The Public Eye is one piece of a three-piece undergraduate thesis project called “Win: Reconciling a Legacy”. The project takes the form of a printed archive that investigates the life of a polarizing executive in the world of 1980’s Broadcasting, who was also a polarizing figure within the designer’s own family: his grandfather, Win.
The Public Eye focuses on a specific piece of that legacy: instead of family records or stories, the content is all from newspapers of the time that published editorials, photos, and obituaries for Win, especially during his time as the President of Westinghouse Broadcasting. The design references the visual language of advertising, magazines and television at the time. It captures the achievements of a man, but also shows the values of men of the time, whose careers and achievements were especially important to their self-image.
The rich typographic palette is consistent across the three pieces, though each adopts a different visual system according to the tone of its content. The newspaper makes special use of the extremity of Berton Hasebe’s Druk Super Condensed to portray its brash, swaggering content, especially in a full-spread section that compiles every word used to describe Win in the extensive interviews throughout the project. Commercial Type’s Publico Text is used for the body of the newspaper as a workhorse news face.
Neuzeit S serves as the body for another piece of the project, but here it plays a supporting role in marginalia and captions. Neuzeit S was chosen for its period and its original creation as a corporate face, and to depart from the Swiss typefaces that permeated so much of the corporate design of the second half of the 20th century.
Other type, like Franklin Gothic, Courier, and a free-font version of the Westinghouse corporate font, introduced in 1963 and revived in 2013 as Westinghouse by John Sizemore serve a specific purpose—referencing actual materials collected in the designer’s visual research into the project.
This project was completed as an undergraduate thesis by Noah Baker at Washington University in St. Louis. View more project images on Behance or view the process blog where the designer puts type and design choices in more context.
Contributed by Florian Hardwig
Contributed by Reed Reibstein