Justin Howes Memorial Lecture: Easily distracted. With Indra Kupferschmid

While Indra Kupferschmid may on paper be a full-time academic, her research practice might better be described as “fanatic-on-call” or “easily distracted” than in any scholarly terms. A lover of a good timeline, endless arguments on terminology, the finer semantics of typography, technology, and in a long term love-hate-relationship with type classification, her research interests broadly lie in the history of 20th century type in continental Europe and beyond.

This talk will outline some of the things she’s been digging up recently – part self-initiated, part through the provocation of colleagues who never fail to drop unexpected and difficult questions in her inbox. How many Helveticas are there? Or how many different versions of R’s for Helvetica are there? Did Ferdinand Theinhardt have anything to do with Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk? Where do the letters on Croatian bus stop signs come from? How did they make type, here, there, then, now?

Indra Kupferschmid is a freelance typographer and professor at HBKsaar, University of Arts Saarbrücken, Germany. Fuelled by specimen books she is preoccupied with type around the clock and in all its incarnations – fonts, webfonts, bitmap fonts, type history, research, classification, marketing, wood engraving, DIN committees, design, and any combination of these. She is co-author of Helvetica Forever and other typographic reference books, consults for the type and design industry and anyone who needs help choosing fonts, writes for magazines, books, websites, and is not afraid to stir things up at Alphabettes, all the while juggling her own projects, both small and large.




Justin Howes died on 21 February 2005. A good friend to the St Bride Library and the wider typographic community in 1999 he founded the original Friends of St Bride Library with James Mosley. He was not only a distinguished scholar, whose wide-ranging research was making an important contribution to our understanding of the types and lettering of the past, but he also put that scholarship into practice, learning to cast type by hand and to demonstrate to others the techniques of a secretive and mysterious trade. This annual lecture series is given in his memory.

Date/Time: 26 April @ 7pm

Tickets £8 - £12.50

Book online HERE