Post-Impressionist Type and Typography

daifoldes's picture

Hello all. I'm researching Post-Impressionist type and typography but finding a dearth of literature and online articles concerning design spawned by this very painterly movement. Bringhurst is mum on the subject other than to say that the style "raised waves in the typographic world". I've been amassing historic posters for shows by relevant artists (Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, early Picasso, etc.) to see what typographers were doing at the time but it would be great to read a retrospective analysis of how these typefaces and designs relate to their concurrent artistic movement.

Has anyone read anything like this?

eliason's picture

The lettering that I would associate with Post-Impressionism would be that which appears on the poster art by artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (and maybe some other Art Nouveau folks like Alphonse Mucha). These were color lithographs, and thus not made with type, strictly speaking. So you may find some people referring to Post-Impressionist type with these posters in mind, but people who know what they are talking about (like Bringhurst) know that this is lettering, not typography.

blank's picture

Craig is dead-on. You have a great excuse to draw some letters. Jump on that shit.

daifoldes's picture

I intend to! The project for which I am doing research is purely handmade. I like to study the type, lettering, and penmanship of a period together as they often inform one another. I'd really like to learn how the principles of Post Impressionism, balancing natural perception with its expressive or investigative distortion, shaped letters cut, drawn, and written.

hrant's picture

Just noticed this (thanks to

To me Post-Impressionist might mean things like Menhart's work, which I call "fauve type", a style that was revived in South America just over a decade ago.


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