At the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, Western design underwent a clash of ideas: those who sought a return to the handcrafts of the past, and those who wanted to create entirely new modes of making; those who found inspiration in the flowing forms of nature, and those who embraced the sleek geometry of the machine. These ideals are viscerally expressed in the type and typography of the time, especially within the Jugendstil and Viennese Secession movements which continue to influence design after 100 years. Stephen Coles will take us on a floral and florid tour of Letterform Archive’s extensive collection from this period, including advertising, fine printing, and typeface specimens.
This event is co-presented by Poster House in New York whose exhibition on Jugendstil artist Julius Klinger runs through August 15.
Letterform Archive’s Salon Series is a regular event featuring a member of the staff — or a guest expert — taking a deeper dive into specific collections or themes within the Archive. Salon recordings are available exclusively to members. Visit your member benefits page to access the video.
Stephen “Stewf” Coles (he/him), Letterform Archive’s Associate Curator & Editorial Director, joined the staff after serving on our Board of Directors since its inception. Born in Salt Lake City, he moved to San Francisco in 2004 to serve as FontShop’s creative director. He later worked as an independent consultant, connecting font makers with font users, and wrote the book The Anatomy of Type. With his background in design and journalism, combined with an obsession for type history, Stephen is responsible for the online face and voice of the Archive, and helps to shape the future of the collection. He continues to publish the influential websites Typographica and Fonts In Use.