Richard Hollis

Recent articles by Richard Hollis

My friend David King

Issue 101, Summer 2021


The book David King: Designer, Activist, Visual Historian is a comprehensive account of the work of a unique figure in graphic design history. Here Richard Hollis, witness to King’s development as designer, artist, collector and pioneering author-designer of dazzling books of social and political history, recalls his friend and fellow designer. By Richard Hollis

One hundred years new

Issue 99, Autumn 2019


Jeremy Aynsley’s Graphic Design in Germany 1890-1945 was published almost twenty years ago. Professor Rössler’s…

A message for modernity

Issue 92, Summer 2016


In the late 1950s I had tea in London with László Moholy-Nagy’s former secretary, surrounded…

Weimar volumes

Issue 91, Spring 2016


The musical Cabaret gave a popular view of Berlin between the two world wars; the…

History of pictures worth reading

Issue 90, Summer 2015


Benoît Buquet, a teacher of the theory and history of contemporary art, sees no reason…

Absent insights

Issue 88, Summer 2014


By its title, L’Écartelage reveals its focus on Surrealism in the work of Pierre Faucheux…

Design history disciplined

Issue 85, Spring 2013


What kind of discipline is graphic design history? Catherine de Smet provided one answer in…

The designer as programmer

Issue 43, Spring 2002


‘Swiss’ is still a style. In the crudest terms, the style was, and is, Helvetica…

Swiss radical

Issue 64, Summer 2007


Whether commercial or political, the work of Theo Ballmer was underpinned by craft, precision and passion

Play and playbill

Issue 70, Winter 2008


Theatre programmes present designers with a challenge that can be turned into a dramatic opportunity

Tschichold: contention and celebrity [EXTRACT]

Issue 71, Spring 2009


Jan Tschichold: Master Typographer is 350 big pages of heavy paper, hundreds of illustrations, decorative…

The chemistry that created a winning Swiss formula

Issue 72, Summer 2009


Where did the ‘Swiss style’ come from? The book Corporate Diversity answers the question: it…

Instruments of radical change

Issue 26, Autumn 1997


Rodchenko, Lissitzy and Moholy-Nagy were founding fathers of modern graphic design. Art historians have assured…

Aicher’s Heroic Aspirations

Issue 63, Spring 2007


When the German designer Otl Aicher died in 1991, a particular kind of graphic design…

Building a graphic language

Issue 28, Summer 1998


From the 1930s to the 1960s, The Architectural Review's eclectic methods made it a landmark in magazine design

A sign of moral degeneration?

Issue 36, Summer 2000


Is the swastika so tainted by the horrors of Nazism that it cannot, should not…

Language unleashed

Issue 16, Spring 1995


Massin’s pioneering book designs of the 1960s used graphic devices to make the spoken word visible and enhance the text’s meaning

The image as evidence

Issue 29, Autumn 1998


The career of Germano Facetti is exceptional in its range. As art director of Penguin Book covers in the 1960s and as a designer, he was a powerful influence on book and information design, throwing a special light on Modern Movement aspirations and on attitudes to illustration. Facetti has maintained the concept of “documentary” and diagrammatic illustration to induce understanding, to express emotion, or to accumulate information in a more memorable way.

Revolutionary language

Issue 32, Summer 1999


“A revolutionary graphic language must seek to expose the meaning by presenting a chain of ideas, images, structures in as much of their complexity as is economically feasible.” Robin Fior in The Designer, journal of the society of industrial artists and designers, London, May 1972.

Multiple meanings

Issue 24, Spring 1997


Uwe Loesch’s posters have the linguistic subtlety and precision of conceptual art. They demand attention, then release their significance bit by bit.

Permanent innovation

Issue 19, Winter 1995


With his ‘livre objets’ for the French book clubs, Pierre Faucheux invented a new genre

Have you ever really looked at this poster?

Issue 13, Summer 1994


A critical design history should explore the relationship of form, content and production, argues the author of a new concise history.