Words Form Language
On Concrete Poetry, Typography, and the Work of Eugen Gomringer
Words Form Language is a book on concrete poetry, typography, and the work of Eugen Gomringer. This publication was realized with the support of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne and HES-SO/University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. It has been published by Triest Verlag in both English and German language.
Bolivian-born Swiss poet, writer and publisher Eugen Gomringer (*1925) is often described as the father of concrete poetry. He was an active figure in Switzerland’s post-war design and art scene and was a voice of poetry at the intersection of literature, art, and design.
From 1953 onwards, together with Dieter Roth and Marcel Wyss, Gomringer co-published the artist’s magazine spirale, that formed the starting point for his form of poetry. From an early stage, Gomringer wanted to blur the boundaries of poetry and the language of advertising. Throughout his entire career he remained an advocate of interdisciplinary, collaborating actively with artists and graphic designers such as Max Bill, Karl Gerstner, Anton Stankowski, and above all the Zurich-based design studio E + U Hiestand.
This publication was created following extensive research in archives in Switzerland and Germany. The book combines original images and selected works from Gomringer’s longstanding collaborations as art director and copy-writer for various companies. It also contains the theoretical essay “vom vers zur konstellation” (from verse to constellation), Gomringer’s original manifesto published in 1954.
About the editor
Simon Mager is a German graphic designer, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. He graduated with a Master in Art Direction from ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, where he continued to work as a teaching assistant and visiting lecturer. Since 2016 he runs the collaborative design practice Omnigroup together with Leonardo Azzolini. The studio works in the field of type and graphic design for international clients and is active in research and education. In 2017 the studio won the Swiss Design Award. In 2019 Simon Mager was awarded the Josef Müller-Brockmann Prize.
Words Form Language
Publisher: Triest Verlag
Author: Simon Mager
Book design: Omnigroup Lausanne
Volume: 220 p. with ca. 120 images
Format: 16 × 24 cm
ISBN: 978-3-03863-069-2 (English edition)
ISBN: 978-3-03863-068-5 (German edition)
Price: € (D) 25.– / € (A) 25.70 / CHF 29.–
Photos: © ECAL / Santiago Martinez