Regarding the “new” typography

A Reading Note

First, and so obvious that one sometimes neglects to mention it: the materials of printing played a part. Red has been the traditional second colour of printing since Gutenberg.…In the context of socialist revolution, it could take on new meanings. Similarly, “bars” had been familiar to printers since at least the early nineteenth century. Now they were seen freshly, through constructivist spectacles, as elemental forms. Much of the energy of Bauhaus and modernist typography comes from this process of old or already available materials being seen in a new light.

Kinross, Unjustified Texts, page 250

Which is, of course, what creativity is all about: an adjustment to one’s perception, a new context for an existing observation. If creativity demanded that we bring into existence that which is completely foreign, the end result would be so unfathomable it would spill over the limits of our perception. An original design (or text) must have enough of the old and familiar within it for us to recognize its originality.

For designing is not creation out of nothing (as in the idea of the genius-artist, conjuring unexplainable beauties from a void). Rather it is a matter of working, usually with given materials, constrained by many interconnected and often pressing factors.

Kinross, Unjustified Texts, page 314

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