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Herb Lubalin

Today we got an amazing book from Unit Editions. At first sight it’s a very heavy but powerful book which has the word Lubalin bold lettered on the front cover and on the back a fantastic shaped ampersand. As the cover said it is a book about the work life and love of Herb Lubalin, american graphic designer, 1918-1981. Sold out within a year this is the second (compact) edition.

About the book

Herb Lubalin is one of the greatest typographers and graphic designers of the last century. Beginning with the upcoming of design needs in industry to have a brand identified and prescind on the market, graphic design was born. With this revolution and some artists interesting theirselfs to more cleaner and solutionable methods of working, graphic design made its break through. As the Art Directors Club was found in New York 1920, the aim was to support the highest standards in advertising industry. After the studies at Cooper Union Herb Lubalin first worked as an art and creative director for different companies such as Sudler & Hennessey for who he won the first gold medal of the NY ADC. Later on he wanted to break away from the advertising industry to a more quality than quantity business. It is said that Lubalin always respected his employees and in every interview he didn’t forget to thank them. Of course he worked together with the biggest designers at this time such as Tom Carnase, Steven Heller, Louise Filli, Ernie Smith, Alan Peckolik, Tony di Spigna, Mitlon Glaser and many more. His willl to design was so big, that even his son couldn’t remember one day his daddy working on a lettering or artwork. Lubalin had a very intense realationship with design and about typography he once said: “Graphic Expressionism is my euphemism for the use of typography, or letterforms, not just as mechanical means for setting words on a page, but rather as another creative way of expressing the meaning of a word or a phrase, to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. In other words, typography to be used as an alternative to photography and/or illustration, or to be synergistically combined to enhance the impact and memorability of graphic statement.” These two sentences give you a small insight of the world of Herb Lubalin and his creative mind. He is still a real idol to every designer out there.

We really loved to read this book, and in fact we read some phrases again and again, not to understand them better, but to keep his messages in our minds. There was a time designers didn’t think in first position about making more and more money, for the clients, for the company they are working for and at least for themselves, they always thought about solving problems, following function and forms and creating something new with a inner love for design. That’s the real nature of design and we recommend every designer to occupy yourself with Herb Lubalin and the other great designers of the last century mentioned amongst others in the book, to get a new sight of the power and passion of design and typography.

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