stop typographic pollution

Dates for 2022 are now online on: — 11/09/2021

Join the fight against typographic pollution! «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 years to a 2 session summer program. The workshop’s goal is to bridge the gap between analog design and production tools and professional contemporary typographic posters. The participants 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, the participants 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. After a rigorous design process, the participants will each produce a letterpress printed typographic poster printed with a variety of production tools like physical type (wood & metal type), chipboard, lasercut mdf, linoleum, handcast Ludlow type slugs, 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.

Skills trained:
+ Typographic theory: microtypography and macrotypograpy
+ Conceptual design work, critical analysis of content
+ 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.

Dates/Schedule 2020

Session 1: June 27th–July 10th, 2021
Session 2: July 25th–August 7th, 2021

We offer 2 sessions in 2021. Both sessions will have a similar program schedule, though guest lectures and instructors may vary. Get in is on a Sunday evening and wrap-up is two weeks later on a Saturday around noon. The program consists of a total of 11 fully coached workshop days. Each day, we begin 9.00am and regularly work until 6.30pm, with a 1 hour lunch break and some shorter breaks throughout the day. The intense 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. Please be aware, the program is ambitious and intense: but it doesnʼt require any specific typographic knowledge or experience with letterpress equipment. All we need is a very motivated group of participants.

Provisional /PDF schedule for Session I, 2021
Provisional PDF schedule for Session II, 2021


Dafi Kühne
is a graphic designer + letterpress printer. He studied in Zürich in the Visual Communications Department of Zurich University of Arts and holds a Master of Research in Type Design at University of Reading, UK. Since 2009 Dafi Kühne has built up his unique studio and workshop «babyinktwice» ( in Näfels, straight in the Swiss Alps, specializing in posters for music, art, architecture, theatre, and film projects. Every project he produces gets processed through at least one of his number of printing presses from the 1960s. Dafi’s posters can be found in different collections in Switzerland and the USA, have been awarded multiple times with Society of Typographic Arts in Chicago, The Type Directors Club NY and Tokyo and 100 Beste Plakate, and have been shown in many international publications on graphic design and letterpress printing. Besides his working practice, Dafi has been giving lectures in Europe and the USA and teaching short seminars 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.

Dafi Kühne in his studio in Näfels, 2015

The participants will be joined by visiting instructors on several days of the program: Long-standing faculty member of the Visual Communication Deparment of Zurich University of the Arts Professor Rudolf Barmettler( and ( Rudolf Barmettler is an expert in type history, fine typography, layout and letterpress printing. Jonas Niedermann (, typography expert and educator with his own studio practice in St. Gallen. Julia Marti (, designer and art educator with her own studio in Zürich. Between the variety of instructors and guests there is an invaluable expertise the participants can profit from. Small group sizes make the lectures very personal and direct.

Evening Talks
During the two weeks, there are two evening talks by guest lecturers. Scheduled lectures for the 2020 sessions are by renowned poster designer Niklaus Troxler( and by Thuy-An Hoang and Xavier Erni from the Geneva based studio and poster designer Erich Brechbühl ( Former guests of Typographic Summer Program: Lars Müller ( in 2017/2018

Excursion to Zurich Design Museum
The Poster Collection of Zurich Design Museum ( is one of the most extensive and important archives of its kind in the world. It hosts over 350'000 posters, 120'000 of them researched and invetoried. Curator Dr. Bettina Richter is confirmed to be giving the class a private tour through the archive of the Poster Collection of Zürich Design Museum.

Instructors and evening talks may vary from Session 1 and Session 2. See a detailed schedule for each session here.

The studio in Näfels, Switzerland is a 400m2 (4300 square feet) light flooded factory floor. Each student will get a space at a working desk in the main room. Equipment available for possible use in the project: 3 FAG letterpress proof presses, ~20 full cabinets of metal and wood type, a Ludlow hot metal caster, a pantograph to cut wood sorts, a 80W 60x90cm (23.5x35.5 inches) laser cutter, a photopolymer processor and many other historic an modern tools.

