The publication Die Fläche (The Surface) was a Vienna based periodical spanning 14 creative issues between 1902 and 1911. Produced by prominent Secessionists and their students, its purpose was to revolutionise the realm of printed surfaces through a new graphic modernism. This movement prioritised flatness, expressive shapes, stylized lettering, and vibrant colours, reshaping the way people perceived visual art during that era.
I had the privilege of receiving a copy of this remarkable book for review from the Letterform Archive and it proved to be a treasure trove of creativity. This sturdy facsimile meticulously preserves the essence of Die Fläche, showcasing its striking imagery and expressive letterforms. Every page of the periodical is faithfully reproduced in full colour and at its original size, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the artistic innovations of the time.
What sets this beautiful publication apart is its ability to unveil unseen visual treasures to contemporary designers. The bold imagery and expressive lettering contained within offer a unique wellspring of inspiration. In an age where graphic design is being propelled forward by the exploration of organic forms and hand-lettered aesthetics, Die Fläche provides a fresh perspective, reminding us of the enduring power of innovative design principles.
I've chosen some of my favourite image and lettering combinations from the facsimile, each exemplifying the powerful synergy between letterform and illustration, while capturing the essence of the era.
Die Fläche (Facsimile Edition): Design and Lettering of the Vienna Secession, 1902–1911, is available from the Letterform Archive.