Typographic design by Karel Teige

Seifert, Jaroslav, (1901-1986) Na vlnách TSF: poesie (Praha-Bubeneč : Nakl. V. Petra, 1925) Typography and cover design by Karel Teige (1900-1951). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), NC139.T44 N3 1925

Karel Teige was a graphic designer and architectural theorist. His innovative designs during the years before World War II, revolutionized both commercial and artistic book production in Czechoslovakia. Together with the Czech poet Seifert, Teige founded the 1920s Prague-based avant-garde group Devetsil (taken from the word for a tough weed).

Teige began his career as a painter but when he designed the first cover of a Devetsil publication, he gave up painting for graphic design. Influenced by many of the DaDa artists, such as Man Ray, Teige often used photomontage in his covers.

Na vlnách TSF can be translated On the Waves of T(élégraphie) S(ans) F(il), or On the Air. This was the fourth collection of poetry issued by Seifert and one of many project on which he collaborated with Teige.

In 1984, Jaroslav Seifert was the first Czech to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. “Endowed with freshness, sensuality, and rich inventiveness,” the Nobel Committee stated, Seifert’s poetry “provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man… . He conjures up another world than that of tyranny and desolation — a world that exists both here and now … one that exists in our dreams and our will and our art.”

Listen to one of Seifert’s poems at: http://audiopoetry.wordpress.com/category/poet/jaroslav-seifert/