But if there is one thing that Fronzoni has taught us,
it is how to traverse these less-travelled paths in silence
Literature about A.G. Fronzoni, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, is hard to find. This book by designer Madlen Goehring covers an overview of his most important creative period, showing the presence of Fronzoni’s main topics (such as space, typography, aesthetics) and its influence on design today. This book contains texts by famous designers, authors and Fronzoni connaisseurs Ruedi Baur, Alessandro Mendini and Christian Aichner as well as a lecture by A.G. Fronzoni himself. The special binding brings the concept of Fronzoni’s poster handling to life.
Dimensions: 203×288 mm
Number of pages: approx. 100
Cover: hardcover, white silk-screen printing on black Surbalin paper
Content: haptic blotting paper, Offset printing black and white
Binding: saddle-stich binding
Printed and handcrafted in Germany
The Authors and the Editor
- Ruedi Baur (born 1956, Swiss graphic designer, author, and educator)
- Alessandro Mendini (born 1931, Italian graphic designer and architect, founder of design school Domus Academy, Milan, editor of design Magazins Domus, Nodo, and Casabella)
- Christian Aichner (1953–2015, co-author a.o. of “They thought I was crazy, but they went along with it,” the first book about Fronzoni)
- and A.G. Fronzoni (1923–2002).
- Edited by Madlen Goehring, graduate at Merz Akademie, University of Applied Arts, Stuttgart, Germany.
About A.G. Fronzoni and this book
Fronzoni is usually presented as a minimalist. Minimalism, however, should not be compared with reduction as an end in itself, because taking something away is not an achievement. Fronzoni wasn’t interested in removing substance, but rather in accumulating and concentrating it. In his work, he was searching for the essence of things. During the first 22 years of his life, Fronzoni suffered from the fascist regime in Italy. This defining experience never vanished completely. It stirred up a radicalism in him, which informed his designs as well as his political views, turning him into a firm believer that rational design can reprogram a society. Driven by this impetus, he became a teacher soon after he started his career. Many years later, Fronzoni founded his own school, the Scuola Bottega, wich was influential to a whole generation of graphic designers and architects. Teaching was his preferred way of multiplying knowledge.
There are over 50 recorded hours of his lectures which Christian Aichner received from Fronzoni, along with the request to put them into a book someday. Each one was titled “Corso di Grafica”. The lecture he held in Naples in 1999 serves as the foundation for a chapter in this book, which is complimented by extensions from his other talks.
Besides a transcription of his teachings, this book consists of chapters attaining to Fronzoni’s work, life and thinking. A range of guest authors cover color, space, tone, and typography. There is a gap in the course of design history which this book seeks to close. The six chapters of this book are arranged in between a selection of posters by Fronzoni. The text on the posters has been replaced to make their ideas self-explanatory.
Just like the posters, this book invites the reader to play a part. It features a saddle-stich binding, so one can pull the pages in between together to reveal the complete poster printed on one sheet. These posters offer a meta-access into the universe of his visual language. The captions for the posters were typewritten by Fronzoni himself. His posters aren’t mere flat sheets. They offer unexpected dimensionality where surfaces bend, fan out, and layers overlap. Text is disassembled, sliced up, and hidden in the fold of the pages. The letters embrace their own lives. They pile up, ply and spin, blow up the surface, tear it open, and push beyond the edges. Fronzoni’s typography is reminiscent of its origin, revering its geometry. Individual characters turn out to be a composition of squares, rectangles, points, and semi-circles. His typography becomes poetry, a minimal art of transferring information as well as meaning.
Further information on A. G. Fronzoni:
(Check out these beautiful sites, but we must inform you, that we are not responsible for content of external links)
Book: Madlen Goehring
Photography: Caroline Wiederkehr
Video: Ben Hoss and Celine Warta
Music: Moby / Blue Paper
Special thanks to Joachim Herter, Yvy Heußler, Simon from Lichtsignale, and Merz Akademie, University of Applied Arts, Stuttgart, Germany
Pictures: All pictures show a dummy of the book. The book we produce contains texts of Christian Aichner, Ruedi Baur, Alessandro Mendini and A.G. Fronzoni as well as an introduction by Madlen Goehring only.
Music: Blue Paper by Moby courtesy of Mobygratis.com