On the typography of democracy

A Reading Note

Sandberg’s typography suggested a way out of the modernist impasse of perfect technique. Conditioned at first by sheer material scarcity, his typography seized the opportunities offered by ordinary materials: characteristically, paper or board normally reserved for wrapping or packaging. Roughness and chance were prime qualities of his work,…but Sandberg also stuck to DIN formats and to a limited and mundane selection of typefaces. He was also an early user of text set with equal word-spaces (unjustified). This mode of setting synthesized the two aspects: open to exact specification and thus more rational than the approximations of justified setting; but also “ragged” and informal in appearance. Sandberg’s was a typography of open, democratic dialogue, and a continuation of the spirit of resistance into the post-war world.

Kinross, Modern Typography, page 125

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Modern Typography

Robin Kinross

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