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Category Archives: The Modernists

Bradbury Thompson was undisputably one of the most important role-models of 20th century graphic design world. He received three major design awards which is National Society of Art Dir derectors as Art Director of the Year in 1950, AIGA Gold Medal in 1975 and finally The Art Directors Hall of Fame award in 1977. He is one of the rare art directors who have the chance of receiving all three.

If we look at his career briefly, he worked at the Rogers-Kellogg-Stillson printing firm as art director and then Mademoiselle magazine, after he designed for Westwaco Corporation. He designed a new alphabet which is Alphabet 26 and he started his teaching career at Yale University.
His career was full of achievements but three of them truely shows us his sophitication. After he bacame of the designer of Westvaco Inspirations which was a promotional magazine, he reached thousands of typographer, print buyers and student. He had an extraordinary ability to combine and mix modernist typography with classic typefaces and historic illustrations.

Another success came with the publication of The Washburn College Bible, This was the most gigantic and reformist reevaluation of bible typography since Gutenberg’s edition. He wrote it with Jan Tschichold’s typeface Sabon and he covered chapter openings with gorgeous reproductions of painting referring biblical stories.

A third area of interest which brings him a success is contemporary postage stamp design. A large part oh his designes become symbolic snapshots of American history and culture. He had more than 90 stamps of his own and also he became the guide of U.S Postal Service for designing many others.

Bradbury Thompson died in 1995 as one of the most appreciated and impressive graphic designers of the 20th century.

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Alexey Brodovitch was an artist, graphic designer, photographer, art director and teacher but beyond everything else, he was a aesthetic entity whose permanet influence was perceived along the entire visual arts. He is remembered today as a art director of Harper’s Bazaar.
He played an important role for introducing ‘modern’ graphic design into the United States. He formed a backbone of modern magazine design and he encouraged the development of an expressionistic, nearly primal style of picture taking style which became the dominant style in 1950’s. Apart of these, as a teacher, he created a generation of designers who have visual freshness and immediacy.

If we look at his style, generous usage of white space is the most important characteristic of the Brodovitch style.His colleagues at other magazines saw his designs totally elegant but a waste of precious space.
In the layouts which is created by him, there are clothes floated on the page, surrounded by white spaces while headlines and type completed them with a good harmony.

He was the first art director who integrated image and text while most of the american magazines used text and illustration seperately be dividing them by white margins at that time.He emphasized the fluency and movement of the images by repetition and diagonal and horizontal stress.

Other important characteristic of his designs is cropped photographs. He cropped photographs often off-center and put them to the edge of pages and integrated them in the whole. By this way images were seem like a frozen moment in the time and this brought a new dynamism to the fashion layouts.

Today, Brodovitch’s heritance is noteworthy rich. His layouts are perceived as models of graphic intelligence and inspiration.