Paul Renner

Paul Renner was born August 9, 1878 in Wernigerode, Germany. He is said to have been raised to exude and demonstrate a German sense of leadership, duty and responsibility, and was known for his mistrust of abstract art and numerous forms of modern culture, as exemplified in jazz music, dancing and the cinema. At the same time, he admired the principle of function, as purported by Modernism. As it regards typefaces, Renner attempted to fuse the Gothic and Roman kinds. His beginnings included the study of architecture and painting in Berlin, Munich and Karlsruhe, after which he worked as a painter in Munich.

renner_fontsample01_d12367i28 Renner, Font Sample, Font, date unknown

From 1907 to 1917, Renner worked as the production assistant and presentation manager for Georg Müller Verlag in Munich. Then, in 1911, he co-founded a private school for illustration; and from 1925 to 1926, was head of the commercial art and typography department at the Frankfurter Kunstschule. Immediately afterwards, Renner was made the director of the city of Munich’s Grafische Berufsschulen and, from 1927, the Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucker. As a representative of the German Reich, Renner was at the helm of the design of the German section at the Milan Triennale, as of 1933. In this same year, he was dismissed from teaching after being arrested. After being forced to leave his post at the Meisterschule, he worked as a painter from 1934 onwards. He was harassed by the Gestapo in 1944, after an attempt was made to assassinate Hitler; wherein some of his relatives were implicated.

Paul-Renner-in-Letterform-Archive-Calendar Renner, First specimen of Futura, Font, 1927

On another note, Renner would also take time to write on topics pertaining to typography, lettering, graphics and colour studies. It must be noted that we produced the following fonts: “Futura” and “Plak” (in 1928), “Futura Black” (in 1929), “Futura licht” and “Futura Schlagzeile” (in 1932), “Ballade” (in 1937), “Renner Antiqua” (in 1939), and “Steile Futura” (in 1954). As well as being most famous and renown as designer of the typeface Futura, Renner made a significant contribution to modern typography through his teaching and writing. His major published work would be “Die Kunst der Typographie” (1939). Paul Renner died on April 25, 1956 in Hödingen, Germany; but lived to have been noted as an astounding graphic artist, painter, type designer, author, and teacher.

Works influenced/inspired by Renner

93e45725802881.5604cf30f21f0 Soo Yeun Ji, Paul Renner Poster, Poster, 2012

b8300b30208073.56057526dead8 Zen Lam, Poster Design – Futura and Paul Renner, Poster, 2012


Font Designer – Paul Renner. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from

Paul Renner. Retrieved October 25, 2015, from

Claude Garamond

Claude Garamond (originally Garamont) was born in about 1480 in Paris, France, and is reputed to be among the greatest and foremost type designers, and “the best type cutter of his day”. He was also an engraver, letter founder, punch cutter and publisher, but it is the elegance of his typefaces that remain highly regarded, even today. But, he was greatly influenced and produced a wealth of works.

In 1510, Garamond trained as a punch cutter with Simon de Colines. Ten years later, he was an apprentice to Geoffroy Tory, a French humanist and engraver. In 1530, in an edition of Erasmus’ book, “Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae”, Garamond had his first type used. Interestingly, the type was based on one called “De Aetna”, cut by Aldus Manutius in 1455, and was called “Garamond”. Importantly, “this small Roman type became the standard European type of the day and was still in use in the 18th Century. During most of the 20th Century, most leading foundries around the world have redrawn their own versions of Garamond’s typeface, and Garamond’s roman is still regarded today as one of the classic typefaces.”

typeparis-bnf_13 Garamond, Gros Canon, Specimen, date unknown

But Garamond’s collaborations would continue as, from 1545 onwards, he worked as a publisher alongside Pierre Gaultier, first, and then Jean Barbe. During this time, he published David Chambellan’s book, “Pia et Religiosa Meditatio”. Garamond was known as being quite innovative as well, as the roman and italic types that he designed were done as metal types, and not as imitations of handwriting. These said roman letter forms were greatly respected in his native France, and elsewhere, greatly influenced the switch from the gothic or black letter as the standard in printing.

01 Garamond, Garamond roman, Granjon italic, Specimen, date unknown

Several contemporary typefaces, including those currently known as “Garamond”, “Granjon”, and “Sabon”, reflect his influence. Garamond was the first to specialize in type design and punch-cutting as a service to others. As the first type designer and punch-cutter to retail his punches to other printers, Garamond helped to shape the future of commercial printing and to spur the widespread dissemination of new typefaces. Some modern type designs given his name are not closely related to his, but are based on types that were mistakenly attributed to him.

