The topography of typography

 

 

El Lissitzky

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF TYPOGRAPHY

 

  1. The words on the printed surface are taken in by seeing, not by hearing.
  2. One communicates meanings through the convention of words; meaning attains form through letters.
  3. Economy of expression: optics not phonetics.
  4. The design of the book-space, set according to the constraints of printing mechanics, must correspond to the tensions and pressures of content.
  5. The design of the book-space using process blocks which issue from the new optics. The supernatural reality of the perfected eye.
  6. The continuous sequence of pages: the bioscopic book.
  7. The new book demands the new writer. Inkpot and quill-pen are dead.
  8. The printed surface transcends space and time. The printed surface, the infinity of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.
 

 

First published in Merz no. 4. 
Hamburg, 1923.

 

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