<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS1921
“A photograph can, by the addition of an unimportant spot of color,
become a photomontage, a work of art…”
German Dada & Anti-Fascist Graphic Designer John Heartfield
Revolutionary Images. John Heartfield Changes The Face Of Publishing. 1921-1927
Revolutionary images in design and content began appearing on book covers in Berlin in 1921. The brothers Wieland Herzfelde and John Heartfield were partners in the publishing house Malik-Verlag. Wieland ran the business side. John produced Malik-Verlag’s graphic designs for the interior and exterior of books. Heartfield’s work for Malik-Verlag showed the full range of his genius as a graphic designer. The Berliner created an entirely new way of highlighting a book’s contents. His innovative covers “told a story” from the book’s front cover to the back. Many customers bought Malik-Verlag books without intending to read them. They only wanted Heartfield’s collaged dust jackets.
Title And Credits In Unique Typography For Famous Authors
Heartfield designed book jackets for authors such as Upton Sinclair, Kurt Tucholsky, and Sinclair Lewis. The young Berlin graphic designer revolutionized how typography appeared on book covers, using individual letters as elements of the visual design. He integrated words seamlessly into his collages.
Turning Away From “Success”
His work for Malik-Verlag publishing made John Heartfield one of the most sought-after graphic designers in Berlin. The largest Berlin advertising agencies offered him high-paying senior positions. To all offers, he had only one response – “No!” He could not work in advertising and continue to have the freedom to produce the revolutionary images he needed to create.
A Cartoon Inspires A Masterpiece That Foretells Global Warming
John Heartfield’s 1925 book cover for the Sinclair Lewis novel Nach der Sintflut is a collage masterpiece. The ocean waves threatening to destroy a city are an eerie portent of the dangers of climate change. Rising up from the waves, the skyscraper echoes an early Mutt and Jeff cartoon. Along with other Dadaists, the Dada artist was a fan of American cartoons.
John Heartfield Graphic Design for Upton Sinclair’s Nach der Sintflut
John Heartfield Graphic Design for Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles, Kurt Kurt Tucholsky