|Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956) was one of the premier artists of the constructivist movement in Russia. Although he was a sculptor, painter and photographer, he is most remembered for his graphic design style in book and poster design. His unique and dramatic style defined Russian popular art of the early Revolutionary period. There is a special link between Rodchenko’s photographic work and his graphic designs. In his photographs he emphasized strong contrasts of light and shadow and used unusual angles and geometric shapes, producing images which you can see directly reflected in his graphic designs. Rodchenko had a unique eye for shapes and wrote of his photographic vision, “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.”
After studying art in Moscow and producing a body of paintings in the constructivist style, Rodchenko became part of the Productivist movement, which advocated the incorporation of art into everyday life. He applied ideas from photography and constructivism to his graphic designs for posters, books, and films. Rodchenko also combined photography and graphic arts to produce photomontages , many of them as illustrations for works by poet and playwright Vladimir Myakovsky who he worked with closely in the 1920s. He also worked on the design of the magazine LEF and on journals promoting other artists of the Constructivist movement. His designs eliminated unnecessary detail, emphasized dynamic diagonal composition, and were concerned with the placement and movement of objects in space.
His later career overlapped with the emergence of Soviet Realism and increased government regimentation of the artistic community and as his work became more abstract and expressionist he was ostracized from official artistic circles, left to work primarily as a manager and organizer of photography exhibitions for the government.
Rodchenko has has a lasting influence in poster and book design. His style was widely imitated in the West in the 1930s and even today artists like Shepard Fairey produce designs which clearly derive from Rodchenko’s work.
We have produced several Constructivist style fonts in the past, and our latest is the new Rodchenko font based on his lettering from an advertisement for the Gum department store. We’ve also collected together a selection of Rodchenko poster and book cover designs which are included with the font if you purchase it, or which you can view here with the gallery tool.
You can try the DEMO version of Rodchenko for free. The demo has only one version of each character, in alternating positions so you can get a feel for how the font works. Or you can ORDER the full version for only $24, with the Rodchenko image gallery included, and download it right away.