It is said that there is a place for everything and everything in its place.
Of course, there is always a place for chaos, but here at the modernist we do think that there should be some order to proceedings. Was it not Le Corbusier himself that claimed, “to create architecture is to put in order”?
So, with this issue, we are exploring the idea of LAYOUT and how modernism has sought – with varying degrees of success – to bring clarity and coherence to our lives via the use of good design and no small amount of ‘rules’.
Design purists will often speak of ‘the rules’. After all, what are we without rules? These are what separate us from beasts. However, breaking the rules is sometimes just as crucial. In this issue, as well as celebrating not only those who followed the rules but some that were responsible for writing them, we also consider those who have shown little regard for the rules, those who definitely did not colour in within the lines.
Within the realms of graphic design, Ian McLaren talks about his time designing Pelican book covers in the 1960s and 70s, whilst Alex Cameron looks at
‘The Debate’ between two opposing ideologies of Dutch graphic design from Wim Crouwel and Jan Van Toorn.
Richard Price introduces us to Norman Wilson; a name you may not know but whose work you probably will. Amrit Randhawa looks at the mercurial genius of Karl Gerstner, and Sarah Hardacre shows us around the Estate Paintings and prints of the artist Keith Coventry. Meanwhile, no issue of the modernist would be complete without a bit of infrastructure, as Laura Coucill asks us to look down at our feet and gaze at the beauty of the manhole cover.
Within the pages of this humble magazine we have always attempted to present you with interesting and varied articles, but without a LAYOUT it would just be a bunch of meaningless random words and pictures. Over the years we may not have always stuck to the rules, but we are sure you will join us in celebrating the value of keeping things in good order.