Monotype, Klingspor, and the Guttenberg


Today is the final day of our trip, but it is as jam packed as ever. We awoke very early today to take the train to Frankfurt where we stopped for breakfast and supplies. From there we took the another train to Bad Homburg, the home of Monotype. We met with Otmar Hoefer to discuss the origins and process of type and typesetting. Otmar shared much about the history and craft of developing cuts for typefaces. The original process required casting each individual character out of hot metal. That means a cast for each letter, of each size, in each style. Typsetting was once a very tedious process that often took weeks or months produce printed materials. Otmar shared with us original sketches of typfaces and archival books of all the typfaces and how they were developed. The use of type has evolved quite a bit since its early days, all of us have a deeper appreciation of of type and the technology we have today to make the process easier and more streamlined.


After Monotype, we grabbed a cab to the city of Offenbach, home of the Klingspor Museum. The Klingspor has a collection of old art, books, and typography. First, we checked out there exhibits on art and design from the 60s with classic German work. We met with Helga who showed us several original books and typeface sketches. Some of the books were so old and valuable, we were required to wear gloves to handle them. We were all amazed at the craftmanship of the pieces, this was a rare collection that few get to see. Seeing some works that have been referenced in our textbooks was surreal.


We once again boarded the train to travel to Mainz to see the famous Guttenberg museum. We had to rush to the Guttenberg bceause we only had 30 minutes before they closed. We made it in time to take a quick look around and even were able to enter the vault where they kept the original Guttenberg bibles. The original binding and hand illustrations were beautiful. After the museum closed, we walked out into the street right in front of the gorgeous Mainzer Dom church. An old, yet impressive Catholic church. We ventured inside to enjoy it’s solemn and peaceful atmosphere. It is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen.


We are now headed back to Heidelberg to have our last dinner together to recap the trip and discuss our summer design projects. It has been a wild ride, and we have learned so much. Each of us are grateful to Claudia for giving us the opportunity to go on this trip and the chance to interact with so many diverse and accomplished designers. Each designer brought their own perspective, flare, and lessons for us as designers. This trip has had a significant impact on my life and these experiences will definitely inspire my work as a designer and in my personal life as a world citizen. Thankful for lifes adventures – see you all back stateside!



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