Herb Lubalin

Herb Lubalin: Typographer

Well here is one more book to add to the design library list for the studio. Unit Editions has released a new book on design master Herb Lubalin with a focus on typography. If you don’t know who Lubalin was, or if you aren’t sure of what he is most famous for in terms of type, he designed Avant Garde Gothic, Serif Gothic and Lubalin Graph. Now before you bash Avant Garde, understand that when used correctly it has a precision, and coolness that exudes modern. The issue is, like so many typefaces that became a casualty of the desktop publishing boom of the late 80’s, it was over used, and used badly by so many designers. When used right, without every ligature thrown in, Avant Garde Gothic is a well tooled typeface with refined geometry and clarity.

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“Herb Lubalin claimed not to be a great typographer. ‘In fact,’ he said, ‘I’m terrible, because I don’t follow the rules.’ This new book proves the opposite. On every page it features Lubalin’s typographic genius (logos, layouts, lettering and typefaces), and places him at the forefront of 20th century typographic innovation. 

Herb Lubalin is, by today’s standards, a typographic master. Everything he did – working in collaboration with some of the giants of lettering and type – had the sparkle of genius. 

He even had names for what he did: he described it as ‘graphic expressionism’ or ‘conceptual typography’. Using his ability to adapt, merge and create new typographic forms, he was able to enhance and amplify meaning in ways that hadn’t been seen before. 

Having published two books celebrating the genius of Herb Lubalin as a graphic designer working in many spheres, this new volume concentrates solely on Lubalin’s typography.

It comes with new texts, new design, new photography, and lots of previously unpublished material – and with a price tag that makes it accessible to a wide audience.”


Design Friday Follow Up

I posted work by Cristiana Courceiro just a bit ago, and I decided that I should do a follow up with a post about Bradbury Thompson.I probably should have done a side by side comparison of her work with not only Thompson’s but Jospeh Muller Brockmann, Herb Lubalin, and a slew of other well know designers whose work from the second half of the 20th century has had such an impact on designers today.

I’m posting Thompson’s work because:

A, he influenced so many designers at the time. Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand Etc.

B, he is from Kansas. Born in Topeka. Attended Washburn University. and;

C, because he continues to influence people today with his unique style and signature use of photography and color in his collage work.

In his own quiet way, he expanded the boundaries of the printed page and influenced the design of a generation of art directors. For fifteen years he was the Sr. Art Director for Mademoiselle Magazine beginning in 1945. Bradbury Thompson’s mark is impeccable taste applied with great elegance—an elegance of simplicity, wit, and vast learning—and an intimate knowledge of the process of printing, always with style, with informed taste. He is probably best known for the work he did for paper giant Westvaco