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Robert Massin

El grafista francés Robert Massin revolucionó el diseño editorial de las décadas de 1950 y 1960 con una serie de libros que han llegado a ser icónicos en la historia de la tipografía del siglo XX. En una época dominada por la austera gráfica suiza, Massin combinaba el lenguaje de las artes gráficas tradicionales con elementos expresivos altamente innovadores. En sus diseños la palabra deviene visible a base de recursos gráficos que intensifican el significado del texto impreso.

El grafista francès Robert Massin va revolucionar el disseny editorial de les dècades de 1950 i 1960 amb una sèrie de llibres que han esdevingut icònics en la història de la tipografia del segle XX. En una època dominada per l’austera gràfica suïssa, Massin combinava el llenguatge de les arts gràfiques tradicionals amb elements expressius altament innovadors. En els seus dissenys la paraula esdevé visible a base de recursos gràfics que intensifiquen el significat del text imprès.

“Design history celebrates key works. Some have an immediate influence, marking a leap in the profession and identifying a period. Others, remarkable for their innovation and brilliance, have no immediate successors. Such is the case with the book La Cantatrice chauve (The Bald Prima Donna). Designed by Massin (who stopped using his first name, Robert, in the 1950s), this visual record of a theatrical production of Eugène Ionesco’s play published in Paris in 1964 is acknowledged in every account of the period’s design and typography. Created in the later stages of pre-digital graphics, La Cantatrice chauve is conspicuous for its sustained integration of image and word as an expression of the text. Only today, with the designer’s freedom to manipulate text and image on the screen, can we begin to understand its long-dormant legacy. Beginning work as a designer soon after the Second World War, Massin belongs to that generation whose output has spanned two technological revolutions: in typesetting, from hot-metal, through photosetting to digitisation; in printing, from letterpress to lithography. Following a period of involvement with the book clubs’ productions of the 1950s – one of France’s distinct contributions to graphic design – Massin was for over 20 years art director of Gallimard, the publishers responsible for La Cantatrice chauve.”

Richard Hollis. “Language unleashed”. Eye, vol. 4, no. 16 (1995)

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