12 Typographical Interpretations

Based on Marshall McLuhan quotations

I first encountered Marshall McLuhan’s ideas in 1968 with the publication of his books The Medium is the Massage and The Gutenberg Galaxy in German. Both works impressed me with their observations on communication, typography and printing. While working in New York in 1970 I bought a copy of his latest book, Culture is our Business. The Mosaic that McLuhan created by structuring a visual interaction between text and picture material fascinated me. The innovative concept for a book struck me as a more open and dialectic approach to idea representation.

In 1971 and 1972 I began energetically to consume all of McLuhan’s work. Repeatedly in Counterblast and The Gutenberg Galaxy I encountered useful and illuminating ideas regarding the nature of the relationship between communication, typography and printing. As I read his texts more critically, however, I discovered some of his most important statements nearly submerged in the abundance, sometimes complexity, of his style. With this recognition I began to categorize for my own use some of his thoughts with the intent of developing them into an article.

In 1973 I taught typography at the Basle School of Design. With a typeshop at my disposal, the opportunity for further work on my thoughts about McLuhan presented itself. I then chose to interpret typographically a few of his texts and print the resulting “reading pictures” in limited quantity.

Pages: 20
Dimensions: 11.875 x 12.5 x .5 in.
Paper: Uncoated, archival quality
Printing: Letterpress; black, warm red, silver
Binding: Perfect bound, Kromekote jacket

Collection The Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Limited edition; only few copies available. Contact wkany@aol.com.