TYPO-FOTO. ELEMENTAIRE TYPOGRAFIE IN NEDERLAND 1920 – 1940: Maan & Van Der Ree. Antwerp: Veen/Reflex, 1990.

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Dick Maan and John Van Der Ree

Dick Maan and John Van Der Ree: TYPO-FOTO. ELEMENTAIRE TYPOGRAFIE IN NEDERLAND 1920-1940. Antwerp: Veen/Reflex, 1990. First edition. Text in Dutch. A near-fine hardcover book in full decorated cloth in a fine dust jacket: the four corners of the boards have all been gently bumped. Out-of-print and very uncommon.

9 x 11.75 hardcover book with 112 pages and 135 color and b/w examples of Dutch avant-garde typography from 1920-1940, including many rare and unusual examples. This is the best anthology of Dutch typography to my knowledge. Beautifully designed and printed, this book gets my absolute highest recommendation.

Includes individual sections and biographies devoted to these pioneers of modern typography: Piet Zwart,Paul Schuitema,Gerard Kiljan, Cesar Domela Nieuwenhuis, Dick Elffers, Wim Brusse, Cas Oorthuys, Henny Cahn and Willem Sandberg.

Typo-foto Elementaire Typografie
Piet Zwart
Paul Schuitema
Gerard Kiljan
foto als beeldend element in de reclame
Cesar Domela Nieuwenhuis
Dick Elffers
Wim Brusse
Cas Oorthuys
Henny Cahn
Willem Sandberg
Het Graffies-nummer van De 8 en Opbouw, 24 juni 1939
Reacties op het Graffies-nummer
Biografische gegevens

Also included is a bound-in 8-page facsimile of the Dutch graphics newletter from June 24 , 1939: "De 8 en Opbouw," which includes a review of Zwart's "Het boek van PTT" as well as work by Elffers, Brusse and Sandberg.

The extraordinary achievements of Dutch graphic design in the twentieth century have long been recognized, but this book offers a comprehensive account of the development of image-based graphic design in the Netherlands from the formative years 1920 to 1940. The authors portras a remarkable diversity of styles and techniques in a wide range of media and applications: books and typeface design, commercial printing, posters, postage stamps, corporate identity programs, logos, signage, and much more.

The authors examine the creative tensions between the decorative and the functional, the hand crafted and the machine made, letter and illustration, camera and crayon, the geometric and the freeflowing, tradition and change. And they consider clients with special requirements such as museums, publishers, the city of Amsterdam, the Dutch PTT, and the graphics industry.

The shape of things can only be changed by great effort and it is always the individual who gives events a  new direction. Western man must not yield, must not abandon the struggle. His strength lies not in physical force but in the powers of the mind.  It is not a new romanticism which is needed but a clarity of vision. -- Paul Schuitema, 1961

In the 1920s and '30s, Paul Schuitema was one of the pioneers of New Typography and New Photography in the Netherlands, along with Piet Zwart and Gerard Kiljan. They distinguished themselves by conveying the message in a clear, concise and forceful manner. Schuitema himself referred to it as 'Straight ahead'. In an international context, this typography and photography matched the work of El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko in Russia, Karel Teige and Ladislav Sutnar in the erstwhile Czechoslovakia, and Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt and László Moholy-Nagy in Germany.