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野生的Lars Müller / From the Wild. Lars Müller

July 12, 2018

 

誠品信義店是我很愛去的一間書店之一,開闊的環境讓人迷失其中,卻又欣喜若狂,使我迷失在書的世界。約莫幾個禮拜我寫了一篇文章,有關於這次紙間現實的工作坊、講座、與讓我流連三次仍然嫌不夠的展覽。 

 

 

展覽的數量當然值得提一下,但僅止於此,展覽的質量才是應該關注的地方。以下請允許我挑出幾本穆勒先生在工作坊有跟我討論到的,以及本人私愛的幾本書。

 

 

 

  • The Face of Human Rights  

這本書是我在工作坊裡隨機從白色書車上拉出的一本書,殊不知Müller先生就剛好看到,說這是個great choice,因為他做這個書封做了好幾年。此書內容為針對不同種類的人權分篇章敘述探討,書中充滿各種相關圖片,與說明文字並列之。出版一本書,出版社與書籍設計師的觀點一定有所差異,例如像這樣充滿圖片的書籍,設計師反傾向不特意挑選其中一張照片作為封面選照,然而出版社則認為圖片更能吸引購買。設計師不選擇圖片的原因有很多,純粹以字體便能承載整本書的論調為其一,另外便是若單純應用字體呈現,將可以為這本書帶來更廣闊的閱讀群眾,因為圖片會容易讓愛好特定技藝、專業等的人群自動分類,只挑自己有興趣的書翻閱──這樣的選擇只純粹透過他/她看見的封面而不是書裡的內容。我相信目前線上有名的設計師都是擁有跳出框架的勇氣,越跳越能大家一看便會驚嘆並同感的面貌見世,也會為整本書做出最好的註解。

  • Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface (Paperback)

一直以來,Helvetica都是設計圈裡呼聲有高有低的瑞士字體家族。我個人非常喜愛,相信穆勒先生也是很愛,愛到出了這本主要以收集街道應用Helvetica的景觀之書(另還有Helvetica Forever: Story of a Typeface,將帶入更多Helvetica的What跟How)。光是愛好者就應該收藏這本書,封面顏色搭配是瑞士各種文化元素融合的街頭招牌,從小貼紙、地鐵指標、乃至參差不齊的雜誌封面都可以看見Helvetica的身影。Helvetica或是所有的字體最大的特點是都有一個迷思:並不是太多、太氾濫而不好,而是設計使用之處不對了,才是不好。  

 

 

從這次Lars Müller帶來誠品展出的100多本書中,我們看見字體在他的工作室佔有不可忽視的份量;只用字體來形塑封面,看似簡單,但卻是字體本身的結構跟設計師的選擇;元素越少、畫面越乾淨,細節更是重點,不容有任何缺失;以這樣的標準,設計師必須秉持極敏銳的思維與對細心的偏執做設計,Müller正是個完美例子。雖然接受西方現代主義的影響,但他亦多方接觸不同文化種子,例如他對原研哉的「刻意留白」就充滿興趣;我還記得他看了我的設計,突然就講起原研哉的一本書,雙手在空中遊動,聲音跟著手高低起伏,告訴我留白與呼吸之於人體視覺經驗的關聯。這是他身為設計師的一面,至於身兼出版社老闆的那面,似乎常常被設計師的那個自我所說服,而自我問答的過程,塑造了Lars Müller Publishers令人尊敬的形象。 

 

16歲那年被踢出家門之後,他決心不要在有上司的環境裡工作,即使不得不為了這個原則付出更多心力以平衡收支,一路艱難坎坷,仍然值得。他告訴年輕設計師們,要培養對外界說no的能力,並且在這個科技不斷更新的世代裡找到自己的核心能力。Herr Müller的設計態度的確是值得年輕設計師們學習;即使瑞士跟臺灣的設計環境不同,若設計心態正確,相信境遇將會有所改變。

 

Herr Müller就像是在瑞士流浪過的設計師,外表內斂儒雅,行為溫柔敦厚,卻擁有帶有野生的能量,不斷透過設計或教育,為信念發聲,也為整個世代留下烙印。

 

 

 

From the Wild. Lars Müller —Eslite Bookstore Exhibition: Analogue Reality

 

Few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the experience of the workshop and speech given by Lars Müller during the exhibition period. The amount of books Herr Müller brought for the EXPO surely is worth mentioning, but the quality and delicacy of them are what matter the most. I’d like to brief some of the showcases below:
 

  • The Face of Human Rights

I randomly pulled out the book on a pure white shelf during the workshop. Didn’t know Herr Müller was standing just besides me, I was astonished hearing he said this a great choice. The process of making the cover took him years of consideration. One of the reasons was that the publisher often made different decisions from designers: in such book full of pictures, the publisher prefer choosing one of them and make it the main cover, mostly for marketing strategy; however, designer might consider the opposite, pure typography might bring out the best of its essence, and maybe attract audiences from different groups.
 

  • Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface (Paperback)

For decades, Helvetica has been one of the most widely-discussed typeface. Well I’m a big fan, and I believe Herr Müller is a huge one, so that he wrote and published this book.(There is another one called Helvetica Forever:Story of a Typeface is book, which aim at the What and How of Helvetica, I’m still on it, will share some thought soon afterwards) The book is covered with Swiss red and an capital H, and it collects all kinds of media with Helvetica printed on, from signages to magazines. For all types, there is no such thing called an awful type because of the prevalence but the misuse of each.

 

From the books exhibited during this event, we can see the amount that typography has in their design. Pure typography looks simple, however, what makes it hard depends on the graphic choices that designer has to make: the less the elements there are, the more details matter. Under such criteria, designers must be extremely sensitive to all details. Herr Müller is the perfect example. Besides having western design training, he gets in touch with different cultures. That time when he looked at my ongoing work, he talked to me about Kenya HARA's idea of negative spaces with his hands waving in the air. That is how he taught me the relationship between negative spaces and breathing towards human senses, especially visually.

 

After his 16th birthday, he had decided not to work under any supervisor, which resulted in hardships when it comes to making both ends meet. Nevertheless, he said it was definitely worth it. The ability of saying no to the world and finding one's core ability couldn't be understated. Herr Müller's is surely a model worth learning from.

 

Herr Müller is like a designer who had seen the goods and bads, looking elegant and mild, possessing the wild energy that makes it ways through design and education.

 

 

 

Lars Müller
Lars Müller Publishers創辦及負責人,書籍及平面設計師、前AGI(國際平面設計聯盟)主席、並受教於瑞士設計大師Josef Müller-Brockmann,益師益友。曾出版瑞士字體家族中Helvetica的相關書籍。近年致力於設計教育,於歐洲及世界各地巡迴演講。

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