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the rise and fall of grunge type


BrandMooreArt

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this ones over a year old, but its the best article on design ive read in some time. largely because its about one of my favorite design movements and includes one of my favorite graphic designers, David Carson

http://www.theawl.com/2012/08/grunge-typography?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheAwl+%28The+Awl%29

In many ways the demise of grunge is in perfect accordance with its ideals: change is constant, and rules can never be sustained. Despite what the classicists believe, design is not timeless. Neither was grunge typography. It belonged to and defined a very specific period of rebellion. It did so the same way blackletter strongly evokes daily newspapers and stiff men in suits and hats smoking cigarettes, or the way cursive suggests old, coffee-stained diary entries and dusty historical journals. It’s a testament to the enduring power of typography that the way a letter is designed—its curves, its thickness, its heft—can embody an era.
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Ray Gun was published while I was in college. I had a copy of the Zapf Dingbats / Bryan Ferry issue.

I loved the experimental style from that time. And even though there was a lot of "doing it because they can" technique, everything did have a purpose, in context.

The influence is still around now. While grunge fonts and partial-glyph alphabets are sorta passé, you can still see the typographical effect now in design when you see tightly cropped logos and text and skewed grid layouts. Before the grunge scene, you'd never see a partial logo in an ad, or headlines bleeding off the edge.

But walk into any bookstore, and look at some book covers. Chip Kidd is definitely a student of that movement, and even now, if you go to a site like http://bookcoverarchive.com/, other designers like Oliver Munday, Peter Mendulsund, P.R. Brown, and Henry Sene Yee are still showing that influence.

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Ray Gun was published while I was in college. I had a copy of the Zapf Dingbats / Bryan Ferry issue.

I loved the experimental style from that time. And even though there was a lot of "doing it because they can" technique, everything did have a purpose, in context.

The influence is still around now. While grunge fonts and partial-glyph alphabets are sorta passé, you can still see the typographical effect now in design when you see tightly cropped logos and text and skewed grid layouts. Before the grunge scene, you'd never see a partial logo in an ad, or headlines bleeding off the edge.

But walk into any bookstore, and look at some book covers. Chip Kidd is definitely a student of that movement, and even now, if you go to a site like http://bookcoverarchive.com/, other designers like Oliver Munday, Peter Mendulsund, P.R. Brown, and Henry Sene Yee are still showing that influence.

do you still have that Ray Gun issue? i'd love to get my hands on a few. i agree, Chip Kidd is definitely influenced by the era. i love his work.

i've always felt the grunge scene was the second coming of DADA. a sort of "ugly is beautiful" and "non-art art" philosophy. i hope we have another era of that kind of experimentation in design. i think it needs it

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