Dafi Kühne, Swiss graphic designer and typographer, gives a lecture at the UA – The Buchtelite

Featured as part of the 2019-2020 Myers Residencies, Kühne also led a typography workshop for students during his visit to campus.

Dafi Kühne visited Akron University Myers School of Art to discuss experimental typography techniques and lead a workshop to teach students how to use them.

Eager students filled the auditorium, excited to learn from the award-winning poster designer, letterpress printer and graphic design teacher.

Based in Näfels, Switzerland, Kühne works exclusively with letterpress printing blocks in his studio/workshop. This unconventional decision leads it to continually compete with more modern technologies.

While other artists may struggle with this kind of constant competition, Kühne thrives. Her work is unique not just because of her unique techniques, but because of her love for her craft.

Kühne’s basis of learning was traditional. But in his specialized area of ​​expertise, he explores the connection between printing and computers with posters, invitations, brochures and magazines centered on music and art.

His personal advice to the many future designers at his conference was to do what they are passionate about and not compromise on good design.

On November 1, students involved in the workshop used the inspiration to create poster designs that adhere to a grid while maintaining a sense of unpredictability.

Lekesha Parkman
Freshman Jacob Christopher, a political science student, works alongside freshman Eden Bradford, an art student in the studio.

Senior Kim Wengerd, a graphic design major and illustration minor, wanted to try doing something more traditional because she hasn’t had the opportunity to do much printmaking.

Bob Kelemen, an associate professor of teaching, played a key role in bringing Kühne into the Myers School of Art, as he is “really interested in Dafi Kühne’s conceptual approach to his work”.

Kelemen believes students can learn a lot from its unique combination of old technology (raised letterpress printing) with 21st century equipment like computers and laser cutters.

Since there is a small makerspace at Myers, students can use the techniques employed by Kühne to inspire their own work.

Niko Elenchevski, a graphic design junior, attended the workshop and enjoyed his experience learning different techniques.

“More people should consider using traditional techniques, like Kühne,” Elenchevski said.