The Type Archive revives the work of Berthold Wolpe
Words Mark Hooper
Photographs Simon Ellis
A rare collection of typefaces by the genius graphic and type designer has finally been digitized by Monotype – and gets a new airing in South London…
We love a good lost typeface story here at Hole & Corner – which is why The Wolpe Exhibition, at South London’s Type Archive, was right up our alley. The show celebrates the work of Berthold Wolpe, a graphic designer who escaped Nazi persecution in Germany in 1935, moving to London where he created several groundbreaking typefaces, before joining publishers Faber & Faber in 1941 (moving on to Fanfare Press), designing more than 1,500 book covers over the course of three decades.
Without existing in digital formats, most of Wolpe’s typefaces have faded from usage – but The Wolpe Collection, revived and expanded by Toshi Omagari of the Monotype Studio, brings new life to five of Wolpe’s type designs: Albertus Nova, Wolpe Fanfare, Wolpe Pegasus, Wolpe Tempest and Sachsenwald.
Wolpe went on to teach at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art, as well as designing a masthead for The Times in 1966. He was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1959 and awarded the OBE in 1983. He passed away in 1989.
Produced in partnership with Monotype, The Type Archive, Eye Magazine, Faber & Faber, The Sainsbury’s Archive / Museum of London Docklands and the Wolpe family, the show shines a new light on a talent who helped to shape graphic design in post-war Europe. It also marks the opening of the Type Archive, which houses a unique collection of rare physical typefaces, dating back over 600 years.
The Wolpe Exhibition, 100 Hackford Road, London SW9 0QU