Garamond died in 1561, and following his death, Christoph Plantin from Antwerp, the Le Bé type foundry and the Frankfurt foundry Egenolff-Bermer acquire a large proportion of Garamond’s original punches and matrices. The typefaces Garamond produced between 1530 and 1545 are considered the typographical highlight of the 16th century.

Works influenced/inspired by Garamond

peto_steve_w4a3 Steve Peto, Bio and Graphic Design Poster, Poster, 2012

1d78ea54daf2c7db  Angel Acevedo, Typography Competition Poster, Poster, 2007


Claude Garamond. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from

Font Designer – Claude Garamond. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from

Garamond, Claude. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from

Giambattista Bodoni

Giambattista Bodoni was born in Saluzzo, Italy on February 16, 1740. He born into a family of printers and, at eighteen years of age, went to Rome where he became a student of Abbate Ruffierei in the Vatican polyglot press of the Propaganda Fide. In 1768, Bodoni became the head of the Royal Printing House in Parma, known as the “Stamperia Reale”. Bodoni worked in many closely related areas, as he was a graphic designer, typographer, type-designer, compositor, publisher and printer. In his time at the “Stamperia Reale”, it is said that Bodoni “first oriented himself towards the fonts of Pierre [Simon] Fournier of Paris”. However, he would soon develop his own typefaces. In effect, Bodoni abandoned the use of old-style letters and “introduced a new clear simple type – the Modern typeface”; having been inspired by the typography of John Baskerville. Three years after he started working in Parma, he produced the first of his font pattern books, entitled “Saggio tipografivo di fregi e maiuscole” (or, in English, “Wise typographic friezes and capitals”). This was followed by the printing of a homage book, in 1775, which was printed in twenty five languages.

typeparis-bnf_11 Bodoni, Q. Horatii Flacci, Specimen, date unknown

Bodoni was allowed to form his own printing works in 1791, by his employer, Duke Ferdinand, in order to have his service and talent retained. Around 1800, Giambattista Bodoni established an entirely new form of type which “refrained from decorative padding and was conceived solely on the criteria of symmetry and proportionality”. This ushered in the well-recognised and classical font, “Bodoni”, which continues to be used frequently by typesetters and is considered to be a “masterpiece of typography”. Also among his most well-known works is the Lord’s Prayer, which Bodoni printed, in 1806, in one hundred and fifty five languages; and the printing of Homer’s “Iliad” in 1808.

Houghton_TypTS_825.18.225_-_Bodoni,_non-Roman_characters Bodoni, Non-roman character samples, Manuscript, ca. 1800

Giambattista Bodoni, who was described as the “prince of typographers” and “printer of kings”, died in 1813. Arguably his most important work, the “Manuale tipografico”, was published posthumously by his widow, Margherita Dall’Aglio, in 1818. Besides the one hundred and forty two fonts, it also included a collection of flowering ornamentals and geometric patterns. The book also declared, according to Bodoni, the four principles of type design “from which all beauty would seem to proceed… which were regularity, cleanness, good taste, and charm.” Bodoni’s typefaces echoed his sense of appearance and beauty, which were built on simplicity and purity of form.

Works influenced/inspired by Bodoni

BODONI Bodoni, Bodoni Poster, Poster, 2013

70th-Birthday-Party-Invitations-McMillian-and-Furlow2-550x412 Mauro’s Fly Fishing Inspired 70th Birthday Invitations, 2012


Famous Graphic Designers – Giambattista Bodoni. Retrieved October 17, 2015, from

Giambattista Bodoni. Retrieved October 17, 2015, from

Giambattista Bodoni. Retrieved October 17, 2015, from

Paul Rand

Paul Rand, born Peretz Rosenbaum on August 15, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York, was an Orthodox Jew. This is significant because Jewish law prohibits the “creation of graven images that can be worshiped as idols”, which made his development of icons attached to global capitalism seem “unlikely”. Although Rand studied at the Pratt Institute (1929-1932), the Parsons School of Design (1932-1933), and the Art Students League (1933-1934), in New York, he was viewed as having been self-taught, “learning about the works of Cassandre and Moholy-Nagy from European magazines”. Rand was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design, and also taught design at the Yale University from 1956 to 1969, and resuming in 1974.


