The Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB) in Leipzig (Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig) is one of the oldest art schools in Germany, dating back to 1764. The school has four colleges specialising in fine arts, graphic design, photography and new media art with around 500 students.
The class for type-design at the Acdemy of Visual Arts Leipzig is run by Fred Smeijers and Stephan Müller and 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.
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.
(Image: Leander Seige, 2006, GNU FDL)