Typographic Printing Program is an intense design focused typography and letterpress printing program combining the old with the new. It has been initiated and is based around the practice of Swiss poster designer and letterpress printer Dafi Kühne. Its goal is to experiment with progressive typography in combination with traditional analog tools. All exercises will be realized with letterpress printing presses and physical type. Through this very slow but accurate process, the participants will learn to put emphasis on concept and micro typography, while exploring new approaches with old technology.
1Analog vs. Digital
3Breaking the Rules
5Semantics vs. Style
8Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Dafi Kühne is a poster designer, letterpress printer and design educator. Dafi is organizing and coaching the whole program. He studied Visual Communications at Zurich University of Arts and holds a Master of Research in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK.
Since 2009 Dafi Kühne has built up his unique studio and workshop babyinktwice in Näfels, straight in the Swiss Alps. In his work, he specializes in typographic posters for music, art, architecture, theatre, and film projects. Every project he produces gets processed through at least one of his number of printing presses from the 1960s. Dafi’s posters can be found in different collections in Switzerland and the USA, have been awarded multiple times with Society of Typographic Arts in Chicago, The Type Directors Club NY and Tokyo and 100 Beste Plakate, and have been shown in many international publications on graphic design and letterpress printing.
Besides his working practice, Dafi has been giving lectures and teaching short seminars and full semesters at different universities in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. His educational video series The Dafi Kühne Printing Show™ has been awarded with a Tokyo TDC award as well as with a Swiss Design Award in 2020.
During the summer sessions in Switzerland, the participants will be joined by visiting instructor Julia Marti from Edition Moderne, who is teaching one full day with the class.
On three evenings, we have a great variety of guest lectures from fantastic Swiss designers.
The summer sessions are hosted at Dafi Kühne’s studio in Switzerland. The studio in Näfels, Switzerland is a 400m² (4300 square feet) light-flooded factory floor filled with roughly 25 tons of letterpress equipment. It is a unique studio space offering an ideal workshop environment for 12 participants per session.
Each participant will get a space at a working desk in the main room. Equipment available for possible use in the project: 3 FAG letterpress proof presses, ~850 cases of metal and wood type, a Ludlow hot metal caster, a pantograph to cut wood sorts, a large format laser cutter, a photopolymer processor and many other historic and modern tools.
Although participants will get to all the equipment in the studio, there is no guarantee to be trained on all of the different tools. We try and choose the tools and techniques as they fit the assigned design projects to find an appropriate way to reproduce your developed concepts.
HMCT Archetype Press at ArtCenter
The winter sessions are presented in collaboration with Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography in Pasadena, CA, and hosted at HMCT Archetype Press.
Established at ArtCenter College of Design in 1989 and now housed under the HMCT, Archetype Press offers students, the public, and visiting artists the opportunity to practice what has become a digital age rarity: setting type and printing by hand.
The extensive collection of American and European foundry type, wood type, and ornaments—originally belonging to renowned printer/typographer Vernon Simpson’s legendary typesetting Hollywood shop—residing in over 2,500 cases, is one of the largest letterpress facilities of any design school in the US. As an experimental typographic studio under the direction of HMCT Executive Director Prof. Gloria Kondrup, students learn from an exceptional group of dedicated instructors how to set and print type on twelve Vandercook proof presses.