On March 1st, we were presented our second ITAP lecture of the week by Colette Jeffrey. The presentation featured a number of names, such as Erik Spiekermann (who I have already featured), Infoasaid, Paul Mijksenaar and many more. The two designers I am going to speak about are Otto Neurath & Wim Crouwel, and then I will briefly review the seven principles Colette informed us of.

Otto Neurath was an Austrian philosopher of science, sociologist, political economist and Designer. Neurath is most known for the development of the Isotype System;  a symbolic way of representing quantitative information via easily interpretable icons. Isotypes are basically the language of pictures. They are seen all over the world, on toilet doors, road signs, and basically any sign that features an icon/symbol. The International System of TYpographic Picture Education was first known as the Vienna Method of Pictorial Statistics, due to its having been developed at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien (Social and economic museum of Vienna) between 1925 and 1934. Otto Neurath was the founding director of this museum, and was the initiator and chief theorist of the Vienna Method. Neurath figured that “To remember simplified pictures is better than to forget accurate figures”. Education was always the prime motive behind Isotype, which was worked out in exhibitions and books designed to inform ordinary citizens (including schoolchildren) about their place in the world. It was never intended to replace verbal language; it was a “helping language” always accompanied by verbal elements. Otto Neurath realized that it could never be a fully developed language, so instead he called it a “language-like technique”.


As a huge fan of symbols (In Graphic Design and in general), I have loved researching about how they were formed and created. Below is a design I did for my Unit 3 A-Level Graphic Design, which stemmed from a design I saw from Audi in Creative Review:


I saw this is printed form first and I fell in love immediately. Below is my design, using symbols to represent what the taxi service offers.


My aim of this design was to create logos that people would be able to recognize and then easily be able to see tha characteristic I was trying to portray. For example, the luggage cart to say we do airport drop off/pick ups and that our cars have big boots, and the currency signs to show you can pay us with whatever left over holiday money you have. I didn’t know about isotypes at the time, but it would have been a good area to reach and document in my sketchbook for assessment.

The second hero, Wim Crouwel, is a Dutch Graphic Designer and Typographer who has created typefaces such as New Alphabet, Gridnik & Fodor. I am a huge fan of Crouwel’s work – even though the first time I heard of him was right at the beginning of this Vis Com course, so I have heard of him for a few months now. My favourite element of Wim Crouwel’s work is his Graphic Design for his Typefaces and his general poster creation. Below are a series of my favourite pieces of work by him.


In this particular piece (above), I really love the typeface used, how the letters all link creating lines for the eye follow to read the word. This contrasts against the type near the top of the page, which is quite hard to read on a poster of this format. Crouwel obviously intended the reader/viewer to be close to the design to read the type, and the title of ‘LEGER’ – which translates into ‘Army’ from Dutch, is used to bring the view in. The colours all compliment each other – with the lime green working subtly with the ‘dirty grey’ with black and white type.



Wim Crouwel has done wonders for the world of type. His Poster Design changed the way people look at and use type; the manor in which he uses colour and shape is brilliant, the way he guides the eye around the piece after catching the viewers attention will subtly designed headers, puts Wim Crouwel on the list of my Design Heroes.