Tag Archives: Nazi Germany

Banned books, yes, but banned fonts …?

Banned books we know about, but what’s the deal with censored fonts?

Jan Tschichold was born in 1902 and later was known for his support of the “new typography”, a design style inspired by the Bauhaus school and Russian Constructivists. Now, we’re talking about font here – letters on a page. Can you believe that this man, due to his passionate advocacy of this new typography, was actually arrested in 1933, and he and his wife were imprisoned by the Nazis for creating “un-German” typography. They later emigrated to Switzerland, and Tschichold couldn’t stand the new typography any more because of its Nazi associations, so he switched to classical design. Tschichold became design director for Penguin Books.

This story appealed to my love of the absurd.

Here’s a Short biography of Tschichold (requires Flash)

Jason Santa Maria blogs about Tschichold.
Here’s a facetious summary of Tschichold in Twenty Faces.

If you’re interested, you can read more about Tschichold’s life here