«Construction of the classic type»
The graphoanalytical study of the letter beauty started at the earliest time of creative activity of Iakov Chernikhov, who was always attracted by the art of book design. In 1945 he got down to the research work, which initially was conceived as the handbook for architects and it uncovered special place for the letter in architectural composition, its rhythmic participation in the linear-ornamental rows of the text. Taking great interest in this subject, Iakov Chernikhov discovered the richest materials in the Russian written language and graphics of the types, which he had collected and systematized for several years. His work overstripped the earlier outlined frames and passed into the field of the theory of types.
Iakov Chernikhov used for construction of the types some principles taken from the theory of architectural forms having much in common with the type forms that obey the same regularities.
Excellently mastering the graphics, Iakov Chernikhov developed a system of modular metrics of letters and gave the accurate geometrical base for construction of prints. The modular system makes it possible to apply it with various changes to all kinds of the prints, even to those not having the evident regularities in their description.
The graphic logicality and clarity of the main constructions enable the internal regularities of the form of any element of each letter to be ascertained very easily. Iakov Chernikhov managed to find the proportions of the initial rectangles and express the elements of separate letters of the alphabet in the units of module. As a rule, taken as the module is the width of the main elements of letters or their height. The modular array plotted on the initial rectangle facilitates the exposure of the form of elements of the letter and their position even for the types having only the arbitrary description.
the theoretical side, the value of the Chernikhov’s method consists
in that it gives the universal system of graphical analysis for all
elements of any prints.
The tables presented in the book contain the most significant and interesting Russian types related to different historical periods starting the 11th century. The studies made by the author enable the development of forms of the Russian types and geometrical bases of construction thereof to be traced.
The work performed by Iakov Chernikhov in the field of graphical analysis and unification of the methods of construction of the types was in principle the new one and it hasn’t lost its importance till now. It is of great theoretical and practical interest for the book artists and architects.
book “Construction of the types” was published after the author’s death
(Moscow, 1958). It contained 22 tables from 144 modulated constructions
executed by him.