Nikki Roach is an interdisciplinary designer who is located in Hamtramck, Detroit. This website is a living archive of identities, publications, studies and spaces. For specific inquiries, contact: mail@nikkiroach.com

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The Weingart Experiment

An interpretive monograph on the graphic designer, Wolfgang Weingart.

Weingart's process and style was developed around the 1970s and is known colloquially as Swiss Punk or New Wave. It became recognized for its bold and layered expressions that combine graphic, typographic, and photographic elements in dynamic compositions. His legacy as a typographer rivals his career as an educator. When he was teaching, Weingart encouraged students to experiment with materials and processes; as well as to iterate on their ideas. These pedagogical approaches were rare within the monolith of education given to metal typesetters of the 50s and 60s.

Weingart's decisions to embrace technologies and invent new methods made him an influential figure in design history; some of his students went on to usher in the Postmodern Graphic Design moment in America. He artistically challenged the hegemony of western typography standards. Nevertheless, his approach is inextricably Swiss. Weingart invigorated the International Typographic Style's modern grids, objective photography, and less is more approach to content; pushing them into editorial art.

In my editorial artifact, images of magazine covers for Typografische Monatsbl├Ątter were juxtaposed with parametric 3D models. The experiment was to counter-contextualize my essay on Wolfgang Weingart with generative aesthetics from new design software. Visuals made in the Processing programming IDE were placed into a zone on the foot of most pages. I thought that by placing Weingart within a recent juncture in design history, we might discover continuities in the experimental uses of forms (text, image), elements (color, composition), and methods (arrangement, scale, behavior) that endure technological challenges.