New Wave design was influenced by Punk and postmodern language theory. But there is a debate as to whether New Wave is a break or a natural progression of the Swiss Style. The New Wave differs from Swiss Style by stretching the limits of legibility.
The break from the grid structure meant that type could be chaotic, set center, ragged right or ragged left. The artistic freedom produced common forms such as the bold stairstep.
The text hierarchy also strayed from the top down approach of the International Style. Text became textured with the development of transparent film and the increase in collage in graphic design. Further breakdown of minimalist aesthetic is seen in the increase of the number of type sizes and colours of fonts.
Some label New Wave as a «Softer» commercialized punk culture because of the similarity between New Wave and the Swiss Style.
Dan Friedman was an American educator, graphic and furniture designer. He was a major contributor to the postmodern and new wave typography movements.
Upon returning to America, Friedman was a senior designer at Anspach Grossman Portugal. This was from 1975 to 1977. For three years he taught at Yale University, and from 1972-1975, he was the chairman of the board for the design department at State University of New York at Purchase. Friedman designed posters, letterheads, logos, and more, while working for Pentagram, from 1979 until 1984.
April Greiman is recognized as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool, Greiman is also credited, along with early collaborator Jayme Odgers, with establishing the «New Wave» design style in the US during the late 70s and early 80s. Some say April Greiman was a bridge between the modern and postmodern, the analog and the digital. She is a pivotal proponent of the «new typography» and new wave that defined late twentieth-century graphic design.