GÜNTER GERHARD LANGE
Berthold Types is the design professional's source for high-quality, classic typefaces. Founded in 1858 in Berlin, the Berthold foundry is renowned for crafting high-quality typefaces. Berthold Types continues this tradition through the efforts of G.G. Lange, Bernd Möllenstädt and Dieter Hofrichter, who comprise the core of Berthold's Type Atelier located in Munich, Germany. Contact: www.bertholdtypes.com
Günter Gerhard Lange was born on April 12, 1921, in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, Germany. He began military service at age 18 but was seriously injured in France only a year after the outbreak of World War II, leading to his medical discharge. Beginning in 1941, Lange studied at the Akademie für Graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe in Leipzig. he studied calligraphy, typesetting and printing under Professor Georg Belwe. Following his graduation in 1945, Lange served as an assistant to Professor Walter Tiemann at the Leipzig Institute, and worked as a freelance graphic artist and painter. In 1949, Lange moved to Berlin and resumed his studies at the "Hochschule für Bildende Künste."
Beginning October 1, 1950, Lange returned to freelance work and began his long association with the H. Berthold type foundry of Berlin. Lange produced his first typeface designs for Berthold in the 1950s. While continuing his freelance work, Lange also served from 1955 to 60 as a lecturer of typography at the Meisterschule für Grafik und Buchwerbe in Berlin. In 1961, Berthold appointed Lange as its artistic director. Lange was appointed to Berthold's board of directors in 1971, confirming the importance of type at Berthold. As the force behind Berthold's type program from 1961 to 1990, Karl Gerstner remarked, "Berthold is the conscience of our type culture." Lange retired from Berthold in 1990, yet remained active in lecturing and teaching typography and design. After 10 years of retirement, Lange resumed his design activities with Berthold (Whittingham, Imago Expert), and now serves as exclusive artistic consultant to Berthold, developing new families for future release. Lange's reunion with Berthold provides an indispensable element in the continued development of the Berthold Exklusiv Collection and solidifies Berthold's position as a leading independent type foundry.
Lange's type designs include his classic revivals: AG Book, AG Old Face, Berthold Garamond, Berthold Baskerville Book, Berthold Bodoni Old Face, Berthold Caslon Book and Berthold Walbaum Book; as well as his original designs: Arena New, Boulevard, Champion, Concorde, Concorde Nova, El Greco, Imago and Whittingham.
Who has most influenced your work? My role models were Jan Tschichold and Imre Reiner, because they were complete opposites. Tschichold, a typographer who was progressive at first and then turned conservative, and Reiner, the artistic typographer. He was both an illustrator, a painter and a typographer, and designed extremely fine, pure typography, even for advertisements, as well as attractive typography for books with hand-cut initials or brilliant xylograph illustrations. Both typographers were an asset to every person who wants to learn.
Where do you get ideas or inspiration for new typefaces? The new Whittingham is a neo-classicist type. I had planned a "Scottish" type for a long time, because I consider Scotland the original cell of English type art of that time. In addition, I said repeatedly that we need an alternative to Normandie and Walbaum — perhaps an old original type. Then I found the Whittingham prints that were created around 1840/1850. I was fascinated, because they have this neutral anglophile touch, which a type used for mass setting, books, business reports or scientific texts must have. Bodoni Old Face is my discovery. A stroke of luck which I literally tripped over when I went through my books.
What is your favorite typeface? Akzidenz-Grotesk Series. The AG is based on many different types and cuts, one in particular, Royal Grotesk (which became Akzidenz-Grotesk Light), was my favorite from the beginning. A delicate, lean cut made by the royal type-cutter Ferdinand Theinhardt. His foundry later merged with Berthold.
Is there any commonly-used typeface that you wish you could banish? Helvetica. Times.
How do you come up with a font name? Is it important or just whimsical? As a specialist in type revivals, it makes sense to name faces after originals — Bodoni, Garamond, Walbaum, Baskerville. Whittingham is based on type used by Charles Whittingham.