An apprenticerarer today than a pupil or studentis also diffent
-L from them. An apprenticewho may be of either sexis air st
always in the immediate proximity of his employer. He can followte
work his master is engaged in, he sees how a project develops, he so
sees how difficult it often is to find a valid solution.
He hears his employer's conversations with clients, with photo
phers and with the people responsible for typesetting, reproduction .id
printing. He can thus take part in the genesis of the work and h a
genuine chance to learn his trade by example.
An apprentice is not a mere assistant who can be entrusted vth
preparing clean lettering and artwork. He works on hypothe.al
projects of methodically graduated difficulty. The demands madjn
him as a visualizer and craftsman are steadily stepped up.
My apprentices have always spent a year doing a preliminary cojjse
at an art school. My instruction begins on this foundation and leadshe
learner through many types of commissions and media to a poirar
which he can grasp and handle the problems himself. In doing sue
should also develop his own style, and he is guided and encourag&ta
this end. He soon knows how much it annoys me when he trie :o
imitate my personal line of approach or that of any other designer. t>
While most of his work has nothing to do with my own com. s-
sions, this does not mean that he never helps me. In the last third o'is
period of apprenticeship he takes part in the actual commissions I m
working on and bears some of the responsibility. In this way helm
derive real satisfaction from a job successfully completed.
Very many young people today would like to get their professie a:
training in the form of an apprenticeship, but very few can fir a
suitable employer. Many good designers do not see it as part of t it
duty to help in the professional training of their successors. Poss'lv
they think it would cost them some of their independence, or they re
afraid of the extra work. It is true there is no material gain to be deri :d
from an apprentice, but the fresh view he brings to bear on the wotjis
often stimulating and enriching. Taking part in the experiment'tfi
young people may also help us to remain more flexible. Educative idt
ethical values are in any case inherent in the training of capable
versatile young designers, especially at a time when purveyors A
pseudo-scientific twaddle are in the ascendant.
Graphic designers today obtain their training almost exclusively in schools (*arr
and design. The practising graphic designers who take apprentices are now fev nd
far between. Kurt Wirth (agi) of Berne, whose work has often appeared in Gra*is,
is one of those who still train young people. It has been his custom for many irs
always to have an apprentice in his studio. They have all completed a prelim iiy
course at a school of arts and crafts. The apprenticeship lasts four years. O; he
following pages Kurt Wirth himself comments on his teaching methods an on
typical examples of the work of his last six apprentices. Editor
l)-3) A few skills form part of the basic training and must be exercised by all apprentices. Three of
them are illustrated here: the drawing of objects with their material textures, the construction of
lettering in absolutely clean drawings and the perfect application of gouache colours for reproduc
tion. Fig. i is a pencil drawing of crumpled paper by Roland Junker, 24 by 37 cm; Fig. 2 is part of a
Didot alphabet with characters 70 mm high drawn by Peter Wüthrich; Fig. 3 is a spectrum with a
black pattern by Roland Junker, gouache, 19.5 cm square.
1)—3) Einige Aufgaben gehören zur Basisausbildung und werden von alien Lehrlingen auf ihre
Weise gelost. Beispiele von drei solchen Aufgaben sind hier gezeigt: die zeichnerische Wiedergabe
von Gegenstanden und Materialstrukturen, das Konstruieren von Schriftarten durch eine makellose
Reinzeichnung und Übungen im fehlerlosen und reproreifen Auftragen der Temperafarbe. Abb. 1:
Bleistiftzeichnung eines zerknüllten Papiers von Roland Junker, 24x37 cm; Abb. 2: Teil eines
Alphabets der Didot-Antiqua von Peter Wüthrich, Buchstabenhöhe 70 mm; Abb. 3: Farbspektrum
mit schwarzem Treppenraster von Roland Junker, Tempera, 19,5 x 19,5 cm.
1)—3) Certaines taches, qui font partie de la formation de base, sont résolues a leur manière par tous
les apprentis, p. ex. la reproduction par le dessin d'objets et de structures matérielies, la construction
de caractères par un dessin au net impeccable, l'application sans faute de la gouache pour la reproduc
tion. Fig. 1: crayon de Roland Junker: un papier froissé, 24 x 37 cm; fig. 2: partie d'un alphabet de
Didot antique, par Peter Wüthrich, hauteur des lettres 70 mm; fig. 3: spectre chromatique de Roland
Junker avec trame noire, gouache, 19,5 x 19,5 cm.