On modern typography in America

A Reading Note

Designers were to become as Toscanini to the Beethoven of the writer, arranging and re-scoring and inevitably leaving very evident signs of their involvement, for example in the complete integration of text and image. This was an opposite from the traditionalist ideals of invisibility and unity of materials.…In the USA, modern typography now had no independent existence; it had been dissolved into something larger and more worldly. “The vastly expanded resource available to the book designer indicate a fundamental change in his function. He is essentially an art director.”

Kinross, Modern Typography, page 134

I wonder also if this modernizing and essentially authorial approach to book design described herein was a reflection of the very American attitude of colonizing new territory. American artists are often loathe to accept the boundaries of the discipline as they are presented to them; that typographers should be no different is no surprise.

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Modern Typography

Robin Kinross

A rare object—a book on typography that is as beautifully written as it is designed.