Rand. Corporate Logos

First line (from left to right): ABC (1962), Cummins (1962), UPS (1961), Tipton Lakes (1980).

Second line (from left to right): Yale University Press (1986), Westinghouse (1960), NeXT (1986), Hilbros Watch company (1944).

In terms of his career, Rand started out creating stock images for a syndicate supplier to newspapers and magazines, on a part-time basis. Simultaneously, he amassed a large portfolio of work, including pieces from his classes; “largely influenced by the German advertising style Sachplakat (ornamental poster) as well as the works of Gustav Jensen.” At this time, he decided to disguise the obvious Jewish identity of his name, shortening his given name and adopting “Rand” from an uncle; which served as his first work in corporate identity and is said to be his most endearing symbol and brand created. Rand’s defining corporate identity was his IBM logo in 1956; modified in 1960, and further (to the striped logo) in 1972.

apparel_2 Rand, Apparel Arts (January – February, 1941), Magazine Cover, 1941.

In ‘A Designer’s Art’, Rand showed favour for works by the likes of Paul Cezanne and Jan Tschichold, and appreciation for modernist philosophy and its “underlying connections:

‘From Impressionism to Pop Art, the commonplace and even the comic strip have become ingredients for the artist’s caldron. What Cezanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Leger with machines, Schwitters with rubbish, and Duchamp with urinals makes it clear that revelation does not depend upon grandiose concepts. The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary’.”

Deconstructing the idea of recognition of what appears simple was critical to Rand’s design choices. In creating packaging for light bulbs by Westinghouse, he was able to execute these ideas. Rand was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972, and died of cancer on November 26, 1996.

Works influenced/inspired by Rand

paul_rand_quote_by_tedikuma Theodore Taylor III. Paul Rand Quote, Poster, 2006

ff0ea29099587.560c87840d396 Sam Hurst. Paul Rand Lecture Poster, Poster, date unknown.


Paul Rand: A Brief Biography. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from

Paul Rand. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from

Adrian Frutiger

Adrian Frutiger was born on May 24, 1928, in Unterseen, Switzerland to parents who were both weavers. At a tender age, he is said to have begun “experimenting with stylized handwriting and invented scripts”; thereby rebelling against the standard cursive being taught in Swiss schools. After having attended school, at the age of sixteen, he was made an apprentice (serving as a compositor) to Otto Schlaeffli, a printer in Interlaken. At the same time, he took classes in drawing and woodcuts at the Gewerbeschule in Bern under Walter Zerbe, for three years. After such education and years of experience, he moved to Paris in 1952, and took up the job as the artistic director at the type foundry, Deberny & Peignot. In 1962, he turned to forming a studio for graphic arts along with Andre Gürtler and Bruno Pfäffli, in Arcueil near Paris. All this time, he incorporated his love for sculpting in his typeface designs.



But what were some of his works and other involvements? Aside from the large number of his now world famous typefaces, including Univers and Frutiger, he also created signets, logos, corporate typefaces and corporate identities for various publishers and industrial enterprises. For the airport in Paris Orly and the Paris Metro, he conceived new lettering systems and created a new information system for the Charles de Gaulle airport.

In addition, with the emergence of computers, his type (called “OCR B”), used for automatic reading, became a worldwide standard in 1973. Frutiger was also a lecturer for ten years at the Ecole Estienne and at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, for eight years. He had also given and conducted numerous seminars around the world.

From 1963 to 1981, he was responsible for the design and adaptation of typewriter and composer fonts at the IBM World Fair. Many argue that Frutiger created some of the most used typefaces of the 20th and 21st century. As a typographer, he was one of few who had a career that traversed “hot metal, photographic and digital typesetting.” He had also been instrumental in refining his own typefaces to include more weights and true italics, some examples are Frutiger Next and Avenir Next. Adrian Frutiger died on September 10, 2015, at age eighty seven.

Works influenced/inspired by Frutiger

AdrianFrutiger-Avenir-1988-poster-by-InesVital-1988 Ines Vital, Adrian Frutiger Avenir Poster, Poster, 1988

WEBFRUTIGER Michael R. Sweeney. Frutiger, Digital Print, date unknown


Adrian Frutiger. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from

Famous Graphic Designers – Adrian Frutiger. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from

Type – Adapted to Everyday Life. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from