This article studies the conception of the typographer in the French graphic design magazine Arts et métiers graphiques, published in the interwar period. For the magazine’s editors, the designer was both an artist and a trained craftsman who was dedicated enough to face the particular challenges posed by typography. Moreover, the fruit of his work merited legal protection through copyrights. All of this points to a conception of the designer as a self-determined individual with a particular style. This view may be typical of the French conception of modern typography in that period. It is one that stands in contrast to the logic of often anonymous, collective design propagated in the New Typography of the Central-European avant-gardes. Moreover, in addition to individual creative endeavours, the French conception favoured a design practice that reconciled innovation and tradition, and artistry and craftsmanship.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

van Gansen, Kristof. (2016). 'Plaidoyer pour le graphiste' Arts et métiers graphiques and the French Typographer as an Artist and Craftsman. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 19(2), 1–15. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2016.270