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Pioneers of modern typography (Herbert Spencer, 1969)

Written by ajones87, 6 years ago, 9 Comments
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Pioneers of modern typography
Herbert Spencer, 1969
(pictures from the second edition)
Lund Humphries
, london
8.5 x 12 hardcover book
160 pages and 161 b/w

Herbert Spencer Pioneers of Modern Typography has been the encyclopedia of Avant Guarde typography for many decades. Featuring such inspirational pioneers as, El Lissitzky, Theo van Doesburg, Alexander Rodchenko, Jan Tschichold. The book documents the rise of this movement from the the publication of Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto, to New Typography.

It features 161 b/w and color work reproductions from the beginnings of the twentieth-century avant-garde typography movement. They are often simplified to two of three tones which enables the form to come to life on the page, but are printed on a variety of paper stocks.

Spencer knows the subject of modern typography well. He was the editor of Typographica, The Penrose Annual, art director of Lund Humphries (the publisher of the book), and a professor of graphic arts at the Royal College of Art from the late 70s to mid 80s.
This book is a journey  into the world of modern typography with Spencer at the helm.

Contents: Illustrated chapters with biographical information on:

  • El Lissitzky
  • Theo van Doesburg
  • Kurt Schwitters
  • H. N. Werkman
  • Piet Zwart
  • Paul Schuitema
  • Alexander Rodchenko
  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
  • Herbert Bayer
  • Jan Tschichold

Also includes work samples from the following typographers, photographers and artists: Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Bill, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Henryk Berlewi, Lewis Carroll, Walter Dexel, Lionel Feininger, Raoul Hausmann, John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, Vilmos Huszar, Iliazd, Johannes Itten, Oscar Jespers, Lajos Kassak, Senkin Klutisis, Fernand Leger, Wyndham Lewis, F. T. Marinetti, Christian Morgenstern, Paul van Ostaijen, Jozef Peeters, Enrico Pramolini, Man Ray, Peter Rohl, Pietro Saga, Christian Schad, Joost Schmidt, Ardengo Soffici, Kate Steinitz, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Ladislav Sutnar, Mieczyslaw Szczuka, Karel Tiege, Lucio Venna, and Teresa Zarnower.

Some extra pictures can be found via the Uppercase blog, and some extra informations can be found via the modernism.

Click on the thumbnail for full size

2 copies of the first edition is avaible with a very wuick search, for 250 to 430 $. Send a message if you want more information about this book.

spencer_pioneersRight : picture fo the first edition, rectangular book with the title over the white circle

A recent edition is avaible through various bookshops and sites, this 2004 review is foreworded by Rick Poynor printed in a 22.4 x 23.4 paperback book. Here’s the publisher’s site.


About ajones87

  1. Jonathan TurnerJanuary 14, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I recently bought a copy of the first edition from a used book seller on Amazon for £4.25. One of the best bargains I have ever found.

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  3. […] Printing. London 1952 The Visible Word. London 1959 Traces of Man published. Lund Humphries, 1967 Pionneers of Modern Typography. London 1969 Words, words, words. London, Cologne, 1972 New Alphabets A to Z (with Colin Forbes). London, NY, […]

  4. Peter Saville | Index GrafikAugust 30, 2014, 1:37 pm

    […] Malcolm Garrett, qui avait commencé à dessiner pour les Buzzcocks, un groupe punk de Manchester, Pioneers of Modern Typography d’Herbert Spencer et la nouvelle typographie (Die neue Typographie) de Jan Tschichold prônant la supériorité des […]

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