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Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]
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Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner [1st ed. Hardcover]

Compendium for Literates: A System of Writing by Karl Gerstner, English translation. hardcover, 1974. Translated by Dennis Q. Stephenson from the 1972 German edition Kompendium for Alphabeten: Systematik der Schrift. MIT Press, USA, 6 x 6, pp. 180. Printed in Switzerland. Uniquely designed by Karl Gerstner, this book should be rotated 90° clockwise to be easily read from top to bottom.

Gerstner’s formative book on the system of writing is a visualized and descriptive inventory (not a history of the origin of writing) of typographic possibilities in relation to: spacing, size, proportion, thickness, configuration, color, value, texture, dimension, leading, figure, ground, placement, unity and much more. Two introductory texts by Gerstner; one from December 1970 and January 1974. Heavily illustrated in black and white and some color with French fold pages.

The material is divided into five chapters, then subdivided into “parameters” and “components” including: Writing and language (Alphabet, Direction of reading, Mode of writing), Craft (Process, Repetition), Picture (Letter picture, Word picture, Composition picture, Morphological boxes and more), Function and Expression (coordinate, articulate, display, arrange, underline, derive, visualize, play) with a Bibliography.

A very good black cloth hardcover with light wear and toning to a few early pages. The front-free endpaper is starting to pull from the binding (see photo). In the original, very good jacket with light wear near the corners. Highly recommended!