Brita Lindvall Leitmann

Elizabeth at all times



The starting point of the project revolves around the typographer Elizabeth Friedlander, born 1903, Berlin – and her typeface Elizabeth, released 1939. When she is 35, she plans to launch this typeface under the name of Friedlander-Antiqua. But she is forced to rebrand it using her first name, since her surname is not politically correct. Elizabeth Friedlander, at the time an upcoming name in typographic circles, is forbidden to practice her profession in Germany. She flees the country just before the outbreak of war. Based on Elizabeth Friedlander's interrupted work and cancelled premise, my project has its beginning.

Elizabeth at all times constitute an ongoing study of typography as visual language and graphic design craft, through exploring ways in which time and circumstance affect aesthetic hegemonies and practice. By historicising how technological, political, economic and socio-cultural currents intersect, intertwine and create conditions for Elizabeth Friedlander's present, I seek to try out methods for aesthetic and mental shifts that can lead to other ways of perceiving and reanimating the past – setting other conditions and futures for my practice.

Brita Lindvall Leitmann (b. 1977, Sweden) graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2007 and has been employed as a senior lecturer in visual communication at Beckmans School of Design (Aug 2019–Dec 2020). Lindvall Leitmann is an internationally acclaimed graphic designer with 25 years of professional activity. Since 2012, Lindvall Leitmann has run the design studio Bastion, where they investigate how feminist and postcolonial theory can be transformed through visual communication. Most notable is perhaps their redesign of the Swedish magazine Bang (2012–2015), which illuminates and plays with typographic traditions, visual culture, and editorial principles — a project that encircles Lindvall Leitmann's aesthetically and methodologically ground-breaking practice.

Principal supervisor: Johanna Lewengard
Assistant supervisor: Nadine Chahine
Admitted to HDK-Valand: Graphic Design and Typography – Department of Visual Communication
Project period: 2020 –