Type Design Class, Fred Smejers and Ondrej Bachor

The class for type-design at the HGB is currently the only class with its main focus on typefaces taught at a German art academy. The academy upholds its tradition for teaching typefaces established in 1904, with the positioning of the typeface designer in today's world as its primary concern. Work in the class for type-design will deal with "production possibilities" of typefaces, as well as research and consider current typeface usage, thereby covering typefaces used in publications and on the screen. Here the history of typography is also important. Research and analysis of historical models, the study of typeface history, typeface designers and typography illustrate the link between typeface usage and society, highlighting production possibilities and helping to determine the positioning of typefaces in today's world.

Typeface design is rarely considered on its own. We design typefaces to enable people in various design disciplines to carry out their work. Since the dawn of the digital era, typefaces play an ever varied role in society and the circle of users is on the increase. Yet just 30 years ago, only printers could use typefaces, whereas today almost everyone uses them in mobile phones and MP3-players, to name but a few examples. Typeface design is thus a discipline which requires vigilant monitoring of technical and social changes.

Study is divided into weekly general lessons spread over two days, in which smaller exercises, accompanying tasks and a key semester project are the main focus. Appointments for individual and group consultations can be made. In addition to the general lessons, each student chooses his/ her own project on which he/ she working and researching throughout the whole semester. Subject-specific excursions and workshops will also take place outside of the academy.

It is also crucial that students learn to speak about their special areas and that they are in a position to transfer their knowledge to others. To coincide with this, we shall give presentations in the typography and system-design classes, where the lessons for the typeface class for foundation studies will be planned and take shape.

Nowadays, self-initiative is more important than ever for typeface designers. Digital technology makes it possible to independently produce and market typefaces, which nevertheless imposes considerable demands on the typeface designer. The class for type-design also aim to prepare students to enter the working world. Over the course of their studies, a student's qualities and the contacts which can be built upon will become clear. During their studies, the course aims to provide students with a real picture of what can be expected of them in the working world.