Futura. Die Schrift (The Type)

On June 24th, the Annual Assembly of the Gutenberg Association of Mainz unanimously approved the inclusion in its Statutes of the word Typography as an object of study of the Association. Until then it was limiting itself to the study of History and Development of the Technique of Printing, as well as print media. Curious that to date, the main element of the invention of Johannes Gutenberg, type was not included as object of study of the Association and the most important Museum in the world of printing.

Previously the Museum had presented for 6 months, until April 30, the exhibition “Futura. Die Schrift” (Futura. The Type) that I had the pleasure to make the inaugural speech. For the first time since its opening in 1900, the Museum had dedicated an exhibition to a typeface. Undoubtedly, the success of the exhibition contributed to the future attention given to Typography in the museum area, as it was established with the approval of the new Statutes.

The exhibition showed the different stages of history of Futura in its first years, passing through the cities in which this typeface had more relevance in artistic circles: Hannover with Kurt Schwitters, Munich with Tschichold and Georg Trump, Vienna with Otto Neurath and Gerd Arntz, Prague, Paris with Maximilen Vox and Jean Carlu, New York with Paul Rand, Ladislav Sutnar and Vanity Fair, to end the presence of Futura on the moon. Every year the Gutenberg Museum receives about 170,000 visitors. It is assumed that until the end of this year there will be some more, including many famous names of the world of typography, come expressly from other German cities as well as from England.

Under the direction of the Director of the Gutenberg Museum (Dr. Annette Ludwig) and two professors of the School of Higher Studies in Mainz (Dr. Isabel Naegele and Dr. Petra Eisele), a 520-page book, magnificently presented, with articles from famous historians and designers from Germany (Klaus Klemp, Erik Spiekermann), England (Christopher Burke), France (Michel Wlassikoff), Czech Republic (Iva Knobloch), USA (Steven Heller), as well as two articles of mine. The book won prestigious international awards: Gold award for the «European Design Award» as well as the «Typographic Excellence Award» of the 63rd Directors Club Contest in New York.

The German press echoed the exhibition and the book with very complimentary articles, an entire pages in the big print newspapers, such as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz, Mainzer Wochenblatt, Rhein- Zeitung Mainz, as in magazines such as Kunstzeitung, Design Report, DOCMA Magazin Blog, KG Kunstquartal, Wandelhalle für Bücherfreunde, STYLEPARK Magazines, Graphische Magazine, OPUS Kulturmagazin, Magazin Museum, Novum. World of Graphic Design, Print.de, Deutscher Drucker, Nachrichtenblatt der Gesellschaft der Bibliophilen e.V. and Typographische Gesellschaft München. A booklet has been prepared reproducing the articles over 86 pages! Two Spanish journals were also echoed: La Gaceta de Eméritos and PressGraf.

The award-winning book has been published in German by Verlag Hermann Schmidt. In October 2017, on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair at Frankfurt am Main, the publisher presents an edition in English with a cost of 50 € + shipping.

We are pleased with the great success of these cultural events, increased by the remarkable book Futura. Une gloire typographique, published in the year 2011 by the French historians Alexandre Dumas de Rauly and Michel Wlassikoff (Éditions Norma, Paris).