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Fingerspitzengefühl

Sunday 5 May 2013

I found this delightful German word in Oliver Reichen­stein’s fine piece Learning to see. He writes about design that combines functional and aesthetic value​—​You don’t get there with cos­metics, you get there by taking care of the details, by polishing and refining what you have. This is ultimately a matter of trained taste, or what German speakers call “Finger­spitzen­gefühl” (literally, “finger-tip-feeling”). He adds a photo of Jan Tschichold to illustrate.

Photograph of Jan Tschischold, who oversaw the redesign of 500 Penguin paperbacks in the 1940s, designed the elegant and read­able typeface Sabon, and brought a refined taste and sensibility to the design of books and type. According to Linotype, Frank Bolliger took this exquisite photo of him in 1962.

filed under Design + Words

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