Hermann Zaph


“ Lettering and Typography are two dimensional architecture.”

Hermann reasoned that “ Lettering must communicate a text to the reader by the harmony of their proportions, the grouping of their lines and the balance of their contrasts”

Hermann Zapf, whose calling in life — “to create beautiful letters,”found expression in lush, steady-handed calligraphy and in subtly inventive typefaces that have brought words to readers on paper, on signposts, on monuments and on computer screens for more than half a century.

In 1934, Zapf began his four-year apprenticeship in February 1934 as a retoucher.

In 1935, Zapf attended an exhibition in Nuremberg in honor of the late typographer Rudolf Koch. This exhibition gave him his first interest in lettering. Zapf bought two books there, using them to teach himself calligraphy. He also studied examples of calligraphy in the Nuremberg city library. His master noticed his expertise in calligraphy and Zapf’s work shifted to retouching lettering and improving his colleagues’ retouching.

Among the pioneers of computerised typography, Zapf led a design program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Whilst collaborating with computer scientists, he became acquainted with IBM and Xerox. Zaph invented a typesetting program called Hz-program which later became a basis for the publishing software Adobe Indesign.

Together with Herb Kubalin and Aaron Burns, the founders of the International Typeface Corporation, Hermann Zaph built the company Design Processing International Inc in New York. Their goal was to develop programs for typographic structures that could be operated by non-specialists. The company existed until 1986. After the death of Lubalin, Zaph founded Zaph, Burns and Company in 1987, which existed until 1991.

In the 70s Zaph designed Zaph Dingbats which of course is famous still today. Typefaces he designed include Palatino, Optima and Zaphino

In an article by the New York Times, Mr kelly writes ; “What Michelangelo was to sculpture and Beethoven was to music, that’s what Hermann Zapf was to type design and calligraphy. ”

Bruce Weber, also from the New York times wrote ” Mr. Zapf evoked beauty as well as clarity, cleverness without hubris, invention without distraction. A master calligrapher who could reproduce a typeface by hand, he brought an admiration of the art of the pen to the art of the font. Conscious of history, he felt that type should both acknowledge tradition and reflect modernity.”











Alex Trochut

Alex Trochut is a Spanish artist and illustrator, graphic designer and master typographer.  He currently lives in Brooklyn. Across the world Alex is well known because of his excellence and creativity in his two great passions-typography and illustration. He works at times solely with formal beauty and pure aesthetic pleasure more than content.

Trochut’s work has been included in famous publications such as Beautiful /Decay, Computer Arts and The Guardian. He received the Certificate of Excellence in Typography from the Type Directors Club of New York in 2005.

He is influenced by the great masters of graphic design- Herb Lubalin, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Paul Rand. Artists like Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons are also favourites of Trochut.

Trochut flips minimalism on its side. His work is rich with elegant, beautifully detailed executions that convey indulgence and control. Renowned for his technically exquisite type creations and designs, Trochut attributes his special connection with typography to his Grandfather Joan Trochut- a typographer and creator of a modular typographic system in the 40s.

Alex has worked across disciplines to create design solutions tailored to each client. As a designer, Alex focuses on the potential of language as a visual medium where text and image become one unified expression.

Alex’s music clients include The Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Caribou, James Murphy, Four Tet, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Wiz Khalifa, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens, Manel, Damian Lazarus, Acid Pauli, Lucy, Rebolledo, Ellen Alien, Moderat and Alagoas.









Gemma O’Brien


Gemma O’Brien is a Sydney-based typographer, hand-letterer and illustrator. A stint learning letterpress in university sparked a fervent obsession with typography, and the creation of her blog For the Love of Type. At 21 she produced an experimental video, in which she inscribed her body with hand lettering that caught the attention of Font Shop’s Jurgen Siebert and earned her an invitation to speak at Germany’s 2009 Typo Berlin design conference.

Since then she’s been sprucing up words in pen, ink and vector for clients including Woolworths, Vodafone, Smirnoff, Canon, and The New York Times. Gemma has also worked in art direction at Animal Logic, Fuel VFX and Toby & Pete. Career highlights include directing a new title sequence for Australia’s longest standing children’s show Play School, creating a strawberries-and-cream scented typography piece for Woolworths’ Christmas campaign and having her Taronga Zoo lettering displayed for 400km on the travelling crate of Kitoto the Giraffe.

More recently, Gemma has presented at creative conferences in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Gemma’s unbridled enthusiasm for type and its potential is expressed through her ongoing experiments with hand lettering, endeavours to develop a commercial font and contemplations of type from a cultural point of view.

In her spare time she runs typography workshops in locations around Australia and talks at design festivals on a global stage including the Berlin Design Conference.

Gemma’s lettering and typography draws on what is obviously a deeper knowledge of the history of design, and the evidence can be seen in her figures that show the influence of hand crafted symbols from both Asian and European contexts of design, from drafting and calligraphy.