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Michael Wamposzyc

E-Mail: wamposzyc [at] grako-schrift.fu-berlin.de


Ph.D. Project

"Typography and visual forms of representation in journals. Operativity and aesthetics of journal covers in Poland and Germany from 1945 to the present"



The doctoral thesis presents a comparative analysis of the front pages of two political news journals from Germany and Poland: "Der Spiegel" and "Polityka". The focus of the thesis are visual aspects of design specific to these journals, considered from the perspective of system-theoretical and empirical evidence from media and communication studies. Using empirical analysis, the discussion aims to clarify how visual forms of representation in the years 1945 - 2008 contributed to the development of modern, independent operational and aesthetic communication codes in both countries.

The dual nature of script as a linguistic and visual system of symbols places the typography of the journal covers in a state of tension between its linguistic and visual functions. The graphically variable and at the same time mechanically reproducible structure of print allows varied shape semantizations in typographic characteristics. Such characteristics offer the reader a range of emotional stimuli, historical allusions or cultural-ideological content. The wider scope of linguistic communication, which is achieved through the combination of graphic images with text, requires further analysis of the interaction between text and image. An accurate account of the symbiosis of both text and image systems produces a connotative description of the typography together with an analytical description of the images and forms a system theoretical structural coupling of the notational iconicity.

The role played by topicality takes on greater importance within the context of the mass media than within the context of any other functional system. Due to the regular publication of journals over long periods of time, it is necessary for the covers to present aesthetic consistency, whilst at the same time operating variety and originality in representation. In journalistic practice, this duality means a high degree of concentration on individual events and topics, strictly bound in its visual format to the commonly accepted aesthetic zeitgeist.


Curriculum Vitae

Since 10/2008

Doctoral Fellow at the DFG Research Training Group “’Notational Iconicity’: On the materiality, perceptibility and operativity of writing”, Freie Universität Berlin (DFG grant)


Meisterschüler in Visual Communication with Prof. Joachim Sauter, Universität der Künste Berlin


MA in Visual Communication. Thesis topic „Aesthetic Practice as Orientation in Visual Process“, Universität der Künste Berlin


Exchange semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (NICA grant)


Exchange semester at the London College of Communication (Erasmus grant)


Student tutor for Prof. Holger Matthies, Universität der Künste Berlin


Freelance Art Director for „Töchter und Söhne“, Student Communication Agency


Studies in Visual Communication and Experimental Media, Universität der Künste Berlin, Institute for Transmedia Design


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