Born in Nuremberg in 1939. Evacuated to the Bavarian Forest 1943-45. Beginning in 1954, travel across Europe, Turkey and North Africa – from Norway’s North Cape to the Fezzan in Libya. He studied in Erlangen (physics) and Berlin (art and industrial arts teaching, mathematics), including with professors such as Karl Ludwig Schrieber, Fred Thieler, Willem Hölter, Walter Hess, Heinz Hajek-Halke, Carl-Ludwig Furck and Karl Peter Grotemeyer. He set up the first photographic laboratory, along with Klaus (Paul) Märtens and Deidi von Schaewen, in division IV of Berlin’s University of the Arts. In 1965, he began designing books under the pseudonym Lorenz Frank, with his first being Ein Jahr Großgörschen 35. From 1970 – 1971, trusting in the new policies of Willy Brandt (“we want to take a chance on more democracy”), he worked at the Institut für Kommunikationsplanung (institute for communications planning) in Bonn. From 1971 to 2003, he taught in the design department at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, and did guest professorships around the world, including in Dublin (NCAD); Halifax, Nova Scotia (NSCAD); Hanoi (University of Fine Arts) and San José (Universidad de Costa Rica, Escuela de Artes Plásticas). His book Bauhaus. Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame (Edition Marzona) was published in 1984. In 1989, he introduced the Macintosh into the design department. He has designed numerous projects and exhibitions on the Nazi era, including among others Irish Country Posters, Köln im Nationalsozialismus (permanent exhibition of the Cologne documentation centre), and is most recently working on Industrie und Holocaust. Topf & Söhne – Die Ofenbauer von Auschwitz (“Industry and the Holocaust. Topf & Sons, the Oven Builders for Auschwitz”). He came to typography accidently and it became his passion.
For the first time, Kurt Schwitters’ famous “Theses of Typography” will be examined through a typographic lens, beginning with Thesis I, “Under certain circumstances, typography can be art”, and continuing to Thesis X, “Content demands of typography that it stress the purpose for which the content is being printed”. Art and aesthetics have often quoted those theses, which appeared in MERZ 11 in 1924, carrying them forward like a holy monstrance, without ever asking what they mean to typography.