Faszination Holzletter

13 July 2022

Marc Berger

Wood type has always had its own appeal in the world of letterpress printing. Not only because of the size of the letters that can be printed with them, but also because many other features differ greatly from the aesthetics and technology of the classic metal type. Unfortunately, there are hardly any publications on German wood type. And certainly no real ‘standard work’ on the subject, as has been attempted in other countries.

This small – but richly illustrated – book cannot do that either, of course, but it is a first attempt to record at least some interesting facts for posterity. It is a very personal account by Peter Vöge: not a purely technical book about manufacturing and letter design, but an account of his work with fascinating people and fascinating letters. With lots of information about the makers and machines and insights into technical processes.

In addition to a brief overview of the history of wood type and information on technical production, makers of wood type Wilfried Diller, Alfons Zwosta, Ewald Drescher, Jim DeLittle and Michael Linke are introduced in detail. These recollections, some of which are very personal, are enriched by numerous illustrations of letter samples.

Peter Vöge has worked intensively with wood type almost his entire professional life, as a Freinet pedagogue, printer, dealer, supplier and agent for various printers. And last but not least: working at the pantograph machine himself. In the process he got to know the last generation of people who professionally produced wood type in Germany. He talked and worked with them, learned from them and documented all kinds of things. For years he has been passing on this unique knowledge about a now almost extinct profession, in lectures, workshops, stories.

Peter Vöge, Faszination Holzletter. Zur Geschichte, Herstellung und Anwendung von Plakatbuchstaben in Deutschland, Gransee 2022. Paperback, text in German, 156 pages, 21 × 21 cm, ISBN 978-3-96611-007-5, € 30

More information via www.edition-schwarzdruck.de