Although students get access to all the equipment in the studio, there is no guarantee to get trained on all the different tools. 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 9 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.

Besides of the workshops at the studio in Näfels, Dafi also has been teaching classes and workshops at different universities and art colleges like Écal Lausanne (Switzerland), Schule für Gestaltung SfG Basel (Switzerland), F+F Zürich (Switzerland), HBKSaar Saarbrücken (Germany), MICA Baltimore MD (USA), VCU Richmond VA (USA) and Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago (USA). Here you see a selection of some of the students posters printed at Dafi Kühneʼs workshops.

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. Don't worry, walking in Switzerland is safe, even at nights! We provide a list of possible hotels in Näfels and Glarus. Weʼre on the countryside, so please do not expect any 5* hotels... There are also few Airbnb's. Dafi Kühne and his team is here to help you 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 in the list, 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 and flat on a map is actually straight, there might be a mountain in between!). We are always happy to help.

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 a 15 minutes walk (1.2km) from the studio, but you can do it in 10. They have small but comfortable and nice rooms. 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)

Studio-Näfels, Näfels
This is an appartment with a little kitchen. It is a 2 minutes walk (0.2km) from the studio. This one offers the most privacy. TV & Wifi, kitchen and bath. It is also possible to share this studio. They would put in an extra bed. The owner Rene is a nice person, but his English is a bit rough sometimes. We’ve always had people staying there. Let us know if you need help communicating with him.
Apartment: 90CHF (no breakfast)

Hotel Stadthof, Glarus
This hotel is in Glarus, which is the next larger town from Näfels. Glarus has few more grocery stores and restaurants. But you will have to take a 5 minute train every morning and evening to get to the studio. We have had groups staying at Stadthof before. It is plain but comfortable. It possible to book through their website.
Single room: 90CHF (Incl. breakfast)
They also have double rooms and three bed rooms at a lower fee, if you’re planning to share a room.

Camping Gäsi, Mollis
If you’re into camping, this might be an option. But it mostly makes sense if you can travel locally (with a car or at least a bike).

If you’re looking into Airbnb’s, please always doublecheck the location with us. Näfels, Mollis and Glarus are the towns that make the most sense. We can help you estimating the distances and if there is good public transportation to get there.

Early Bird Fee: 1690 CHF
(Application deadline: March 14, 2020)

Regular Fee: 1790 CHF
(Application deadline: May 2, 2020)

Late applications: 1890 CHF
(if available)

The course fee for the 2 weeks has to be payed fully via wire transfer upon receipt of acceptance and in advance of the course. This fee includes 11 fully coached workshop days, all working materials, talks, guest professors, excursions, studio access during scheduled workshop times and a Saturday night Raclette dinner. Individual travel costs, food and accommodation are not included.
Please be prepared to pay the full course fee upon acceptance, of which 500 CHF is a non-refundable security deposit.

The program’s target audience are design students (undergrads and graduate students), professional designers and teaching design faculty with a strong interest in typography and poster design. All the tasks are designed to work for both, students and professionals of any level and only require a strong motivation from the participantʼs side. Many of the trained skills will be practiced in analog letterpress technique. However all of the acquired typographic knowledge can also be applied in the daily digital practice. The number of participants per session is limited to 12, with a minimum set at 8 students. Application requirements:

1) Curriculum Vitae

2) A short one page letter of motivation (5–10 sentences: why you want to do this program? What you are your exptectations?)

No portfolio needed. Please send the two documents as a PDF to:
(Please give us your full name and address with your application and donʼt forget to mention your session preference. If you have the flexibility to leave the selection of session open, please do so as it makes our lives much easier juggling the applications into the sessions.)

All applications will be assessed by the tutors with notification sent within a week after the deadlines (Early bird: March 14, Regular: May 2, 2021).

If you have any further questions, donʼt hesitate to contact us:

Typographic Summer Program
Mühlhäusern 2
8752 Näfels

+41 79 545 21 02

Last Update: March 16, 2021