Wolfgang Weingart, the legendary graphic designer, was born in Germany in 1941. He started his career via a 3 year apprenticeship with a hand typesetter from 1958 in Stuttgart.
After which he moved to Basel, Switzerland and enrolled in the Basel School of Applied Arts (Kunstgewerbeschule). There he studied under Emil Ruder and Armin Hoffman. At the ripe age of 22 he was asked to join the staff at Basel.
Weingart taught his students a unique perspective on “Swiss Typography.” Many who studied under Weingart were from all around the world and after completing their programs would return to their own countries to teach. Ultimately this spread Wolfgang’s typographic approach, New-Wave Typography, among the new generation of designers.
New-Wave typography questioned the formal way text appeared on the page. He discarded the indent for a paragraph, wide letter spacing appeared more and the emphasis of one word in a headline. The types of design he created he called, bunny types, sunshine type, ant type, five-minute type, typewriter type, and the for-the-people type. The New-Wave strongly rejected style and saw it more as an attempt to expand typographic communication.
His work and influence go on to this day through his own efforts and the teachings of those he has once taught. In 2000 he published My Way to Typography. In 2005 he was given the honorary title Doctor of Fine Arts.
Two of my professors were taught by Weingart at the Basel School of Applied Arts. His work has been quite influential on my views of graphic design and typography.
“For me, typography is a triangular relationship between design idea, typographic elements, and printing technique.”