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Berthold Wolpe
Typographer, type designer, calligrapher and book designer

Berthold Wolpe

Berthold Wolpe
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Typographer, type designer, calligrapher and book designer
A.K.A. Berthold L. Wolpe, Berthold Ludwig Wolpe
Was Artist
From Germany
Field Arts
Gender male
Birth 29 October 1905, Offenbach am Main
Death 5 July 1989, London (aged 83 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Berthold Ludwig Wolpe (29 October 1905 – 5 July 1989) was a German calligrapher, typographer, type designer, book designer and illustrator. He was born in Offenbach near Frankfurt, emigrated to England in 1935 and became a naturalized British citizen in 1947. He was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1959, awarded an honorary doctorate by the Royal College of Art in 1968 and appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1983. His wife was fellow artist Margaret Wolpe. He died in London.


Berthold Wolpe's cover art for A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin, published by Faber and Faber in 1965. His font Albertus is used on the right. (details)

Wolpe began his career as an apprentice in a firm of metalworkers, followed by four years as a student of Rudolf Koch at the Offenbach Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1932 he visited London and met Stanley Morison, who invited Wolpe to design a printing type of capital letters for the Monotype Corporation. The typeface, Albertus, was first shown in 1935 and completed in 1940. When World War II was declared Wolpe, along with other German nationals living in England, was sent to an internment camp in Australia. He was permitted to return to England in 1941 and joined the production department at Faber and Faber. His use of Albertus and hand-painted lettering became strongly identified with Faber jackets in the years that followed, and continued from 1958 on the Faber paper covered Editions. He remained at Faber until his retirement in 1975 and is estimated to have designed over 1,500 book covers and dust jackets. A retrospective exhibition of Wolpe's career was held at the V&A Museum in 1980, and another in Mainz in 2006.

In addition to Albertus, Wolpe designed several other typefaces including Hyperion (1932), Tempest Titling (1935), Sachsenwald (1938, never widely released), Pegasus (1938-9), Decorata (1955) and LPTB Italic (1973). He also taught at the Frankfurt and Offenbach School of Art (1929–33), Camberwell School of Art (1948–53), Royal College of Art (1956–57) and City & Guilds of London School of Art.


In 1975, Wolpe published a monograph on the Elizabethan writing-master John de Beauchesne. The Life & Work of: John de Beauchesne & the First English Writing-books was published in a limited edition of 50 copies for the Society for Italic Handwriting, and was subsequently republished as a chapter in A. S. Osley's Scribes and Sources (1980).

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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