In the 1920s and 1930s, the so-called New Typography movement brought graphics and information design to the forefront of the artistic avant-garde in Central Europe. Rejecting traditional arrangement of type in symmetrical columns, modernist designers organized the printed page or poster as a blank field in which blocks of type and illustration (frequently photomontage) could be arranged in harmonious, strikingly asymmetrical compositions. Taking his lead from currents in Soviet Russia and at the Weimar Bauhaus, the designer Jan Tschichold codified the movement with accessible guidelines in his landmark book Die Neue Typographie (1928). Almost overnight, typographers and printers adapted this way of working for a huge range of printed matter, from business cards and brochures to magazines, books, and advertisements. This installation of posters and numerous small-scale works is drawn from MoMA’s rich collection of Soviet Russian, German, Dutch, and Czechoslovakian graphics. They represent material from Tschichold’s own collection, which supported his teaching and publication from around 1927 to 1937.
Organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Aidan O’Connor, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.