Progress! Propaganda! Proven!

Typography thoughts – developing on the word ‘proven’ and the material of concrete

If you have the time, please watch this fascinating documentary Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodmindedness by Jonathan Meades. Although I heartily disagree with him, I was impacted by the context he set for brutalism and its followers’ motivation.

This quote stood out for me:

“The early modern movement in architecture took a different pat, different paths, but all led away from primitivism towards a fundamentalist trust in progress, trust so strong it was a faith.”

Ahhhh, it all makes sense now! Brutalism is founded in shouting ‘Progress!’ as loud as it can.

Also, something that interested me was the fact that the brutalist architecture being built in the 1960s, was conceptualised and developed by architects in the 1950s, and who were decidedly not of the 1960s new found pop and individualist culture. It makes sense to me then, that this style feels like an authoritarian stamp on the horizon. It is an older generation’s gift to the younger generation, screaming ‘Progress!’, when the younger generation is already not listening.

Which makes me think of another scream into the darkness of a similar era, and similar authoritarian decree. Propaganda.

I have no idea what these posters say, but what I read is Progress! And what I hear is Proven! We are Ahead, we are Winning!

I love the use of the exclamation point, all capitals, the minimal spacing between the letters.

This is it… this is the font for this project. Slightly rounded, to show modernism, yet strong and unapologetic. I wonder if I could even stylise the letters to reflect the Russian alphabet?

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  • 17 July 2016