book on brazilian design

german design meets brazil

boa forma / gute form / good design is a book on brazilian design’s origins and its ties to the german school of design hfg ulm.

this project meant a lot to me, since it is about some of the design masters that were most influential in shaping me as a designer.

what

graphic design

what

graphic design

when

2021

when

2021

team

ilana tschiptschin

team

ilana tschiptschin

the covers

the cover is an attempt to visually synthesize the inherent tension of the subject:

on the one hand, the discipline, rigor and mathematical nature of the ulm school of design, practiced by the likes of max bill and otl aicher;

on the other hand, the more vibrant, experimental and sensorial explorations of brazilian artists, designers and architects such as lygia clark, aloísio magalhães and oscar niemeyer.

the trilingual titles were permutated in inverted cmy colors and using fibonacci scaled sizes (more about that below).

infographics and timeline

the book starts with a striking visual prologue: a series of infographics showing the rich exchange between brazilian and german artists and designers in the period.

the fibonacci grid

the guiding principle for the design was to build on some of the staple ulm features (expressive white space, geometric grided pages, lower case neo-grotesk typography, etc.) but with a brazilian twist – namely, extremely varied and rhythmic layouts.

this was achieved with a fibonacci sequence sized grid: 12 sub-columns were grouped to form sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5.

each column width was given a particular function – portuguese text, english version, side notes, captions and page footer – and they could be combined to generate larger image sizes.

essay opening spreads

the dynamic grid led to a typographic scale, that we used to create an opening spread for each of the book’s 11 essays.

the essays

the flexible grid was used to hierarchically dispose images and create variations in intensity and rhythm for each essay.

aside from the book writers (all of them design experts), i was particularly touched by the effusive response from karl heinz bergmiller, one of the og brazilian designers who studied in ulm:

‘concretists, constructivists, industrial and visual designers are partying!’

one year after launch, the book was already sold out.