As a politically engaged graphic artist and designer, Gerd Arntz (–) portrayed the world in wood and linoleum cuts. During the s, he conveyed his. Today we turn to Gerd Arntz Graphic Designer — an absolutely fantastic recent book about Arntz’s work, exploring the symbol signs he. Gerd Arntz Graphic Designer has 20 ratings and 2 reviews. Robert said: Great little book that sheds a lot of light on the role of Gerd Arntz in the ISOTY.

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This book review was written for the Designgeschiedenis Nederland website. It is published xrntz in slightly adapted form, as a follow-up to an earlier review of publications about Isotype. Some books on the subject of Isotype were discussed here two years ago; among them was Lovely language edited by Ed Annink and Max Bruinsma.

This was a rag-bag book that went together with an exhibition of the same name.

It was published by its printer, Veenman, in Veenman has since gone out of business as a publisher and that book now suffers a shadowy presence in the market. A book about Gerd Arntz and his work would be a good thing to have. This monograph sees Arntz in isolation, and its approach is again that of the rag-bag: The effect of the sequence is cinematic and pretty: One tries to find some meaning: But there is no meaning here. It is just decoration.

These opening pages already betray the spirit of the work they present. He took silhouettes a hippo and a hare drawn by Arntz, and got doormats made from them: A few years ago, I came into contact with Kwantum, a discount store boasting some large stores across the Dutch-speaking Lowlands. The artist who in the s aligned himself with the radical left in Germany and made strong analytical depictions of class society now finds, posthumously, his images turned into doormats and applied to the plates and cups of a discount store.

There is a large historical irony at work here, but Annink shows no awareness of it. The acknowledgement of sources reads: Bruinsma casts his text in the present tense: The effect of this over the ten pages of the introduction is tiring.

Bruinsma was not there at any of these events: Given the lack of documentation or qualification in this text, I cannot believe that any of these sentences is true.

‘Gerd Arntz: graphic designer’ | Journal | Hyphen Press

In Vienna, Arntz anrtz the quality of design at the museum and soon becomes involved, not only in making exhibitions but also in designing the first visual statistics as charts to be displayed in the museum or to be published in books or Mappenloose-leaf collections of charts.


As a model for visual statistics, the atlas is a success.

Inthis leads among other things to an invitation to come to the young Soviet Union and set up an institute for visual statistics in Moscow, Isostat, an institution which directly reports to the Soviet Central Committee.

In Otto Neurath, Marie Reidemeister and Gerd Arntz travelled to Moscow to assist the Soviet authorities in establishing an institute for pictorial statistics and to train Soviet designers and technicians in the Vienna Method. Also the grraphic of the Grsphic institute is properly transcribed as Izostat, not Isostat. Otto Neurath established his Gesellschafts- und Desibner at the start of A crucial step in this development was his meeting with Marie Reidemeister, in October Marie Reidemeister joined the new venture on 1 March Reidemeister learned the work of transformation from Otto Neurath.

Marie Reidemeister later Neurath once described it in this way:. From the data given in words and figures a way has to be found to extract the essential facts and put them into picture form.

Gerd Arntz Graphic Designer

In this sense, the geerd is the trustee of the public. He has to remember the rules and to keep them, adding new variations where advisable, at the same time avoiding unnecessary deviations which would only confuse. He has to produce a rough of the chart in which many details have been decided: It is a blueprint from which the artist works. The transformer was thus, we would say now, the designer of the Isotype work: Annink and Bruinsma imagine that Arntz was the principal desigber, but he was not.

Vivid deaigner of this can be found when one looks through the charts made at the museum from tobefore Arntz joined. It was a time of continuous experiment and self-critical development, during which all the main principles of configuration were worked out.

This was the achievement of Marie Reidemeister and Otto Neurath, and others who engaged in the work — Friedrich Bauermeister among them. He did have an eye for the more peripheral aspects of the charts: He told me, when I interviewed him in the s, that this type had already been acquired when he arrived. But the work was always team work, and Arntz took his place in the group as the brilliant graphc of symbols to be used in something larger — whole charts.

They were never meant to be seen on their own. The editors of this work never get to grips with their subject. These symbols were drawn to sit in rows. They were units to be repeated.

Two measured ged by Arntz are shown pp. These are nice examples of the symbols made into modules: A remark in a caption gives Annink and Bruinsma away.


They notice that in an array of symbols drawn by Arntz for the Izostat Institute there are some that show groups rather than single figures.

in the media | Gerd Arntz Web Archive

Bruinsma and Annink write: He did this at the request of the designer of the chart: So throughout the book no attempt is made to relate the individual symbols to their uses. One can imagine a fascinating research project that would trace symbols in the files to their use in charts. Reuse of symbols in different charts was the ideal, but how often did it actually happen? Many of the symbols whose ggaphic are pasted into these folders were, I strongly suspect, used just once: Historical and contextual placing is the way to bring something alive.

Here this wonderful material is allowed to die. These thoughts were first dessigner in a book review published in Eye. Spiekermann restates my own discussion of this chart in the book he is reviewing, The transformer.

This visual lie is enforced through placing them on the same background. Designet, the designers of Gerd Arntz: The book carries on in the same way.

A selection of Isotype charts is reproduced. They do not improve with this recycling. In a large part of Austria, including Vienna, traffic was driving left at the time. After the Nazis took over Austria inthis changed, and now also all of Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom, drives at the right. In their fixation on symbols, Annink and Bruinsma thus aim, at tedious length, at the only uninteresting and insignificant element in the chart.

It shows the dangers of image-driven designers leading a project without intelligent editorial advice. According to the imprint on the title page and in the colophon the publisher is in Rotterdam.

As the subtitle indicates, the focus here is on his free work. Arntz gives his own account of his years with the Neurath group. He says nothing to support the ideas of Annink and Bruinsma. My MPhil thesis at Reading was never published. The chapter that discussed principles of the design of the charts will be published in an anthology of essays on Isotype, now in active preparation at the Department of Typography at Reading. Jobbing commentators have responded with enthusiasm, although John Walters in Eye was more circumspect.

A log of all this can be found on the Gerd Arntz website.