«Typographic Summer Program» with Dafi Kühne is an intense 2 week summer program in Switzerland for international graphic design students and professionals. It started in 2016 with one summer session over 2 weeks and established over the last 3 years to a 2 session summer program. The workshop’s goal is to bridge the gap analog design and production tools and professional contemporary typographic posters. Students will go through a number of analog tasks to experience the layout qualities of simple type-only layouts. All the experiments and layout exercises will be realized with traditional letterpress printing presses and physical type. Through this very slow but accurate analog process, students will learn to put emphasis on concept and micro typography. This program is a great opportunity for students to see and learn first hand from one of the few internationally successfull contemporary letterpress poster designers. Besides of a lot of process results, sketches and small experimental prints, students will collaborate to produce each a letterpress printed typographic poster printed with a variety of possible production tools like physical type (wood & lead), chipboard, lasercut mdf, linoleum, handcast ludlow type lines, and many more… Every aspect of the design process that is taught and intensely trained with the tutors in the analog way will be easy to translate to the contemporary design practice for the students future career.
+ Conceptual design work
+ Handtypesetting, kerning, linespacing, rags
+ Handling of letterpress proofing presses and other printing equipment
+ Analog typographic design iterations to produce a typographic poster layout
+ Full analog production of a poster, print form making, printing in several color-runs, quality control, presentation
The workshop will be held in english.
Session 1: From June 17th until June 30th.
Session 2: From August 5th until August 18th
To be able to offer the program to a total of 24 students (12 per session) and to accomodate for different universities summer breaks we offer 2 sessions in 2018. Both sessions will have a similar program schedule. Get in is on a Sunday evening and we'll finish up on a Saturday around noon. The program consists of a total of 11 fully coached workshop days. We begin at 8.30am and work until 6.30pm, with a 1 hour lunch break. On some evenings there are talks, films or discussions. The workshop is meant to use the time as efficient as possible, loaded with as much educational information as we could – having as much fun as possible.
See a provisional PDF schedule for 2018 session I.
See a provisional PDF schedule for 2018 session II.
is a graphic designer + letterpress printer. He studied in Zürich in the Visual Communications Department of Zurich University of the Arts. During his studies he did an internship with Hatch Show Print in Nashville TN, focusing on letterpress printed posters with wood type. After learning the very traditional approach of letterpress printing during his internship he focused on the more contemporary methods and explored the potential of the laser cutter in combination with the old traditional printing equipment. His diploma project «Woodtype Now!» (www.woodtype-now.ch) systematically investigated and documented new opportunities in production and printing letterpress printing blocks.
Since 2009 Dafi Kühne has built up his studio and workshop «babyinktwice» (www.babyinktwice.ch) in Näfels, straight in the Swiss Alps, specializing in posters, invitation cards, brochures and magazines for music, art, architecture, theatre, and film projects. Every project he produces somehow gets processed through at least one of his number of printing machines from the 1960s. His posters got won prizes, got published in books and are documented in several international poster collections.
Besides his working practice, Dafi has been giving lectures in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, UK and the USA and teaching workshops and full semesters at different universities in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Dafi Kühne is organizing and coaching the whole program with a main focus on the poster design process and the final letterpress printing production.
The studio in Näfels, Switzerland is a 220m2 (2300 square feet) light flooded factory floor. Each student will get a working desk in the main room. Equipment available for possible use in the project: 3 FAG letterpress proof presses, ~17 full cabinets of lead and wood type, a Ludlow hot metal line caster, a pantograph to cut wood sorts, a 80W 60x90cm (23.5x35.5 inches) laser cutter, a photopolymer processor and many powered and manual tools.
Although students get access to all the equipment in the studio, there is no guarantee to get trained on all the different tools available. We try and choose the different tools and techniques as they fit the assigned design projects to find appropriate way to reproduce the developed concepts.
Past Workshop Posters
In the past 5 years Dafi Kühne has organized several workshops at his studio for different schools and university classes. Here you find some fotos of comparable workshop situations at the studio in Näfels.
The workshop will take place in Näfels, in the beautiful region of Glarus, Switzerland. This is straight in the Swiss Alps at the foot of some beautiful surrounding 2900MASL (9000FASL) mountains. Accommodations is on the participants own expense. It makes sense to find something direct in Näfels itself, since we begin quite early in the morning and some evening programs might take a little longer. We provide a list of possible hotels in Näfels. We're on the countryside, so please do not expect any 5* hotels... If you have any problems or need help with booking, contact us and we see what we can do for you.
If you’re planning to book something else than any of these accommodations, please contact us so we can give you some information on distance and how easy it is to get there. (The studio is located in a mountain valley—so not everything that looks straight on a map is actually straight!)
Hotel Schwert, Näfels
This hotel is only in 6 minutes (450m) walking distance from the studio. I've had groups staying at Schwert before. It is plain but comfortable. Some rooms have shared showers at a lower fee. TV and Wifi in all rooms.
Single room: 86CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 140-154CHF (Incl. breakfast)
3 bed room: 211CHF (Incl. breakfast)
4 bed room: 238CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Hotel Schützenhof, Näfels
This hotel is in 7 minutes (550m) walking distance from the studio. All rooms have their own toilets and showers, &TV & internet.
Single room: 95CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 166CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Sports & Recreation Center, Näfels
This accommodation is about a 14 minutes walk (1.1km) from the studio. It has a few single, some double and some family (4 person) rooms. The whole center has been renovated only a couple of years ago, so might be more up to date than some other hotels in this list – but maybe a little less authentic... The rooms have their own toilets, showers, TV & Wifi. With the hotelroom, you get free access to the indoor swimming pool.
Single room: 97CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 164CHF (Incl. breakfast)
3 pers. in 4 bed room: 174CHF (Incl. breakfast)
4 pers. in 4 bed room: 184CHF (Incl breakfast)
(They also have mass accommodations (rooms up to 24) for much lower fees, check out their webpage)
Hotel Löwen, Mollis
This hotel is the farthest from the studio. It is a 15 minutes walk (1.2km), but you can do it in 10 I guess. I guess this could be the most comfortable in the list, but still very plain. Some rooms have shared showers*, but most have their own toilets and showers**. TV & Wifi.
Single room*: 75CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Single room**: 95CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room**: 145CHF (Incl. breakfast)
The studio fee for the 2 weeks is CHF 1750 per participant, to be paid in full via electronic transfer upon receipt of acceptance and in advance of the course. This fee includes 11 fully coached workshop days, all the instruction and working materials (paper, inks, use of type, the production of photoplates etc), the talks, guest professor, excursion and guided full access to the studio during scheduled workshop time. Travel costs, food and accommodation are not included.
The program’s target audience are design students (undergrads and graduate students) and professional designers with a strong focus on typography and poster design. All the tasks are designed to work for both, students and professionals but require a strong will and motivation from the students side. Many of the trained skills will be practiced in analog letterpress technique. However all of the acquired typographic knowledge is then easy to be transferred to the daily digital practice. The number of participants per session is limited to 12, with a minimum set at 8 students. Applications for both sessions are open until March 30, 2018. Please apply by sending a CV and a one page letter of motivation (both as a PDF) to:
(Please make sure to mention which session you are applying for!)
Each application will be assessed by the tutors with notification sent on April 3rd, 2018.