11. April 2019

novum cel­e­brates its 95th anniversary

“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.