Wolfgang Weingart (born 1941 in Constance at the northern foot of the Alps in southern Germany) is an internationally known graphic designer and typographer. His work is categorized as Swiss typography and he is credited as "the father" of New Wave or Swiss Punk typography.
Weingart spent his childhood in Germany, moving briefly to Lisbon in 1954 with his family.
In April 1958 he returned to Germany and began his studies at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart, where he attended a two year program in applied graphic arts. He learned typesetting, linocut and woodblock printing.
Weingart then completed a three-year typesetting apprenticeship in hot metal hand composition at Ruwe Printing. There he came into contact with the company’s consulting designer, Karl-August Hanke, who became his mentor and encouraged him to study in Switzerland.
Teaching and work
Weingart met Emil Ruder and Armin Hofmann in Basel in 1963 and moved there the following year, enrolling as an independent student at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel (Basel School of Design). In 1968, he was invited to teach typography at the institution’s newly established Weiterbildungsklasse für Grafik, an international Advanced Program for Graphic Design, where he remained a highly influential instructor until 2005. Between 1974 and 1996, at Hofmann’s invitation, Weingart taught at the Yale Summer Program in Graphic Design in Brissago, Switzerland. For over forty years he has lectured and taught extensively in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
According to Weingart, "I took 'Swiss Typography' as my starting point, but then I blew it apart, never forcing any style upon my students. I never intended to create a 'style'. It just happened that the students picked up—and misinterpreted—a so-called 'Weingart style' and spread it around."
The Museum of Design in Zurich is presenting a retrospective of Weingart’s work from May 7 to September 28, 2014. Weingart: Typography is the first exhibition in Switzerland which features his personal work as well as results from his teaching.
Awards and affiliations
He was a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) from 1978 to 1999, and served on the editorial board of Typographische Monatsblätter magazine from 1970 to 1988. In 2005 he was awarded the honorary title of Doctor of Fine Arts from MassArt. In 2013 he was a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the highest honor of the design profession, for his typographic explorations and teaching. In 2014 Weingart received the Swiss Grand Prix of Design award, presented by the Federal Office of Culture for his life-long merits as a designer.
- Weingart, Wolfgang. Weingart: Typography –– My Way to Typography, a retrospective volume in ten sections, Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 2000 (ISBN 978-3907044865)
- Knapp, Susan, Eppelheimer, Michael, Hofmann Dorothea et al. Weingart: The Man and the Machine, statements by 77 of his students at the Basel School of Design (1968–2004), Basel: Karo Publishing, 2014 (ISBN 3-9521009-7-8)
- Retrospective at the Museum of Design in Zurich
- Swiss Grand Prix of Design 2014
- AIGA 2013 medalist
- TM 2013 interview
- Weingart's graphic design in the permanent collection of MoMA:      
- Lars Müller Publishers
- Karo Publishing