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Typographica was the name of a journal of typography and visual arts founded and edited by Herbert Spencer from 1949 to 1967.[1][2] Spencer was just 25 years old when the first Typographica was issued.[2] He also served as the editor of the journal.[1]

Typographica was produced in two series: the "Old Series" and the "New Series".[2] Each series was published in sixteen issues.

Old Series[edit]

  • Typographica 1, 1949 (24 pages). Contents: Magic and the art of writing; The integration of photo and type; The use of space in typography.
  • Typographica 2, 1950 (38 pages). Contents: Copper-plate scripts; Political typography; The ornamental lettering of Imre Reiner; Visual aids.
  • Typographica 3, 1950 (38 pages). Contents: Function and design in business printing; The possibilities of the photogram; Central School experiments with photograms; Modern French book illustration
  • Typographica 4, 1951 (48 pages). Contents: Type faces: a plea for rational terminology; First principles and last hopes; Music engraving; Chastel's illustrations for ‘Le Bestiare’.
  • Typographica 5: Purpose and Pleasure, 1952 (40 pages). Contents: Is there a 'new' style of typography?; Illustration versus typography; Modern typography in the modern world (by Paul Rand); Typography to-day (by Max Bill); Must line weight be uniform?
  • Typographica 6, 1952 (44 pages). Contents: Printers’ and founders’ type specimens; The liberation of the letter; Title on the spine: the case for standardisation; Arguments against standardisation (by Peter Ray and Max Bill).
  • Typographica 7, 1953 (48 pages). Contents: Newspaper typography; Max Bill; Artist and newspaper; A note on early race programmes.
  • Typographica 8, 1953 (44 pages). Contents: A show of hands; Dick Elffers; The autobiography of the wooden press; University magazines; Designing ‘Perspectives USA (by Alvin Lustig).
  • Typographica 9, 1954 (40 pages). Contents: Publishers’ colophons; The machine-set advertisement; Pattern, sound, and motion (Central School type experiments); Recent typography in France; Trends in abstract painting in France.
  • Typographica 10, 1955 (36 pages). Contents: Stedelijk Museum catalogues; The training of typographers; French lithographic illustration.
  • Typographica 11, 1955 (36 pages). Contents: The tower of Babel; International publishing; H. N. Werkman, printer-painter.
  • Typographica 12, 1956 (44 pages). Contents: Letters in steel; Additions and revivals; Clavé’s Gargantua; The development of Mistral.
  • Typographica 13, 1957 (40 pages). Contents: French book clubs; Locomotive lettering; The arrow in the road; The illustrations of Avigdor Arikha.
  • Typographica 14, 1958 (40 pages). Contents: The publications of Gaberbocchus Press; Two German presses; Sandberg's Experimenta Typographica; Old-fashioned types and new-fangled typography.
  • Typographica 15, 1958 (40 pages). Contents: Telephone directories; Lunch-hour photograms; Büchergilde Gutenberg; Dutch chocolate letters.
  • Typographica 16, 1959 (44 pages). Contents: Modern Hebrew typefaces; Capitals, twin- and multi-print (with red/green paper spectacles inserted); El Lissitzky: typographer.

New Series[edit]

  • Typographica 1, 1960 (64 pages). Contents: Britain's Royal Arms; Five Polish photographers; Yosl Bergner’s drawings to Kafka; The work of Franco Grignani; The history of numerals; Photograms by Anne Hickmott.
  • Typographica 2, 1960 (60 pages). Contents: de Jong, Hilversum; BCG (Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar; The books of Abram Krol; Max Huber in Italy; A humanized alphabet.
  • Typographica 3, 1961 (76 pages). Contents: Typophoto; The books of Diter Rot; National Zeitung; The drawings of Alcopley; From painting to photography: experiments of the 1920s.
  • Typographica 4, 1961 (78 pages). Contents: Mile-a-minute typography?; Road signs in Holland; Street level (by Robert Brownjohn; The Civic Trust and lettering: a visit to Epping.
  • Typographica 5, 1962 (68 pages). Contents: Reading by machine; Penguins on the march; DIN–a new, old cause; A case for auto-letterpress.
  • Typographica 6, 1962 (68 pages). Contents: Reading by touch; Pat McAuliffe of Listowel; Lettering in Coventry Cathedral; Typewriter type faces; Watching words move (a booklet insert by Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar).
  • Typographica 7: Typography in Britain, 1963 (72 pages). Contents: Piet Zwart; Design underfoot; Thematic photography (booklet insert); Education and the child; This is my private world.
  • Typographica 8, 1963 (70 pages). Contents: Josua Reichert: typography as visual poetry; Chance; Art and writing; A rich man's guide to bingo; Paul Schuitema; Concrete poetry and Ian Hamilton Finlay.
  • Typographica 9, 1964 (64 pages). Contents: Avant garde graphics in Poland between the two worlds wars; Henryk Berlewi and Mechano-faktura; Sunday photography; Crowns.
  • Typographica 10, 1964 (64 pages). Contents: Newspaper seals; The compass rose; The emergence of the printer's stock block; Sex and typography (by Robert Brownjohn).
  • Typographica 11, 1965 (52 pages). Contents: Alexander Rodchenko: a Constructivist designer; Poems/Prints; Massin; Herbert Bayer's photographic experiments; Words and images; At Remaurian (booklet insert).
  • Typographica 12, 1965 (76 pages). Contents: The nymph and the grot: the revival of the sanserif letter; Fishing figures; The living symbol; Art on the assembly line; Emphatic fist, informative arrow; The arrow in China.
  • Typographica 13, 1966 (62 pages). Contents: Tombstone lettering on slate; Hong Kong signs; Aesthetic pattern programmes; Type size: a system of dimensional references.
  • Typographica 14, 1966 (58 pages). Contents: Idéogrammes lyriques; A book of matches (by Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes); Protest by design.
  • Typographica 15, 1967 (56 pages). Contents: Paul van Ostaijen; Paul van Ostaijen: Lyric poetry–instructions for use; Objects count (by Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes); Spanish street lettering.
  • Typographica 16, 1967 (52 pages). Contents: Typographica 1949–67; John Heartfield; The word as ikon; Kurt Schwitters on a time-chart.

See also[edit]

  • Watching Words Move, by Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, Chronicle Books, 2006. (ISBN 978-0-8118-5214-2) – This book was developed from the insert in Typographica 6 (New Series).


  1. ^ a b "Herbert Spencer, 77; Editor of Typographica". Los Angeles Times. March 21, 2002. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Typographica, edited by Herbert Spencer (1949-67)". Lund Humphries. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

External links[edit]