“I want to outline a circle within which you find what is deemed good, contemporary graphics.” With these words H. K. Frenzel described the orientation of Gebrauchsgraphik, which he founded in 1924 and which today is known as novum – World of Graphic Design. Today, his credo continues to be adhered to by the Munich-based editorial department headed by Bettina Schulz although a number of communication channels have been added and the covers receive even greater attention. Every issue is produced with care to underline the team’s standards where print matter is concerned: In this digital age, readers must be able to experience the magazine with all their senses. Every month and at the bi-annual Creative Paper Conferences (www.creative-paper.de) novum shows what is possible in printing, finishing and selecting materials. Since the inception of the magazine, the content has been curated very diligently to reflect the status quo of top creative achievements around the world.
Recently, a partnership between Erfurt University, SLUB Dresden and the novum editorial staff resulted in a fascinating book in which all issues of Gebrauchsgrapik published between 1924 and 1944 are captured meticulously, not least to preserve the legacy of the most influential designers of their time introduced in these publications. The more than 200 covers including in-depth texts provide insights into decades of political turmoil and creative energy. The book is published by Stiebner Verlag (“Magazines are printed shop windows to the world of advertising.” Patrick Rössler).
While the 95th anniversary issue will not be published until June 15, a retrospective on nine decades of graphic design already is available on the magazine’s website. The editors interviewed design icons, each born in a different decade, about the industry’s transformation: Milton Glaser, Uwe Loesch, Paula Scher, David Carson, Fons Hickmann, Francesco Franchi and Jessica Walsh. In addition, the website features one of the last interviews with the great typographer Hermann Zapf.