Thursday, May 10, 2007

Art Deco Typography

Art Deco is one of the most widely recognized design movements of the 20th Century. It is represented through architecture, advertising, interior and fashion design and importantly typography. It is regarded that the types styles developed during the Art Deco period are amongst the most successful at capturing the and influencing peoples perceptions of a period in time.

Art Deco as a movement or design philosophy was all about a new modernized style that reflected luxury, exuberance and elegance and is immediately distinctive in all its forms. It rose from the reactions of designers after World War 1 and represented optimism and new freedom and creativity. Ironically at the same time economic slumps and depressions and political conflict were rife throughout the world.

The type styles that were developed during the period are consistent with and in most respects give the movement a defining characteristic. Art Deco type is defined by elements such as bold outlines, geometric and sometimes symmetrical shapes, streamlined and stylized geometric forms all with a feel of elegance, grace and sophistication.
Stroke was a strong element in type design, with repetition of line common in double triple forms in particular. There were many typefaces produced throughout the Art Deco period and there are also many modern additions to the traditional typeface familys as well. Two of the most popular types of the day were Futura, designed by Paul Renner in 1927 and Broadway which was designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1928. Other type styles that are indicitave of the period include Blakely, Bernhard Fashion, ITC Anna, Art Deco and many others. The Art Deco period also saw the introduction and development of sans serif style typefaces for the first time. Futura was the first typeface to drop serifs.

The typography of the Art Deco movement helped change typography. As the movement itself embraced modernism so did its typography, designers looking at type differently and creating new styles that are truly representative of the period and have influenced thousands of new styles of type as well.

1 comment:

cathy_campbell said...

u write really well...great overview of the art deco movement...loved your images and the particular reference to fonts especially well researched! exceptional blogg!!!