VIS 211: Maholy-Nagy

For this Graphic Design: Typography class, I phototypeset László Maholy-Nagy’s New Typography to express a point of view.

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The ideas of New Typography included asymmetrical composition, sans serif typeface, preference for lowercase type, and the use of photography. Maholy-Nagy argues that typography should be as clear and effective as possible.

Maholy-Nagy believed that our “intellectual relationship to the world is individual-exact” and “in a state of transition toward a collective-exact orientation”. He argues that “The objectivity of photography liberates the receptive reader from the crutches of the author’s personal idiosyncrasies and forces him into the formation of his own opinion.” My typesetting is a counterargument to these ideas - I chose to typeset the text with ambiguity, in a way that evokes Maholy-Nagy’s early photograms. I suggest that photography is not an objective force, rather, that its subjectivity pushes the viewer to form their own opinion of the work.

This text was typeset with scissors, the printed text, photocopies of Maholy-Nagy’s work, and a photocopier.