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Paul Renner (18781956) lived through tumultuous industrial and political change in twentieth-century Germany. He began his career as a book artist in Munich and became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, where he spoke on the value of quality in design. He taught with Georg Trump and Jan Tschichold at the printing school in Munich, simultaneously working on the design of the Futura typeface, before being dismissed from his teaching post by the Nazis in 1933. Uncertainty was the foundation on which his entire craft was based. Renner was born in 1878, one of five sons, and spent his childhood under the control of his theologian father. Although he enjoyed a solid education, he emerged with no clear ideals and felt he inhabited an artificial world that stood alongside the real one. Though he had no particular goals in sight, the real world offered Renner sustenance in the form of painting commissions, including landscapes for the magazine Simplicissimus in Munich, where he was to settle with his wife Annie. In 1907 he became a father, and so sought a steady income, beginning as a book



designer at Georg Mller Verlag. Starting with the design of book

spines and occasional text illustra-

tions, Renner focused on the search for a balance between typography and illustration. He participated in debates on the utilitarian nature of book design at the Deutscher Werkbund and similar forums. It

seems that he had an innate capacity for hard work: in 1913, Mller and Renner oversaw the publication of

some 287 new editions. One relative nothing, at least read nothing seri-

of Renners said: A day when he did ous, was for him a day sadly lost.

In 1924, amidst political upheaval, the debate on roman versus gothic reached the crisis point. Renners own views on this issue were the result of long periods of research.

He recognized the benefits of gothics truncated curves in saving space in the setting of lengthy compound words; but against this, he pointed out that gothic script had its origins in courtly printing designed for luxury and not for everyday use. In conclusion, Renner regarded gothic as a decadence, and its capitals as monstrosities.




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The Futura font is a popular font that enjoyed its heyday during the 20th century. This simple geometric sans serif design was developed in the late 1920s by Paul Renner and is believed to have launched the beginning of the 20th centurys sans serif love affair. The unconventional letter shapes, strict geometric outlines and a lack of ornamentation made a big impact on the graphic designers of the day. At first, the radical new look was controversial and considered grotesque. The newness made an impression and the font and its sans serif cousins took hold.This bold design uses perfect circles, squares and triangles and low-contrast, even strokes and blends them into a work of art. In fact, this beautiful typeface is the only typeface that is an official work of art, copyright and all.

extra bold condensed



While the introduction of Futura

created great controversy, it eventuthe 1950s and 1960s. Volkswagen adopted this font and still uses it today. In addition, it is said to be making its mark on many of his

ally gained widespread popularity in

the favorite font of Stanley Kubrick

movies and promotional campaigns. as well as bodies of text in many applications including print and digital publications. A sans serif

Youll see this font in use in headlines

font like this, will give your piecee a typeface with a balanced look to it. font has worked its way into the hearts of designers over the course of the past eighty years. From its radical and impressive introduction to widespread adoption, this lovely

clean, bold look. Its an easy-to-read

While trends come and go, the Futura

typeface has passed the test of time. Today, it is considered a must-have in any graphic designers toolbox.




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In April 1919 the Bauhaus opened its doors in Weimar, Germany under the direction of the architect Walter Gropius. The Bauhaus was the successor institute to to the Grand Ducal Saxon Art Academy and the Grand Ducal school of Arts and Crafts, the latter having been shut down at the outbreak of the World War. The Bauhaus combined elements of both fine arts and design education. The curriculum commenced with a preliminary course that immersed the students, who came from a diverse range of social and educational backgrounds, in the study of materials, color theory, and formal relationships in preparation for more specialized studies. Following their immersion in Bauhaus theory, students entered specialized workshops, which included metalworking, cabinetmaking, weaving, pottery, typography, and wall painting. Although Gropius initial aim was a unification of the arts through craft, aspects of this approach proved financially impractical. While maintaining the emphasis on craft,




he repositioned the goals of the Bauhaus in 1923, stressing the importance of designing for mass production. It was at this time that

the school adopted the slogan Art moved from Weimar to Dessau, where Gropius designed a new building to house the school.

into Industry. In 1925, the Bauhaus

The typography workshop, while not initially a priority of the Bauhaus, figures like Moholy-Nagy and the graphic designer Herbert Bayer.

became increasingly important under

Typography was conceived as both

an empirical means of communication and an artistic expression, with visual clarity stressed above all. Concurrently, typography became increas-

ingly connected to corporate identity and advertising. Promotional materials prepared for the Bauhaus at the typefaces and the incorporation of photography as a key graphic the avant-garde institution.

workshop, with their use of sans serif

element, served as visual symbols of


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