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“He who writes, remains,” as the German/Austrian saying goes, “and he who writes clearly leaves a greater impression.” Thanks to the MAK’s rich collection the history of writing in Europe can be told almost in its entirety, ranging from the manuscripts of medieval monasteries to printed matter that is aimed at the general public.

The invention of the printing press made mass production possible, which in turn prompted the development of easily legible fonts. Alongside Fraktur, which was based on early handwriting, it was the very clear font Antiqua that came to dominate the German-speaking world. Typography (the design of fonts) has been advanced in various European countries since the Renaissance.

Fonts attain particular visibility on posters, which have rapidly gained in importance since the 19th century. Initially closely related to fine art, posters became a platform for merchandise around 1900. The 20th century brought further possibilities to convey new content through text
–both in the field of graphic design and in art.

The end of the millennium gave rise to digitalization, the significance of which rivals the invention of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century. Today, text is used on screens, tablet computers, and e-books and presents typography with entirely new challenges.
Stefan Sagmeister: poster, AIGA Detroit & Cranbrook Academy of Art. Thursday, Feb. 25, 1999. De Salle Auditorium at Cranbrook, 1999
Insights
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Where is digitalization taking us?
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Stefan Sagmeister

poster, AIGA Detroit & Cranbrook Academy of Art. Thursday, Feb. 25, 1999. De Salle Auditorium at Cranbrook, 1999

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