Tag Archives: German

Josef Müller-Brockmann: Pioneer of Swiss graphic design.

All of my designer readers most likely carry on a rather intimate relationship with Josef Müller-Brockmann. But, for those of you who aren’t so lucky, allow me to make the necessary introductions. Born in Rapperswil, Switzerland in 1914, Müller-Brockmann would later go on to become known as the Pioneer of Swiss Graphic Design. As explained in Eye Magazine:

By the 1950s [Müller-Brockmann] was established as the leading practitioner and theorist of the Swiss Style, which sought a universal graphic expression through a grid-based design purged of extraneous illustration and subjective feeling.

JM-B did an interview with Eye Magazine for their Winter 1995 issue,  just one year prior to his passing. In the interview, the innovative Swiss designer was asked what order meant to him:

Order was always wishful thinking for me. For 60 years I have produced disorder in files, correspondence and books. In my work, however, I have always aspired to a distinct arrangement of typographic and pictorial elements, the clear identification of priorities. The formal organisation of the surface by means of the grid, a knowledge of the rules that govern legibility (line length, word and letter spacing and so on) and the meaningful use of colour are among the tools a designer must master in order to complete his or her task in a rational and economic manner.

The grid, the prioritization and arrangement of typographic and pictorial elements, the meaningful use of color… Observe the Swiss mastery below:

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Vintage Rye.

Found: A collection of Catcher in the Rye covers in a variety of languages, from HERE. Oh, J.D…. R.I.P.

Some favorites:

Vintage international hotel luggage labels.

Just learned about this fabulous collection of vintage hotel luggage labels from The Silver Lining Blog, which is quickly becoming one of my new favorite aesthetic pleasures. Great vintage design finds that make me exceedingly happy. Anyway, back to the luggage labels. The labels below come from the Rázsó Collection.

Did I mention that they’re all available for purchase? Yeah. Hold me back.

Buttons and Ephemera, to the tune of red.

My wonderful mother/Santa purchased a wonderful vintage jar of antique buttons for Christmas. And then we went antiquing and I got even more. And now I’m having a little too much fun filtering through them and sorting them and generally obsessing over them because I sort of have a button fetish. Kind of like my vintage stamp fetish. Neither in a pervy way. Come on. Anyway, so I created this red-themed set of buttons and ephemera, because beautiful vintage buttons look even beautiful-er with awesome vintage papers. That’s just common law. Joanie loves Chachi, Arrested Development should be transposed to film, and buttons should be accompanied by rad ephemera.

Here are some images from the lovely little red-themed set. Perfect for Valentines or just your average awesome collages, collecting, scrapbooking, fawning, and a bunch of other “-ing”s. More info over on Etsy.

My jars of antique buttons, coupled with ephemera: tag with 3 ft. of red & white baker’s twine; vintage word vocabulary flashcard; vintage German vocabulary flashcard; 3 vintage and canceled international stamps;
10 scalloped-edged cut-outs from a 1918 French text; butterfly tag/label

Vintage buttons in red, pink, and white – some with the original thread!

Ephemera loveliness.

Buttons, buttons, and more buttons. You will receive 30 of these little lovelies.

My vintage Ball and Atlas jars, which frequently tempt me to unscrew their lids and plow my hand into the middle of the cool, slick, buttony surfaces. Ahem.

Packaged.

Wrapped and ready to travel!

More ridiculous info and images HERE.

I’m a Perpetual Kid.

M y mother has a huge stack of magazines that I’m fairly certain she rarely (if ever) looks through. She’s got more important things going on (um, her husband’s cancer for one), so I get it. But those d@mn magazines glare at me from their antique bin, whispering and mumbling until I pay them some attention. And so I do. And then I pretty quickly learn why they were beckoning me: amazing finds like these…

Matchbook notepads from Pearl River (image from HERE):

Next up, letter magnets from Cupcakes & Cartwheels that would look awesome on my fridge and metal filing cabinets (image once again from  HERE):

And now, several pleasurable items from a store called Perpetual Kid, which I’d never heard of before. Now I will never forget it. Check out what little tokens of awesomeness they have to offer:

{ Uber awesome tissues! }

{ Awesome BINGO games! }

{ Awesome clocks! }

 

{ Awesome books & notepads! }

I think I would give out roughly 519.2 of those Cell Citations on a daily basis. Give or take.

Anyway, my point is that this store is fabulous, AND they’re having an amazing clearance sale right now. Go forth and channel your Perpetual Kid HERE. And follow them on Twitter HERE.

Vintage wintery labels, courtesy of Germany & Denmark

I’ve been adapting to life back in my homeland (Ohio) over the past several days, so I had to take a break from blogging, as well as from reading blogs. Which has caused me to experience some serious pangs of withdrawal: cold sweats, twitching… not pretty.

But I’m back. And I now must absolutely share with you a couple of my favorite finds over the past handful of snowy days.

First, I bestow upon you the glory of le ski, vintage German match label style, from the brilliant Agence Eureka:

Next, I offer you the Christmas seal loveliness of Denmark, discovered over at Grain Edit earlier today:

Now you know why I was basically foaming at the freakin’ mouth, itchin’ to post these little bad boys for you. 🙂

Love them.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back before any excessive twitching starts to occur.

Throwback Thursday: Notgeld, German Emergency Currency

If all money looked this pretty, I’d definitely be more apt to save it.

The images presented below represent a selection from Lliazd’s unbelievably expansive Flickr set of Notgeld, which was German emergency currency used during the post-WWI years. Lliazd’s provides us with an in-depth look into the personal, political, and aesthetic significance of these images on his Flickr page:

walter-muller-notgeld_skaliertAfter 800 years of life in the same region, my wife’s family left Germany. In 1935 Nazism had become unbearable. They were lucky enough to understand the risk it posed for Jews living in Germany and they left. Until then, her family was part of a comfortable and prosperous middle class, involved in the tobacco business in the city of Karlsruhe.

At the end of the First World War her grandfather started collecting Notgeld produced by many German and Austrian towns and companies to make front to deflation first and inflation later with the objective of providing stability to workers and residents. Notgeld (emergency currency) was issued by cities, boroughs, even private companies while there was a shortage of official coins and bills. Nobody would pay in coins while their nominal value was less than the value of the metal. And when inflation went on, the state was just unable to print bills fast enough. Some companies couldn’t pay their workers because the Reichsbank just couldn’t provide enough bills. So they started to print their own money – they even asked the Reichsbank beforehand. As long as the Notgeld was accepted, no real harm was done and it just was a certificate of debt. Often it was even a more stable currency than real money, as sometimes the denomination was a certain amount of gold, dollars, corn, meat, etc.

They made it very pretty on purpose: many people collected the bills, and the debt would never have to be paid. It was printed on all kinds of materials: leather, fabric, porcelain, silk, tin foil. (Read more HERE)

Behold, the beauty of Notgeld:

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