From the category archives:

Typography

Novyi Lef. Zhurnal Levogo Fronta Iskusstv. Year 1, No. 1 (January 1927) through Year 2, No. 12 (December 1928) (all published). 24 issues, published in 22 vols. as issued, comprising a complete first edition of the Soviet avant-garde monthly designed by Alexandr Rodchenko under the editorial direction of Vladimir Mayakovsky, followed by Sergei Tret’iakov, each issue with 4 pp. of reproductions of photographs or photomontages by Rodchenko and others bound in. 4to. Orig. illus. color wrpps. by Rodchenko. Moscow (Gosizdat) 1927-1928. (47801)

“We must revolutionize people by making them see from all vantage points and in all lights.” 1

The nationalist pageantry of the Sochi opening ceremony drew vivid attention to Constructivism and the legendary achievements of the Russian avant-garde. A monumental locomotive steaming through the darkened stadium surrounded by dramatically lighted industrial and geometric fragments was an improbable homage to the groundbreaking aesthetic strategies of artists like Alexandr Rodchenko whose photomontages, bold graphic design, and splintered vision celebrated technology and foreshadowed the artist as an “avatar of the information age.”

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  1. Alexandr Rodchenko. Novyi Lef, No. 6 (June 1927), trans. by Gail Harrison Roman.
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Sawada, Yozo. Insatsu Taikan (Great Atlas of Printing).  Unpaginated album.  Sm. folio.  Silk-covered boards, tie-bound.  Osaka (Nihon Insatsu Kaisha) 1915.  [46467]

Following the death of his father, the Meiji Emperor, on July 30, 1912, Crown Prince Yoshihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan to become the Taishō Emperor. After three years of Imperial preparations, Yoshihito’s public coronation took place in November of 1915.  The leaders of industries which had thrived during the Meiji period of modernization wisely turned out to pay tribute to the young monarch.  Proud of their accomplishments during his father’s reign, Japanese printers and publishers marked the occasion with lavish commemorative publications.  Insatsu Taikan—the Great Atlas of Printing—showcases the remarkable quality and innovation of printing in Japan, ca. 1915.

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Arrenbrecht, Wilhelm. Der Schriftenmaler.  Internationales Schriften-Vorlage-Werk. Cologne, ca. 1895.  [46260]

Caracteres Réclame

"Caractères Réclame."

Once upon a time, merchants hoping to make a good impression on potential customers didn’t hire graphical user interface consultants, they hired top-flight sign painters.  Elegant hand-painted lettering in a shop window announced to passers-by that the proprietor had class and sophistication.  Based on an exceedingly rare portfolio of lettering samples we’ve acquired, Wilhelm Arrenbrecht seems to have been the go-to guy for tasteful mercantile announcements in the better windows of central Europe, circa 1890.

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