A search for the founding narratives of graphic design and typography (as there were such narratives in antiquity about art, painting, and sculpture) among Atlantist type designers of the 1930s, starting with the American typographer Beatrice Warde.
From Pliny, Butades and Zeuxis and Parrhasius's competition, to Ovid, Pygmalion and the mirroring love of Echo and Narcissus, the antiquity has been full of stories, parables, metaphors and allegories which have shaped the human gaze and the way we apprehend images by creating norms in representation and ways of seeing.
Consequently, a question arises: where to look for a new antiquity fit for this perhaps new manner of design, typography or graphic design?
The purpose of this essay has been to research the founding texts of graphic design focusing on the new traditionalists type designers of the Monotype Corporation in general and on Beatrice Warde in particular. The strong and unusual Beatrice Ward became the First Lady and queen of "modern" typography. It is through the study of her Crystal Goblet, a philosophical tale, that Thierry Chancogne takes an interest in how graphic design can call for ethics of function and full transitivity: a tale for transparent typography.
Thierry Chancogne is a teacher and theoretician of graphic design, co-founder of the online journal Tombolo, and of the publishing association Tombolo Presses.