The “Typographische Monatsblätter” is a seminal Swiss magazine about typography design, published since 1933 and still in the newsstands today. During the years, it constantly featured cutting-edge works which captured the most radical researches in visual communication. Going through its archives you can understand its role in shaping the imaginary behind typographical design through the years.
Among the most complex and fascinating images are the covers made by American designer Gregory Vines for the 1978 issues. A renowned graphic designer and educator, Vines reproduced the same basic layout through six numbers of the Swiss magazine while always providing new interpretations of the same geometrical composition. The combination of abstract forms and recognizable landscapes, urban views or cartography composes a well defined architecture where the sky is usually recluded in the same, finite shape whereas the earth emerge through always different skylines. The visual order, which might appear rigid and formal with its central focus and symmetrical lines, is continuosly contradicted by the superimposition of different photo and graphic techniques. This work, a variation on the same scene, reflect Vines’ interest in what he calls “4D design” or time-based media, a subject he teaches at the Visual Communication Institute in Basel.