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book (design) story #33

hellmut lantschner:

ernst rowohlt verlag, berlin, 1936
printer: leipziger verlagsdruckerei ag
size: 20 x 13 cm
designer: herbert bayer

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former bauhaus meister herbert bayer (1900-1985) was one of the modern graphic designers who kept on working in germany after 1933 until he emigrated to the states in 1938. this small brochure by hellmut lantschner (1909-1993) is basically a manual for skiing technique. lantschner was an austrian ski ace, medal winner in the 1938 and 1939 world championships. his brother gustav "guzzi" lantschner, a medal winner at the 1936 winter olympics, is also known as a film director and as an actor in "der weisse rausch" (1931) – co-starring leni riefenstahl.

the photographic jacket shows some elements bayer had used for the wegner book (story 32), such as a diagonally set bold antiqua title, and again an amoeba-like cloudy shape. the black-and-white photo of a dynamic skier with a blue tinted sky is somewhat reminiscent of the famous posters and flyers herbert matter designed for the swiss tourist board in the 1930s. bayer's logo – his name with an oversized "y" in a box – is placed in the top right corner.

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the design of the title page is also similar to the wegner book: bold antiqua type across the middle of the double-page spread.

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note that not only the page numbers, but also the chapter ends are vertically centered. one significant difference to the earlier book: the text is in a fraktur (blackletter), the type style considered truly germanic by the nazi government – until 1941 when the party suddenly changed policy and denounced blackletter as being jewish...

well, the photo section is great.

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