The Architectural Review

lore's picture

I'm writing an essay on the British magazine The Architectural Review (more precisely on architect Gordon Cullen and writer Ian Nairn). Apparentely during the post-war period the large format of the Architectural review did not present a decisive development in graphic design and layout, confining itself to the safe Times tipography until Gordon Cullen introduced for the first time (October 1947 issue) the use of Clarendon Bold, which became a fashionable typeface in many architectural practices at the time. The architectural Review was apparentely well-known for its innovation in lay-out and format with the contribution of Gordon Cullen, who had a great interest in typography.
I was wondering if anyone can tell me more about it or has come across any text on Architectural Review and its use of typography and layout, especially in the post-war period.
Many thanks for any link, opinion or anecdote.

lore's picture

wow. 255 reads and not a single comment? That's sad.

dezcom's picture

Lore,
Sorry, I have no information on the Architecural Review. There was a great deal of Clarendon bold used in the 1950s but I have no way of linking it to your publication. The only architectural journal I read back then was Domus.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I assume your Google search turned up nothing helpful.

ChrisL

lore's picture

Thanks! I was sure a charitable soul would send a sign of life sooner or later! I think it's such an interesting topic and going through the 50s editions of the AR was literally mind blowing. The layout is really interesting, all cluttered and with an antiquarian feel and I'm sure all this says a lot about the AR's (or England for this matter) place in the Modern Movement.

Anyway, no: nothing on Google, in fact my research is way beyond the google phase! I've found this information in a biography of Gordon Cullen written by David Gosling. Cullen was art director at the AR for many years and he really was "the guy with the twinkle in his eye" (as Gosling put it) so I'd love to find out more about his interest in typography (and its Townscape theories obviously but that is easier to find).

That's it. But thanks anyway Chris, for a moment I thought I had been grounded or something! Phew!

dezcom's picture

Lore,
I think you got no replies because there was nobody who had any answers for you--including me. I always feel strange replying "I don't know" so I tend to leave the question for those who do. Perhaps others felt the same way?
Perhaps you might post a couple of scans from AR to show us what you mean. It sounds unusual for an architectural journal to "have a cluttered and antiquarian feel." I think of architects as being very structured and conciously organized--perhaps Domus fits my view of what architects would like in a journal?

ChrisL

lore's picture

Exactly! Why the AR chose to have this look right in the middle of the 50s? That could be (a key (or one of the keys) to understand the magazine's philosophy and I'm sort of getting there but I wanted to demonstrate it by showing its use of layout and typography as well.
Good idea about the scan. Hey no worries! I was just trying to resuscitate the thread but I'm not taking it personally of course, I was just surprised, it doesn't happen often at Typophile that nobody has anything to say!
Thanks again.

dezcom's picture

"...that nobody has anything to say!"

LOL!!!

That is for sure :-)

ChrisL

Bruce's picture

A couple of thoughts.

I have a complete run of "AR" here, from 1954 until 1992. My father was an architect, with a modest country practice, designing primarily houses but some public and commercial buildings as well. He was strongly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. He practised from 1950 until 2002. Over the years, he subscribed to the typical American mags such as "Progressive Architecture," "Architectural Forum," "AIA Journal," and so forth. He also took "abitare" and "domus." (And "I. F. Stone's Weekly" if any of you are ancient enough to remember that!)

But of all those, the only ones he kept were copies of the "Architectural Review." I think this says a lot about the content of the magazines in addition to their design.

When I have some spare time I'll look to see if 1954 is early enough for the change in design to be discussed during the run of magazines I have here, and shall certainly report back to you if that is the case. Their layouts (and even the ads) seem so much livelier than the oh-so-corporate looking American mags.

Bruce

lore's picture

Thank you so much for the thoughts Bruce (and welcome to Typophile, what took you so long!?). As far as AR is concerned the post-war editions are indeed very interesting as artefacts. Due to paper racioning they were made with different kind of papers, especially special editions such as "Outrage" (1955) and "Counter-attack against Subtopia". They are rare and difficult to find nowadays. I bought Outrage on ebay, it was a bit expensive but worth every penny.
What I should do is compare AR layout, format and typography with that of the periodicals you mention (I should have done this probably ages ago, so thanks for the inspiration). The AR was an international magazine but above all it was English and I guess that, through H. de C. Hastings, it did reflect England's Picturesque tradition. Anyway mine are speculations but I'd be glad to hear more when you have time. Thanks again.

boicozine's picture

I know this is an old post but I only just stumbled across vintage Architectural Reviews. Here is my blog post about what I found:
http://boico.net/blog/archives/293

lore's picture

Excellent! Thanks Michael. I'll have a look at it and get back to you. Damned, I can't believe I missed that shop you mention in your blog, I used to hang around Brick Lane a lot when I was in London. If you see those special editions from the 50s just grab 'em and run.
I also received few emails on this topic which led to interesting discussions so thanks everyone.

lore's picture

No I didn't! I know the shop!

boicozine's picture

I hope Archiv re-open again.
They seem to be keeping their MySpace page up to date.

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