Release Date: 01 Oct 2007
Category: Graphic Design
Massin (b. 1925) emerged as one of the key players instrumental in the evolution of graphic arts following World War II. His work in the field is a model of creativity infused with elegance and humour, and has covered editorial design, graphics, poster and logo design; art direction, typography and photography; and publishing, design education and writing. Throughout his career, Massin has developed a diverse and forward-thinking body of work with some of the most prestigious cultural institutions and the post-war literary world. During his 20 years working with the pre-eminent, French publisher, Gallimard, he established and developed their art direction department, launched the "Folio" series - a popular collection of pocket books - and redesigned the famous logo for the Nouvelle Revue Francaise (New French Review literary publication).Massin is a book sculptor, and has worked on a freelance basis with an extensive range of other renowned publishers, including Hoebeke, Le Club Francais du Livre, Albin Michel, Plon, Le Seuil and Larousse.
Collaborating with famous playwrights and writers such as Eugene Ionesco and Raymond Queneau, Massin explored the realm of 'expressive typography', making the text more energetic and exciting with the interplay of words and images. His concepts for Cantatrice Chauve, by Eugene Ionesco (1964 - in English "The Bald Soprano", 1965 for the US edition, and "The Bald Prima Donna", 1966 for the UK edition) and Exercices de Style, by Raymond Queneau, stand as masterpieces in book design and are commonly used by professors in graphic design classes to illustrate a unique adventure in the history of typography.Before the broken type associated with the design group, Pentagram emerged in the field of graphic arts, Massin was experimenting with letters, fonts and images, producing creative three-dimensional limited-edition covers and a series of imaginative book bindings. He also educated the public with his own publications on the techniques of typography with projects such as L'ABC du Metier and La Mise en Pages. His famous book "La Lettre et l'image" (in English "Letter and Image") is a unique anthology of illustrated and expressive letter forms.
It was first published in 1970 in five languages, and has been in print ever since.
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