top of page

Chinesische Farbendrucke aus dem Lehrbuch des Senfkorngartens. Basel: Holbein, 1941

“ Tschichold was developing an appreciation of Oriental culture already in his 'modernist' years (...) However, one could not deduce any admiration for China or Japan from his book Die Neue Typographie, in which he dismissed all Eastern scripts, likening them to fraktur type in Germany: 'the emphatically national, particularist character of fraktur -but also the equivalent national scripts of other peoples, for example the Russians and the Chinese- contradicts today's transnational links between peoples and compels their inevitable elimination. To hold on them is retrograde.' (...) Tschichold also included Greek and Arabic script in this judgement, betraying an unpleasant element of Western arrogance that was characteristic of rationalist modernism in Europe between the wars. It is this kind of inflexibility that Tschichold later recognized when rejecting New Typography as too militaristic. Yet, in the same year that this book was published he wrote a short article praising modern, Japanese typography, in particular the newspaper The Tokyo Asahi, to which he subscribed for a month.”

Christopher Burke. “Tschichold's eastward gaze”. Idea, nº 321, 2007 (p. 164)

bottom of page