stiff wrappers: trace of wear overall. Cover: The letter ‘R’ from the word ‘AMERICA’. Westvaco 1953, No.192. Design by Bradbury Thomson

10.5 x 14.25 saddle-stitched magazine with 50 elaborately-designed pages. Second issue published in the new, oversized format. From the current Publishers: "During 21 years of publication, 'Baseline' has become the leading international magazine about type and typography. It began life in 1979, published by the graphics arts products manufacturer, Letraset. It was originally intended as mainly a vehicle to promote new typeface designs, made available under licence to typesetting system manufacturers. Published "when available material allowed," 'Baseline' nevertheless gained an immediate reputation despite only appearing on average once a year for its first 10 years of existence. Its editorial content, despite the obligatory typeface promotion, struck a chord with the typographic community, because of its objective, and informed approach.

  • Editorial
  • New Work
  • Tibor’s Typo Tips by Tibor Kalman: Typographic wisdom from M&Co. Kalman was best known for the groundbreaking work he created with his New York design firm, M&Co, and his brief yet influential editorship of Colors magazine. Throughout his 30-year career, Kalman brought his restless intellectual curiosity and subversive wit to everything he worked on -- from album covers for the Talking Heads to the redevelopment of Times Square. Kalman incorporated visual elements other designers had never associated with successful design, and used his work to promote his radical politics. The influence of his experiments in typography and images can be seen everywhere, from music videos to the design of magazines such as Wired and Ray Gun.
  • Interrelations between Calligraphy and Typography (Werner Schneider and Max Caflish)
  • Bradbury Thompson by Steven Heller
  • Times Roman through the generations
  • Punk Typography and Seattle Punk Culture by Art Chantry. Little has been acknowledged by the design industry of the influences of the Punk era. Yet the radicalism, which drove primarily fashion and the music business in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, helped shape the culture of today. The Punk movement in graphics and typography remains only as a memory of evocative and provocative symbols and images. The immense power and vitality of those images must surely be seen as the last major influence on mainstream graphic design. It is probably worth nothing that today’s more influential young designers were students of the Punk era, and as their influence on the design scene prevails, the driving force which shaped Punk, while heavily watered down, will increasingly make its mark…
  • Punk Typography by Barney Bubbles
  • Phil Baines
  • Emigré
  • Star !
  • Designer Spectacles by Prof. Bruce Brown
  • Desert Island Type chosen by Dr. Herbert Spencer: includes work samples from Piet Zwart, El Lissitzky, H. N. Werkman, Herbert Bayer, Massin, Brownjohn Chermayeff Geismar, etc.
  • Reviews

From THE ART OF GRAPHIC DESIGN by Bradbury Thompson: "The art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual in the decades after World War II, [Thompson] also designed the formats for some three dozen other magazines, including Smithsonian. Thompson is in addition a distinguished designer of limited edition books, postage stamps, rationalized alphabets, corporate identification programs, trademarks, and sacred works (most notable, the Washburn College Bible, in which the words are set in the cadence of speech)."

"His hallmark has ever been the adaptation of classic typography to the modern world. Thompson is perhaps most well known as the designer of more than sixty issues of Westvaco Inspirations, a magazine published by the Westvaco Corporation.... Bradbury Thompson has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for over thirty years.... His profession has honored him with all of its highest awards, including those of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the National Society of Art Directors, the Art Directors Club, the Type Directors Club, [the American Center for Design], and the Society of Publication Designers."

Bradbury Thompson (1911-1995) was born in Topeka, Kansas and graduated from Washburn College in 1934. When it came to the blending of photography, typography and color, nobody did it better than Thompson. In his own quiet way, he expanded the boundaries of the printed page and influenced the design of a generation of art directors.

By simply looking at one year of his career, the scope of his involvement in the field of graphic design can be understood. In 1945, Thompson designed the final issues of three wartime magazines including Victory and USA. Back in New York, before the year was out, he had become art director of Mademoiselle, where he worked for nearly fifteen years. He also accepted the role of design director for Art News and Art News Annual, a position he held for 27 years.

As if that were not enough, he designed a brochure for the Ford Motor Company and began his experiments in typographic reform by creating his "monoalphabet,” which broke with the tradition of separate letterforms for capital and lower-case letters. He first introduced this typographic innovation in an issue of Westvaco Inspirations for Printers, one of four issues that he produced that year. And 1945 was not unusual.

Thompson's first commission to design a stamp for the U.S. Postal Service in 1958 led to over 90 other designs. He often used portions of paintings in his designs, such as a 1980 stamp featuring Glow by Josef Albers. As a member of the Citizens' Advisory Committee, he suggested a U.S. logo for each stamp to show national unity.

Books and their design were also critical in Thompson's career right from the start, as art editor of his high school yearbook to the publishing of The Washburn College Bible  -- a King James translation with revolutionary type and design.

Thompson is one of the few art directors who have received all three major design awards: National Society of Art Directors Art Director of the Year in 1950; AIGA Gold Medal in 1975; and the Art Directors Hall of Fame award in 1977.

Any analysis of Thompson's style and any attempt to assess the value and extent of his influence leads irrevocably to one word: form. Whether by examining his precise cropping and careful placing of images on the printed page or studying his attention to typographic detail, his sense of order and stucture cannot be missed. Recalling his early draftsman experience Thompson said, "It was a critical part of my training as a designer. It taught me discipline and, working with huge sheets of tracing cloth, I learned to cope with space in an orderly way."

From Matthew Haber’s 1999 Obituary notice: “ Kalman was best known for the groundbreaking work he created with his New York design firm, M&Co, and his brief yet influential editorship of Colors magazine. Throughout his 30-year career, Kalman brought his restless intellectual curiosity and subversive wit to everything he worked on -- from album covers for the Talking Heads to the redevelopment of Times Square. Kalman incorporated visual elements other designers had never associated with successful design, and used his work to promote his radical politics. The influence of his experiments in typography and images can be seen everywhere, from music videos to the design of magazines such as Wired and Ray Gun.”

”... Born in Budapest in 1949, Kalman and his parents were forced to flee the Soviet invasion in 1956. They settled in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., when he was 8. Kalman was ostracized in elementary school until he learned to speak English. “

”Kalman parlayed his childhood isolation into some of his most successful design innovations. “He was keenly passionate about things of the American vernacular because he wasn’t American,” Chee Pearlman, editor of I.D. magazine, remarked shortly after Kalman’s funeral. “In that sense, he taught the whole profession to look at things that they may not have seen as closely or taken as seriously.”

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