Ladislav Sutnar, III Delnicka Olympiada [Third Workers Olympiad], poster, 1934.
Inspiration-driven publisher Designers & Books is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund a facsimile edition of Visual Design in Action, the iconic book on modern graphic design by Ladislav Sutnar. Originally published in 1961, Sutnar's commanding text slipped below the radar and has been out of print for decades, despite the devotion of some modern titans of the graphic design industry. The facsimile will be a lovingly detailed exact reproduction of the original with an included supplementary booklet featuring new writing and photos. The campaign is entering its final week, concluding on June 3, 2015.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Sutnar, already an accomplished Art Director and designer, came to the U.S. in 1939 to help set up the Czech Pavilion at the New York World's Fair and chose to remain due to the outbreak of war in Europe. His style brought order and clarity to a field muddy with technical information. Perhaps his best known, though least acknowledged, contribution was the use of parentheses for telephone area codes, now considered a milestone in information graphics. His posters were largely a fusion of Bauhaus ideas, typography, Constructivism and his own work with photomontage and design.
Ladislav Sutnar, Essential Product Information, flyer, 1942.
Among other fantastic rewards offered to backers of this project, contributors of $150 or more will receive tickets to a talk and cocktail reception here at Swann. A leading expert on Sutnar's work, Swann President and Director of Vintage Posters Nicholas D. Lowry will speak about the designer's striking works on paper and show off a few choice pieces from his own collection of Sutnar books and posters.
Ladislav Sutnar, Transport Next Half Century, 1950.
The event will be held Thursday July 30th, 2015 here at Swann Auction Galleries from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Steven Heller, one of the editors of the facsimile, will also be in attendance.
For more information on the book, the designer, the campaign or the event check out the Kickstarter.