Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography: Its Roots and Impact on National Scenes, 26.04.2023, IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography: Its Roots and Impact on National Scenes
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, ECAL welcomes scholars from the fields of art and design history and print culture for an international conference aiming to provide a better understanding of the cultural context of Jan Tschichold's book and the typographic movement that emerged from it.

Jan Tschichold’s essay Die neue Typographie (The New Typography, 1928) is a game-changing book, acclaimed as the curtain raiser of modern graphic design. While it takes the form of a critical essay and an operative manual, its sources have been understudied because of their difficult identification. Yet, The New Typography is simultaneously a victim of its own success and it has to deal with the consequences associated with canonisation.

Having reached an almost mythical status, The New Typography is often taken for granted and rarely questioned or closely scrutinized. This paradox was the starting point of the research project “The Sources of Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography”. Conducted at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (HES-SO) and supported by the Strategic fund of HES-SO, the project reconstructed, collected and contextualized the body of bibliographical sources included in The New Typography.

This international conference invites scholars in the field of art and design history and print culture to present their research. The conference aims to provide a better understanding of the larger cultural context of Tschichold’s book and the typographic movement that stemmed from it. The results of the project will be presented at the conference along with keynote lectures by Dr Paul Stirton, Professor emeritus at Bard Graduate Center, New York, Dr Christopher Burke, Principal Research Fellow at University of Reading, and Dr Julia Meer, Curator of the poster and graphics collection, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Event on registration: click here



09:15 — Welcome and Opening Remarks
Davide Fornari, ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (HES-SO)

09:30 — Origins of The New Typography
Christopher Burke, University of Reading

10:15 — Coffee Break

10:30 — How New is New? – Jan Tschichold and The New Typography
Julia Meer, Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg

11:15 — The Private Press, the Bauhaus, and Die neue Typographie
Paul Stirton, Bard Graduate Center, New York City

12:00 — Lunch Break

13:15 — First Panel – Debates: European Scenes
moderation by Jonas Berthod, ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (HES-SO)

13:15 — “Giovanni T.” and The New Typography in Italy. Discussion and Renegotiation of Tschichold’s Ideas in Italian Graphic Arts Magazines
Carlo Vinti, University of Camerino

13:45 — Traces of Jan Tschichold's New Typography in Belgium
Katrien Van Haute, LUCA School of Arts, Ghent

14:15 — The Periphery Influencing the Centre? Connecting Die neue Typographie and Scandinavia
Trond Klevgaard, Kristiania University College, Oslo

14:45 — The Museum, the Printer and The New Typography: Jan Tschichold in London (1935-1948)
Sandy Jones, V&A Victoria and Albert Museum, London

15:15 — Coffee Break

15:30 — Second panel – Impact: Extra-European Scenes
moderation by Chiara Barbieri, ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne

15:30 — “Modernity is Not a Competition”: Challenging and Channelling ‘new typography’ in Colonial India
Vaibhav Singh, University of Reading

16:00 — A Mutual Attraction: Tschichold's New Typography and the Emerging Japanese Typography Movement
Mariko Takagi, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto

16:30 — The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the New Typography
Juliet Kinchin, independent design historian

17:00 — The New Typographic Wave
Louise Paradis, Université Laval, Québec

17:30 — Closing Remarks

18:00 — Opening of the Exhibition “Unpacking Tschichold’s Library”, l’elac gallery, Renens

Conference funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS)

Dates and schedules


IKEA Auditorium, ECAL
Davide Fornari, Jonas Berthod, Chiara Barbieri