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Hacking Gutenberg

In Berlin, Erik Spiekermann and three other designers will introduce us to the basics of letterpress printing and typography. In a joint project in their unique letterpress workshop p98a, we will utilize the potential of historical techniques and digital approaches.

Key data

ECTS points
Next start
June 2025
3 days
Teaching language
German / English
CHF 600.–


According to the motto "The hand is the window to the mind", a workshop designed for the HGK Basel introduces participants to the basics of the letterpress workshop, typography and letterpress printing in the unique setting of p98a. Participants then work on a project to implement the techniques they have learned using lead or wood type and expand on traditional applications. Traditional methods are expanded with digital techniques and a risograph. A collection of unique fonts and printing techniques including the printing machines are available, as well as very competent coaching. This is preceded by an introduction to the historical background and highly topical discussions on cultural heritage and the use of hybrid methods of historical techniques for understanding design. As the above quote from Immanuel Kant suggests, sense and sensuality are inextricably linked in this unique workshop. The banal realization that knowledge can and must be tangible in design is given a perspective in the constellation of this workshop that goes far beyond the setting of type and printing. In addition to Erik Spiekermann, the three experts Helene Bunge, Lillith and Lennart Zachwieja will provide the small group with advice and support - the designer and lecturer Ralf Michel will accompany the group from the HGK Basel.

Institute Digital Communication Environments (IDCE)

Das Institute Digital Communication Environments (IDCE) setzt sich zum Ziel neue technologische Errungenschaften in realistischen oder spekulativen Szenarien experimentell im Kontext der Kommunikation einzusetzen, um Modelle der Anwendung zu entwickeln. Im Gegensatz zu etablierten Technologien, lassen sich neue technologische Errungenschaften noch von ihrem intendierten Anwendungszweck ablenken. Die damit einhergehende experimentelle Herangehensweise wird im Institut als Grundlage für eine reflektierten Auseinandersetzung mit Kommunikation, mit visueller Kommunikation, mit Bildern und deren Wirkung, sowie mit technologischen Entwicklungen im Allgemeinen verstanden.

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Dreispitz Basel

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Basel Academy of Art and Design Freilager-Platz 1 4142 Münchenstein near Basel
More information about the location