Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oldřich Hlavsa: Book Covers

Básně obrazy, Guillaume Apollinaire, 1965

I’ve been swooning over the typographic mastery of Czech designer, Oldrich Hlavsa (1909-1995). Though he's best known for his books about typography and book design, here are some of the books he designed.
The covers here are all from the 1960s. I’m thinking typographic jazz improvisation—you know one of those solos that go so far out there, you can’t imagine it ever coming back. And when it finally does, there’s way more than polite applause. As far out as Hlavsa might go with fragmenting, duplicating, slicing, or spacing, each does so with enough style and surprise that I’m left wondering how, exactly, he managed to pull it off.

Read more about him here (scroll down for English).

Typografická písma latinková, 1960

Moderní Francouzská Fotografie, J.A.Kaim, 1966

Clockwise from top left: Expresionismus, Ludvík Kundera, 1969; Inspiromat, Bratislav Hartl, 1967; Slovo o Pluku Majakovského, V. Majakovskij, 1961; Začarovaná Drožka, Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, 1963

150,000.000, Vladimír Majakovskij

Veřejná Růže, Paul Eluard, 1964

Snář, Radovan Krátký, 1968

Prvotiny, Vydalo Státní, 1961

Pan Meister, Walter Jens, 1967
(Top: Dust jacket)

Posměšky a jízlivosti, Markus Valerius Martialis, 1965

Emil Filla, Čestmír Berka, 1964

Oldrich Mikulasek, Svlekani Hadu, 1963

These images are from Czech antiquarian book sites, of which there are many. You can try here, here, and here.

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