Elements is a collection of 15 books accompanying the exhibition Elements of Architecture at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Rem Koolhaas. Totalling 2,336 pages, the single volumes and the box edition were designed Dutch graphic designer Irma Boom, a specialist in book making.
Concerning the use of Neuzeit S, Irma Boom explains in a 2012 interview that the font is her “all-time favorite typeface, because it is so limited, it has book and heavy, no italics, no light, very simple.” For Project Japan, another book by Rem Koolhaas, Irma Boom used Neuzeit, too.
“Neuzeit is my all-time favorite typeface, because it is so limited, it has book and heavy, no italics, no light, very simple.”
Something must have been lost in translation because I don’t see how this is a reason to love a typeface. Would she suddenly not love it if happened to gain an italic or additional weights (like its follower Graphik)?
I love Neuzeit S because it succeeds at a certain Modernist neutrality while being more readable than Helvetica or a stricter Geometric like Futura. I was pleased to see Apple adopted some of its forms for San Francisco.
Restrictions can be liberating and spur your creativity. A typeface family structure already provides a design program.
Of course there is always the possibility of self-restriction, but that’s hard, and can feel arbitrary.
Hm, the fact that Neuzeit S has just two styles feels just as arbitrary as any self-restriction, but I admire your effort to justify the rationale.
Contributed by Florian Hardwig
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