Blog, Notes

Inge Druckrey, teaching to see

Inge Druckrey - Teaching to see - VAV magazine

Teaching to see is a 2012 documentary film directed by Andrei Severny. The subject of the narration is Inge Druckrey and her method of “training the eye”.

“Training the eye is very, very important. You can’t come up with ideas if you don’t see — first.”

We owe Inge Druckrey, German graphic designer, born in 1940, educated at the Basel Kunstgewerbeschule, the introduction in the United States of the first courses in visual communication based on an intuitive approach. Druckrey taught her students to acquire deep awareness of a shape and of a system of signs through the gestural and meditative exercise, and a fundamental part of her courses was dedicated to calligraphy. Only after reaching the real, if not physical, perception of the sign and the mastery of the creative act, you deal with the content and the message. Otherwise, no effective communication is possible.

“You really learn to look, and it pays off that suddenly you begin to see wonderful things in your daily life you never noticed. And I would say it’s one of the most wonderful presents you get in an art education. To enjoy — seeing.”

Druckrey taught at the most influential American universities and design schools, from the Yale School of Art to the Rhode Island School of Design. The film shows us the importance which her lessons had in the professional growth of those who have now become, in turn, mentors in type and visual design.
The producer of Teaching to see is precisely that Edward Tufte, great statistical theorist, who paved the way for the present information design. Tufte has been one of Inge Druckrey’s students.