Design Magazine AusdruckTypography
Design Magazine Ausdruck
Design Magazine Ausdruck
Project | Contribution for the design magazine Ausdruck for the relaunch of the typeface »Mason« by Jonathan Barnbrook.
Client | Designmagazin Ausdruck, Munich.
Year | 1997.
Sector | Cultural and creative industries.
Services | Editorial Design, Typography.
A commentary by Dr. Zoi Kotitsa.
Behind the design of the page in the design magazine “Ausdruck” is Wolfgang Beinert’s intention to provoke with design and redefine content. He uses only typography for this purpose and plays with the viewer’s power of association.
His starting point is the aphorism “His hand cramped. He had heard of objects that could convert to the Christian faith.” And he visualizes it by means of typography. He reproduces most of the text with small capitals in the typeface Syntax normal, designed by Hans Eduard Meyer in 1968. Beinert perceives this straightforward, clear typeface as rational, “atheistic,” and thus contrasts it with the mystical content of the aphorism.
This contradiction becomes sarcasm through the use of a second script for the part “- treten” from the penultimate word of the aphorism “übertreten”. This Christian-looking typeface is called Mason Serif normal, designed around 1992 by Jonathan Barnbrook and named after a mass murderer in the USA. From this typeface, Beinert takes the letter T and unmistakably visualizes the symbol of the Christian faith, the cross. The three small diamonds left white on this letter are supposed to refer to the crucifixion of Christ. He then crafts the imperative tread from this script, which together with the T/cross dominates the page. The commanding tone behind this word is further visualized by the fact that the prefix “über-” in the word “übertreten” is not on the axis of the other letters in the Syntax normal font to the left of the T/cross, but is offset to the right.
Subtleties in the design make Beinert’s cynicism perfect. At the top right corner, the church appears as LTD, i.e. limited liability company, with its own signet: a cross in a circle. The small numbers 290 and 291, positioned vertically through the middle of the letter N in the word “überTRETEN,” should be taken as an allusion to the numbered chants during a mass in a Catholic church. Finally, at the top left, the designer himself appears in Russian “Atelier Beinert”, so that one cannot leave out the Russian Orthodox Church.