Emigre Celebrates 25 Years In Graphic Design

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Fonts in Use, News | Yves Peters | August 21, 2009

I don’t think you’ll ever hear me say wrong about Emigre. I discovered their ground-breaking magazine and digital type foundry when I was studying at KASK, and they have been one of my major influences during my formative years. Rudy Vanderlans and Zuzana Licko were the pioneers of the digital age, whipping the first Apple Macs into submission and wrestling stunning designs from their indifferent electronic circuits. One could argue they single-handedly jumpstarted the digital type revolution, opening the collective eyes of the graphic and type design community to a world of as-yet-untapped and uncharted possibilities. Yes, I am a fan. I am the proud owner an uninterrupted run of the large format Emigre magazines from issue 11 onwards plus a good number of the latter smaller sized ones, slightly weathered and worn from reading and studying them over and over again. I also have their first retrospective Emigre [The Book] Graphic Design into the Digital Realm. So I was thrilled to learn that Emigre and Gingko Press have announced the publication of Emigre No.70: The Look Back Issue – Celebrating 25 Years in Graphic Design. The 512-page book covers the best of a quarter century of Emigre magazine – one of the most influential design publications ever. Plus you get to see all of the classic typefaces in action. What follows is the press release. And I have a special treat at the end of this post – Rudy Vanderlans was so kind to send me ten spreads as a sneak preview for the FontFeed readers. Enjoy.

During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, graphic design was experiencing one of its most exciting and transformative periods. The Apple Macintosh computer had been introduced, design schools were exploring French linguistic theory, the vernacular had become a serious source of study and inspiration, the design and manufacture of typefaces was suddenly opened up to everyone who could use a computer, and for the first time in the United States, New York City was no longer the place to look for the latest developments in graphic design. And in Berkeley, California, across the bay from Silicon Valley, Emigre magazine, like no other, recognized the significance of the events, and became both a leading participant and a keen observer of this innovative international design scene, generating a body of work and ideas that still resonate today.

Fueled by Emigre’s successful digital type foundry, the magazine became one of the most popular and controversial graphic design magazines of its time. 69 issues were published in a variety of formats, featuring in-depth interviews with fellow design trailblazers and critical essays by an emerging group of young design writers.


Spread from Emigre No.70: The Look Back Issue – Celebrating 25 Years in Graphic Design.
This book, designed and edited by Emigre co-founder and designer Rudy VanderLans, is a selection of reprints, using original digital files, tracing Emigre’s development from its early bitmap design days in the late 1980s through to the experimental layouts that defined the so called “Legibility Wars” of the late 1990s, to the critical design writing of the early 2000s.

Emigre No.70 is a must have book for those who missed out on all the excitement the first time around and for those who have been long time Emigre fans alike. Any graphic design library would be incomplete without it.

Featuring interviews with, among others, The Designers Republic, Allen Hori, Rick Valicenti, Vaughan Oliver, Mr. Keedy, Ed Fella, and essays by Lorraine Wild, Anne Burdick, Zuzana Licko, Kenneth FitzGerald, Andrew Blauvelt, Kalle Lasn, Rick Poynor, and many more.

The book also includes the following bonus material:

  • 32-Page booklet of Letters to the Editor
  • CD-Rom with music and videos published by Emigre
  • 15 x 20 inch commemorative poster

Emigre magazine is in the permanent design collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Design Museum in London, and the Denver Art Museum. The magazine was also recently on exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Emigre No.70: The Look Back Issue
Celebrating 25 Years in Graphic Design

Selections from Emigre magazine #1 – #69
Published by Gingko Press
Available November 2009.


Spreads from Emigre No.70: The Look Back Issue – Celebrating 25 Years in Graphic Design.

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3 Comments:

  1. Congrats Rudy & Zuzana! The magazine has always been an inspiration, and still is to this day. I so much enjoy looking through the old extra large issues! I miss it…

    Posted by Jean Paul Beumer on Aug. 22, 2009
  2. A Must Have, Obviously…

    Posted by fabergraph on Sep. 16, 2009
  3. Awesome! Pre-ordered mine already. Always liked Emigre since being tutored by, and friends with, Miles Newlyn, one of Emigre’s contributing Type designers, at Uni.

    Posted by Rich on Sep. 16, 2009

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