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Max Bill. Form. Basel: Karl Werner, 1952

“In 1948, at the annual meeting of the Swiss Werkbund in Basle, Bill gave a lecture with the title 'Schönheit aus Funktion und als Funktion' [Beauty from Function and as Function]. Despite the fact that (or because?) this lecture stirred up a lot of dust, the Werkbund gave him the task of realizing his ideas in a travelling exhibition, Die gute Form, which, supplemented with additional illustrations, later gave rise to the wonderful book FORM (title set by Bill in capitals!). 'it has become self-evident to us that it no longer about developing beauty alone from function, but about demanding that beauty be on an equal footing with function, that it be a function in equal mesure.' (...) The succinct form of this book is masterly: it is -in Bill's sense- simply beautiful, and it contains expert photographs of beautiful, well-designed objects. Just as masterful is the typography: The illustrations are placed on an imaginary horizontal line that runs through the entire book and splits the height placement of the photographs into an approximate ratio of 3:1 (...) The three-language texts likewise remain basically in the same position, but the text plays around the illustration in constant variation.”

Max Bill: Typografie, Reklame, Buchgestaltung. Zürich: Niggli, 1999 (p. 80)

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