Typeface design education from Cooper Union
Schneidler Antiqua 3 1200x400

Thinking with Eye and Hand: The Typefaces of F.H.E. Schneidler
with Paul Shaw

The world of German typefaces in the first half of the 20th century was incomparably rich, though not as widely known as it deserves. Most of the focus has been on the work of Rudolf Koch and the raft of geometric sans serifs that proliferated in the 1920s in the wake of the Bauhaus. Of the many schriftkunstlers—Georg Belwe, F.H. Ehmcke, F.W. Kleukens, Walter Tiemann, and E.R. Weiss—whose work dominated German typography and book design at the time, the one most deserving of rediscovery is F.H. Ernst Schneidler (1882–1956).

Schneidler studied architecture at the Kunstgewerbeschule Düsseldorf under Peter Behrens and was later a student of Ehmcke’s. From 1920 until 1949 he was the director of the Department of Graphic Arts and Book Design at the Württembergische Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart. The program that he created provided an alternative to the crafts expressionism of Koch’s Offenbacher Werkstatt and the modernism of the Bauhaus, emphasizing a broad experimentation that encompassed calligraphy, typography, title page design, monogram and logo design, and book illustration. A sampling of the work that Schneidler and his students did between 1922 and 1935 was gathered into a four-volume portfolio entitled Der Wassermann (1945). His teaching was influential with a number of his students going on to become noted calligraphers and/or type designers in their own right, chief among them Georg Trump, Imre Reiner, Walter Brudi and Albert Kapr.

Schneidler’s output as a type designer is not only varied, but fascinating for its reinterpretation of traditional forms. His twenty-one typefaces include a range of blackletters as well as several romans, a script and some designs that are hard to classify. His most famous design is undoubtedly Legende, though Schneidler Initials and Schneidler Mediaeval have had their adherents. This talk will survey all of Schneidler’s type designs, both issued and unissued, in the context of their time.

Registration is now closed

Tue, April 3, 2018, 2024

The Rose Auditorium at Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square (at East 7th Street)
New York, NY 10003

The Herb Lubalin Lectures are recorded and made available here and on Vimeo with the generous support of Hoefler&Co.

About Paul Shaw

Paul shaw
Paul Shaw is a letter designer and graphic design historian. He is the sole proprietor of Paul Shaw / Letter Design, a studio specializing for thirty years in calligraphy, lettering and typography. Among his clients have been Clairol, Origins, Lord & Taylor, Campbell’s Soup, Cinzano, Vignelli Associates, and Pentagram. Paul was formerly a partner in LetterPerfect, a digital type foundry based in Seattle. Since 1980 he has taught calligraphy, lettering, typography and graphic design history at a variety of New York area design schools. Currently he is at both Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts. He writes on letter-related subjects for Print, Eye, Baseline, Letter Arts Review, and AIGA's Voice. His book Helvetica and the New York City Subway sold out in two months, with a trade edition planned to be published by MIT Press. In 2002 Paul was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Finally, Paul is the reigning authority on W.A. Dwiggins, having spent 30 years researching his life and work.