The ceremonial occasion marked by this stamp can be seen for itself. It is composed in 9-point “Times New Roman” (Stanley Morison, London, 1931) and recalls the page of a book. While fonts were at the heart of an ideological conflict in Austria and Germany in the 1930s (gothic vs. san serif) the humanistic Times New Roman was being quietly born and developed into one of the most widely used typefaces. All stamps in Austria are composed in German. This one too. Almost. It seeks to call attention to Austrian linguistic politics both at home and abroad. Austria is multi-lingual – a fact that is often conveniently forgotten.
“The majority of the ‘people of the nation’ speaks the homogenous national language. And this notion of a world of homogenous languages determines, if nothing else, how we think about language itself.” (Dani Rechling: Immer Deutscher, in: Stimme, Zeitschrift der Initiative Minderheiten, Nr. 78, Vienna, 2011).
The word Austria is written in Roman, the language of the Roma of Burgenland, as a result of which it is understandable both internationally as well as in the German language.
Eva Dertschei (*1973) & Carlos Toledo (*1965)
In their role as designers the Guatemalan/Austrian team of Toledo i Dertschei are particularly interested in the question of how a society is designed. Such thoughts about the role of power and the representation of that power not only continuously inform the work of the two graphic designers but also increasingly affect their critical approach to their own discipline. Eva Dertschei and Carlos Toledo are as preoccupied with investigating language and font as they are with employing them in a way that lends an effective voice to themes and initiatives which are not adequately represented in public debate. In this work, content is always more important than style and visual effectiveness (which is naturally defined on a case-by-case basis) more important than elegant design. Their work is always political, often striking and sometimes propagandistic, but in every case it is intelligent and reflective. It ranges from the design and conception of a series of exhibitions such as “Remapping Mozart” which was held to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2006, to the graphic and editorial responsibility for the series of publications “Bildpunkt” for the IG Bildende Kunst and the voluntary visual and contentual support of the “First of March” initiative, which seeks to mobilise opinion against the prevailing migration policy in Austria.