Ruder, Emil: TYPOGRAPHY: A MANUAL OF DESIGN. Teufen AR: Verlag Arthur Niggli, 1967.

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Emil Ruder

Emil Ruder: TYPOGRAPHIE: EIN GESTALTUNGSLEHRBUCH [TYPOGRAPHY:  A MANUAL OF DESIGN / TYPOGRAPHIE: UN MANUEL DE CREATION]. Teufen AR: Verlag Arthur Niggli, 1967.  First edition. Text in German, English and French. Square quarto. White cloth stamped in black. Printed dust jacket. 274 pp. Black and white illustrations throughout. Occasional spot colors in red, yellow and blue. Top textblock edge dusty. Jacket with light edgewear and a tape repair to rear panel.  A very good or better copy in a very good or better dust jacket. Uncommon thus.

9.25 x 9.75 hardcover book  with 274 pages and many black and white and 2-color illustrations from studies by the author or by students in the Typography Course of the AGS Basel. Every conceivable typographic problem in relation to texture, weight, color, legibility spacing and leading is explained in 19 chapters.

This classic work of modern typography offers one of the most intelligent and attractive treatises on the design of typography for contemporary use. A great, and increasingly scarce, exploration of experimental typography.

  • Introduction  "More than graphic design, typography is an expression of technology, precision and good order."
  • Writing and printing  "A good designer must refrain from mixing writing and printing."
  • Function and form  "The typographer clothes the word with visible form and preserves it for the future. "
  • Form and counter-form  "The various effects obtained by the compination of letters are determind by the interplay of the white of the counter and the white of the set width. "
  • The techniques of typography  "It is in this unchanging appearance of all the letters that the beauty of typography resides; its essential nature lies in the repetition of the type characters and the repetition inherent in the printing process. "
  • Arrangements  "The aim of all good typography is form subordinated to legibility."
  • Geometrical, optical and organic aspects  "Optical illusions cannot simply be dismissed as fancies, and every creative artist must reckon with the problems they pose. "
  • Proportions   "No system of ratios, however ingenious, can relieve the typographer of deciding how one value should be related to another."
  • Point, line, surface  "Everything is movement: the dot moves and gives rise to the line, the line moves and produces a plane surface, and plane surfaces come together and create a body."
  • Contrasts  "The relationship between the printed and the unprinted area must be one of tension, and this tension comes about through contrasts. "
  • Shades of grey  "The smallest quantity of black consumes white; it takes white away and lies at a lower level than the white surface. "
  • Colour  "There should be tension between a bright colour and black, and this tension should be clearly apparent in the first draft of a printed work. "
  • Unity of text and form  "The large number of typefaces available to the typographer today is not so much a sign of a hight level of culutrual activity as rather evidence of a lack of international coordination and the resultant frittering away of effort."
  • Rhythm  "Handwriting can be seen to underlie any good typeface. "
  • Spontaneity and fortuity  "Time and again, however,we find printed works which make no claim to formal beauty and yet have a distinctive charm for all their technical shortcomings. "
  • Integral design  "A book must be consistently designed throughout, including the title-page and, if possible, the cover title."
  • Variations  "Variation involves singling out a mean value and calls for the ability to put this mean value through as many transformations as possible."
  • Kinetics   "Runs of movement can embody the following themes: increase and decrease of value or increase and decrease of size; loosening up of compact elements and gathering together of scattered values into a compact form; eccentric and concentric movements; movements running from top to bottom and from bottom to top; movements from left to right and from right to left; movements from inside out and vice versa; movements along a diagonal or through an angle, etc."
  • Lettering and illustration  "There are two different approaches to the problem of achieving harmony between printing type and picture. One way is to seek the closest possible formal combination between test and picture, and the other is to seek a contrast between them. "

Hiebert wrote "The Swiss school is concerned that design be more than a frivolous cluttering of the environment. " Sounds good to me!

The ideals of clarity and precision in graphic design as achieved through order and organization were promulgated in the early 20th-century by such figures as Theo van Doesburg, El Lissitzky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Herbert Bayer. This new emphasis on functionalism and systematically ordered typography achieved its fruition in Switzerland in the 1930s and continued to develop through the 1960s. Centered around two schools in Zurich and Basel, this design movement became known as the Swiss Graphic Arts School. Emil Ruder is  a major proponent in the development of this style.