Exhibition Archive

Exhibition information

The 327th Exhibition Jan Tschichold

November 01, 2013 - November 26, 2013

Design: Yoshihisa Shirai
Design: Yoshihisa Shirai
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At the start of the twentieth century, a time when the rapid pace of technological innovation also brought a search for a suitably matching style, it was not only politics and society that underwent drastic change but also the lives and ideologies of individuals. Typography was no exception. It was in this context that the new typography movement was born―an effort to aim for an efficient typography suited for conveying dynamic information in the machine age. Jan Tschichold (1902–1974) advanced the theory and practice of this “New Typography” throughout the 1920s as the movement’s standard-bearer. Eventually he came to reject its tenets and to espouse instead the value of traditional typography.

Tschichold moved to England after the war and took on the enormous task of improving the typography and design of Penguin Books. The changes made under his direction raised the overall level of book design in England and showed the entire world how important typography was in books.

One of the giants of twentieth-century typography, Jan Tschichold not only left behind outstanding designs but also authored many books. Surveying the accomplishments of a man who had such enormous influence on his contemporaries is sure to offer great insights for those of us here in Tokyo during a time of change that, while different in character from the early twentieth century, is being reshaped at an unprecedented speed.


ginza graphic gallery (ggg)
DNP Ginza Building, 7-2, Ginza 7-chome 
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03.3571.5206
Opening hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm (until 6:00pm on Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays and holidays
Admission free

Gallery Talk

6:30 - 8:00pm Thursday, November 14
Speakers: Martijn F. Le Coultre and Taro Yamamoto
Venue: DNP Ginza Bldg. 3F
Free admission, Reservation required (seating capacity: 70)

* The seats are now fully booked. Thank you.
The talk will be live-streamed on the day.

Jan Tschichold

Johaness Tschichold was born in April 2, 1902 in Leipzig. He learnt at Academy for the Graphic Arts and Book Production Trade in Leipzig and School of Arts and Crafts, Dresden, and was a special student of Walter Tiemann.
Tschichold was an assistant to Hermann Delitsch at Leipzig Academy, and started freelance work (1921-23). He was active as a freelance typographer and calligrapher in Leipzig, identified himself as Iwan (1923-25). He edited “Elementare Typographie” published as a special number of Typographische Mitteilungen in 1925. Worked as a freelance in Berlin (1925-26). In 1926, he married with Edith Kramer and was invited to German Master Printer’s School, Munich, to teach typography and calligraphy. Identified himself as Jan. Started to design posters for Phoebus Palast in 1927. In 1933, the Nazis placed Tschichold and Edith in “protective custody.” Immigrated to Basel. Part-time work for the publisher, Benno Schwabe in Basel, and part-time teaching at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule, Basel (1933-40). He worked on designing typefaces for the Uhertype photosetting machine (until 1936). Exhibition in London Office of Lund Humphries in 1935, invited to Double Crown Club, London, to give a lecture in 1937. Between 1941 and 46, Tschichold was a typographer for Birkhäuser, Basel, and between 1946 and 49, he engaged in typographical reform of Penguin Books, London. Freelancing in Basel (1950-54). He was awarded Gold Medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York, in 1954. Typographer for a pharmaceutical firm, F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. AG, Basel (1955-67). He began working on the typeface, Sabon, in 1964. He received the Gold Medal of the International Book Design Exhibition, Leipzig, in 1964 and Gutenberg Prize of Leipzig in 1965. In 1967, he visited the US for the first time and the first sizes of Sabon were released. Moved to Berzona. Jan Tschichold died on August 11, 1974, in Locarno.
He was the Elected Honorary Member of Double Crown Club, London, the Honorary Member of Société Typographique de France, the Honorary Title of Royal Designer for Industry of the Royal Society of Arts (Hon.R.D.I.), London, the Corresponding Member of German Academy of Arts, Berlin, and the Honorary member of the Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago.
His major publications include: Die neue Typographie (1928); Typographische Gestaltung (1935); Der frühe chinesische Farbendruck (1940); Geschichte der Schrift in Bildern (1941); Meisterbuch der Schrift (1952); Willkürfreie Maßverhältnisse der Buchseite und des Satzspiegels (1962); Die Bildersammlung der Zehnbambushalle (1970, won the Gold medal of the Leipzig International Book Design Exhibition in 1971).


Azusa Ozawa, ginza graphic gallery Tel: 03.3571.5206