Artist Research – Herb Lubalin

You can do a good ad without good typography, but you can’t do a great ad without good typography”

Herb Lubalin was an American graphic designer and typographer. He collaborated with Ralph Ginzburg on three magazines: ErosFact, and Avant Garde, and was responsible for the creative visual beauty of the publications. For the last of these, he designed a typeface, one of my personal favourites, ITC Avant Garde – a font which could be described as a nod to the art-deco style of the 1920s. It was used heavily in the 1980s, 90s and the early years of the 21st century, and is even still used in moderation today.

Lubalin’s interest in typography as a communicative implement manifested at an early age, and he was particularly interested in the differences in the interpretation one could impose by changing from one typeface to another. He was very fascinated by the look and sound of words as he expanded their messages with typographic impact. As such, the vast majority of Lubalin’s work was based heavily on typographic experimentation and manipulation. In my personal opinion, his clever use of type allowed him to communicate incredibly efficiently and effectively.

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