THE WORK OF BERTHOLD WOLPE Berthold Wolpe has acquired some reputation in this country as the designer of Monotype Albertus, but he is not only a type-designer. In this article Nicholas Drew gives some account of Wolpe's career and his activities as a designer of books, ornaments and letter forms the border DESIGN which is shown on the opposite page is very heavy, and to many printers, designers and typographers who have been reared in the French sixteenth-century flower tradition of the Garamond school, will come as something of a shock, but few will deny the strength and forcefulness of the patterns. The border is one of many designed by Berthold Wolpe for the exclusive use of the Fanfare Press, and I mention those characteristics of strength and forcefulness at this early stage in these notes as they are apparent in all his work. Berthold Wolpe was born at Offenbach on Main in 1905. He is inclined to trace his interest in the graphic arts to a great-grandfather who was a wood-engraver in that town towards the end of the eighteenth century. The impulse towards the arts and crafts jumped two generations after that, and Wolpe's own father was a dental surgeon, but there are probably many psychologists who would trace the certainty and sureness of Wolpe's engraving to the parental touch. Whatever the reason, the youthful Wolpe had only one desire to make things, and instead of entering the university in the family tradition he was apprenticed to a firm of metal founders in Frankfort. (He must have been extraordinarily sure of his vocation to undertake in this willing manner the exacting and arduous training which such an apprenticeship entails.) At the end of his apprenticeship in 1926 Wolpe entered Offenbach Art School where he had previously been taught as a part-time pupil by the German type-designer of international fame, Rudolf Koch. This association with Koch, started in this manner, continued until Koch's death in 1934. Koch was, indeed, the guiding light during all Berthold Wolpe's years of training, and even during the period when Wolpe (on Koch's advice) left Offenbach to study at the Berlin School of Art and came under the influence of other teachers the great German master's was the main influence upon Wolpe's development as a designer. During these early years Wolpe practised many 128

Commercial Art / Art and Industry en | 1940 | | page 6