This talk took place in the Rose Auditoriuml at The Cooper Union on October 23, 2019, as part of Type@Cooper’s Lubalin Lecture Series. This and all recordings of the Lecture series are made possible through the generosity of Hoefler & Co.
In the 1920s in Germany a new generation of artist-designers turned their attention to graphic design, committed to radical ideas and the application of new print technologies to the mass media. This talk will trace how Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitzky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Jan Tschichold revolutionized the theory and practice of graphic design, and how a generation of young designers took up these principles to fashion a new vocabulary of design and advertising.
Paul Stirton is associate professor of modern design history at Bard Graduate Center in New York City and the editor-in-chief of West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Educated at the universities of Edinburgh and London (Courtauld Institute), he received his Ph.D from the University of Glasgow. He has published widely in the areas of British and Central European design including “Is Mr. Ruskin Living too Long?”: Selected Writings of E.W. Godwin (2005), Britain and Hungary: Contacts in Architecture and Design (2001) and the Blue Guide to Provence and the Cote d’Azur. He was curator of the exhibition Jan Tschichold and the New Typography in the Spring of 2019, and author of the book with the same title (Yale, 2019)