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Late Modern

Late Modern encompasses three distinct periods; First, Hitler’s and Stalin’s repression to Modernist art (1930s) moved these artists to safer areas of Europe, and then to America - greatly affecting our design. Second, after WWII businesses started to regroup with many becoming international companies, with a greater need for design than ever before. And third, starting in the 1950s there was a revived interest in past styles with a contemporary twist.

Both Hitler and Stalin severly repressed the Modern artists and dictated art to be produced in a much more traditional style. Characteristics of this style now called Heroic Realism include; symmetrical layout, serif typefaces, use of illustration instead of photography, with idealized imagery.

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When Tschichold’s writings first reached the United States, they caused turmoil and were not easily accepted by many. The US was not warm on many of the modernist ideas, but slowly accepted these new ideas when surveys showed how consumers considered modern design to illustrate the “promise of the future.”

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During the 1930s, approximately 700 artist, 380 architects and 100 graphic designers immigrated to the US - most coming from Europe for New York

There were a few American designers who stood out for their avant-garde work. Some of the few include Paul Rand, Lester Beall, and Bradbury Thompson.

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It is the coming together of Form + Content that is the realization of design.     - Paul Rand

Moholy-Nagy went to Chicago and opened the New Bauhaus. He said he was disappointed about American design. “The Constructivist movement in Europe originated in countries with undeveloped industry…They admired exactness and precision…the skyscraper, the highway, the immense span of bridges…They tried to be children of the new age as they believed Americans to be. When I came to this country I was greatly surprised to find that we Europeans were, to a certain extent more, American than the Americans.

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Alexey Brodovitch immigrated from Russia to Paris, won a poster competition where he beat Picasso, started in editorial design, invited to America to teach, and then settled in New York to continue his editorial work and open his school called the Design Lab.

Joseph Binder came from Austria and worked for the US Office of War Information.

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