Your Cart

Impact 1.0: The 1960s and visual experimentation

This month we’re featuring highlights from our two-volume Impact books that bring together some of the best covers created for design magazines and journals from the 1920s to the present day (both now £29 each in the Unit shop).

For our second post, we’ve picked four magazine covers from the 1960s that show some of the experimental approaches in type and pattern that design titles were using at the time. [Our first post, on Swiss titles from the mid-1950s, is here.]

Canadian designer Carl Dair designed all six issues of A Typographic Quest, a slim booklet that was published as the house journal of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company (Westvaco) in 1964. Shown above is the cover of its second issue which features a 'Q' balancing a lovely overprinted '2'.

Dair, a largely self-taught designer, became an established figure in type design. His book, Design With Type, was honoured by AIGA and in 1967 he was commissioned to design a new typeface for Canada to mark the nation’s Centennial year. The result was the serif, Cartier.

Felix Berman’s cover for the 5th issue in the 1964 series of Typographische Monatsblätter (above) also marks a contrast with the stark TM designs we looked at in our previous post on Swiss covers from the mid-1950s. Again there’s a minimalist approach, but in Berman's hands the covers are much more lively, even playful, and make great use of seven beautiful photograms by Roger Humbert across the series.

Casabella from Italy (above) and Graphic Design from Japan (below) appeared in 1965, with covers by Grafica Milano and Tsunehisa Kimura, respectively. Under new editor Gian Antonio Bernasconi, Casabella had just returned to its original name and, for issue 298, employed a pulsating, grid-like illustration on its cover. 

Similarly, Kimura's artwork designed for the cover for issue 21 of Japan's seminal Graphic Design magazine boasts dynamic and colourful pattern constructed from circular forms. Kimura would perhaps become best known for his striking photomontage/collage work that brought cityscapes, battleships and natural disasters together in bizarre, clashing arrangements – so the example used here is actually a fairly refined example of his vibrant art.

These four covers are featured in Impact 1.0, which includes some of the best covers of design magazine and journals from 1922 to 1973 and is now available to buy for £29. Its sister volume, Impact 2.0, brings together design magazine and journal covers from 1974 to 2016 – both can be purchased together for £50.