Presentation details
On the German origin of the sanserif

Xurxo Insua Pardo

Friday 14 September | 16:15 – 16:45
Location: Dance Studio Room 225

Presentation | Theme: Histories | Duration: 30 minutes

This paper gathers the preliminary results of an ongoing research on the early development of sanserif. These will be presented to the community for critical analysis and discussion, in order to verify the possibility of posing the following hypothesis out of them: what we today know as sanserif is more clearly rooted in nineteenth-century German Grotesks than in their British counterparts.

The paper will pay attention at the differentiated development and early spreading of the Grotesk typology in Germany, focusing on the way it moves apart from the roman both formally and conceptually through monolinearity, geometrization and a certain purism. This is interpreted as the starting point for the eventual consideration of the sanserif not only as subsidiary, but as a genre on its own, alternative to the roman, apt for a wide range of typographic tasks. Akzidenz Grotesk and its direct precursors will be particularly reviewed in this context.

Speaker details

Xurxo Insua Pardo | Spain

Xurxo Insua (1978) has a degree in Fine Art from the Universidade de Vigo, a master's degree in Graphic Arts from the Universitat Politècnica de València and postgraduate studies in Typography from Escola Eina, Barcelona. He has professionally worked as graphic designer for four years and is currently having PhD courses on Theory and History of Design at Universitat de Barcelona and on Anthropological Theory at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

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