The optimism of modernity: recovering modern reasoning in typography
Typography Papers 8 cover

Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics, and society

(Typography papers 8)

This remarkable volume is a collection of eleven essays and shorter articles which for the first time provide rich contexts – social, cultural, and political – for the emergence of modern graphic design in Britain. Reaching from the Second World War to the early 1970s, they fizz with provocative interconnections: between print culture, photojournalism and publishing, the London of émigrés, political meetings and demonstrations, cultural cafés and art schools. From these disparate milieux emerged new ideas about designing: configuring and picturing the world of facts and processes, shaping them for understanding, learning, and action. Presented here are documents of the nation’s life in war, its reconstruction through the passages from scarcity to plenty, affluence, and the seeds of later fragmentation – these texts always fertile with multiple intersections between biography and history.

September 2009
250 pictures, 89 in colour
index, 216pp
Hyphen Press, London


Paul Stiff  Austerity, optimism: modern typography in Britain after the war

Stuart Hall  The social eye of Picture Post

Robin Kinross  Design in central-European London: interactions between émigrés and natives in the 1940s

David Lambert  Wolfgang Foges and the new illustrated book in Britain: Adprint, Rathbone Books, and Aldus Books

Matthew Eve  Isotype in trouble, 1946–1948

Robin Fior  Recollections of designing and politics in London, 1957–1970

Call to action: political posters of the 1960s
by Robin Fior, Ken Garland, and Ian McLaren

Ian McLaren  Designing for CND

Paul Stiff & Petra Cerne Oven  Ernest Hoch and reasoning in typography

Robin Fior  Working with Edward Wright

Sally Jeffery  Desmond Jeffery the printer