Design Inspiration: Tschichold to Rocha.


Left: Jan Tschichold, film poster for Phoebus Palast Cinema, Berlin: The Woman Without a Name and Napoleon, 1927

Right: Felipe Rocha, poster for Spotify, 2018.

The above mentioned works by Jan Tschichold and Felipe Rocha respectively, were created almost one hundred years apart, yet somehow, when place side-by-side engage in a tug of war along this very long timeline. With exception of their subject matter—old theatre vs. online streaming service—the works can almost be interchangeable with regards to their stylistic qualities.

In both cases, the first surface element the spectator is asked to interact with is the large typography and the minimal use of colour. What is particularly interesting is that ninety years later, we have returned to the same typographic styles; bold, sans-serif faces. Though Tschichold uses rotation of text to create a sense of movement, Rocha borrows this idea of breaking the grid by dispersing words along a series horizontal axis, again, to create a sense of movement, adding character to the minimalist work. Additionally, it would appear that Rocha’s work adopt’s this “non-linear” approach to hierarchy, where instead of reading left to right, the eye jumps and wonders along some form of diagonal construction. Though this is the case, the eye still ends up where it needs to be: “Best New Artists 2018 > the artists > Spotify,” as with Tschichold’s; “NAPOLEAN > picture of Napoleon > Phoebus Palast.”

Finally, the secondary elements (images) in both works appear to be cropped and are then used as graphic elements in and of themselves. Although Rocha uses several rectangles instead of one single circle (due to nature of information needing to be communicated,) both utilize negative space in a way that communicates a sense of play / youthfulness / entertainment that is ultimately respective to their time periods.

A Six Word Summary for the Victorian Era—Tyler Job



With an increase in literacy during the 19th century and the rapid production of typographic-based posters, visual chaos overwhelms the streets. A hopelessly fine visual metaphor for the anxieties produced by the industrial revolution, and a new culture of consumption.