BJ & Typographica

The magazine Typographica – brainchild of founder, editor, designer, and renowned typographer HERBERT SPENCER – had a brief life, a total of 32 issues published over nineteen years. But its influence stretched, and stretches, far beyond its modest distribution and print runs of the time. Indeed, for many graphic designers, Typographica is something of an obsession, to be collected if and when found, savoured, and poured over for designs and techniques not seen since. Remarkably, Spencer never intended to turn a profit, so no expenses were spared in the making of the magazine. Different papers, letterpress, tip-ins, and more were all employed in the presentation of an eclectic range of subject matter: Braille, locomotive lettering, sex and typography, typewriter faces, street lettering, matches, and avant-garde poetry all found their way into the magazine.

Supported by its publisher / printer Lund Humphries, which owned one of the finest printing houses of the day, Spencer was able to use mixed papers, gatefolds, small inserts and silvered pages protected by glassine sheets. Typographica’s pages and content looked as modern and exciting today as they did when they were first published: a time when it took more than two clicks to see the latest work from Switzerland or learn about the life and work of Piet Zwart.

For many graphic designers, Typographica was a vital part of their design education.

Typographica New Series Covers London
Typographica New Series
Covers
London

 

Typographica No. 2
Typographica No. 2 1960  BCG – Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar feature
Typographica No. 4
Typographica No. 4 1961  Street Level by Robert Brownjohn who also designed the cover
Typographica No. 6
Typographica No. 6 1962 Watching Words Move booklet
Typographica No. 7
Typographica No. 7  Typography in Britain 1963 Special Issue
Typographica No. 10
Typographica No. 10 1964  Sex and Typography  Robert Brownjohn
Typographica No. 4
Typographica No. 4 1961 – Street Level Robert Brownjohn

paul rand 3

 

Typographica BJ

 

Street Level Typographica

Street Level Typographica (1)

Street Level Typographica (2)

Street Level Typographica (3)

Street Level Typographica (6)

typo 6 c

typo 5 j

Typographica No. 10
Typographica No. 10 1964                   Sex and Typography Robert Brownjohn
Sex and Typography From Russia With Love
Typographica Sex and Typography
From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love - Typographica (1)

typogrussia with love

Sex and Typography Goldfinger
Typographica Sex and Typography
Goldfinger
Typographica Sex and Typography Article
Typographica Sex and Typography
Article
Typographica No. 2
Typographica No. 2 1960                          BCG
Typographica BCG feature 1960
Typographica BCG feature
1960
Typographica No. 7
Typographica No. 7  1963
Typographica No. 7 Typography in Britain Special Issue

In 2009 there was a Typographica exhibition at Kemistry Gallery in London. Curated by Rick Poynor, the show featured reproduced spreads and, safely in a display case at the back, precious copies of the magazine that published only 32 issues in two series between 1949 and 1967. Spencer edited, designed and wrote large parts of the magazine, which combined a commentary on Modern graphic design, photography and avant-garde art with an appreciation of history, printer’s letterpress stock blocks – and manhole covers.

kemistry

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 1

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 2

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 3

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 4

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 5

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009

Kemistry 6

Typographica exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery curated by expert Rick Poynor – London 2009