Gerrit Noordzij is one of the most eminent figures in Dutch graphic design. A calligrapher and typographer, during his career he collaborated with various publishing houses and taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, where he directed the course in typography and design from 1970 to 1990. Today, many of his students are among the most recognised typographers and designers. His published works include The Stroke: theory of writing (1982), Das Kind un die Schrift (1985), De handen van de zeven zusters (2000). He also published the magazine Letterletter (1984). Aged 90 he passed away in 2022.
Il tratto (The stroke) constitutes the fundamental element of the written word, whether handwritten or printed. The qualities of voids and solids are explained in this fundamental text by typographer Gerrit Noordzij.
First published in Dutch in 1982, in English in 1985 and in a later updated edition in Italian in 2007, Il tratto presents a careful and organic synthesis of his theory of writing. The method of line drawing developed here stems from the author’s innovative contribution during his teaching period at the Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, where fundamental concepts such as expansion and contrast took shape. They made it possible, on the one hand, to revolutionise the teaching of writing and its history and, on the other hand, to approach the Dutch typographic tradition in a concrete way. With extraordinary precision, Noordzij analyses the morphology of writing in a happy interweaving of diachronic and synchronic dimensions, while at the same time restoring its proper prominence, certainly in the field of calligraphy but also in typography and design.
A not-to-be-missed text, now available in a new edition, to delve deeper into a figure who is still not sufficiently known in Italy, but also very influential in the international typographic panorama.
Text and illustrations by Gerrit Noordzij Translation by Alessandro Colizzi
12.5 × 19 cm 88 pages Paperback Italian Isbn 978-88-98030-29-3 First published July 2020