more details on rudolf koch please

i would like to know more details about the typographer rudolph koch's ties with the jewish community and his designs made for the jews, like the offenbacher haggadah.

also, for hebrew readers, i wrote an essay about koch's work in my hebrew blog:

andreas's picture

The first edition of this book was a private project of the notary Dr. Guggenheim of Frankfurt a.M. For the German text a very early stage version of the later called "Jessen Schrift" was used. The Hebrew letters for text setting are from the Frankfurter Druckerei J. Kaufmann (no Klingspordesigns, a compromise). The Hebrew titles are made by Berthold Wolpe (woodcutter). Max Dorn does the book design. The musical notes are probably made by a son of Rudolf Koch, Paul Koch. The illustrations are made by Fritz Kredel (woodcut) and are hand colored. The book binding versions were done by Dorothea Freise. I think all persions belong to the Koch-Kreis. The price for the paper-bound version was 60 RM (a lot of money in 1928) and could be ordered directly from Dr. Guggenheim.

The known and popular second release from 1960 used a new layout with the typeface Palatino.

There are a loot of literature available of Rudolf Koch - I think, he is the most commented and documented type designer of Germany.

If you like to know more you have to read German books about him. Have a look to

dan_reynolds's picture

The relatively-recent English-language monograph Rudolf Koch: Letter, Designer, Teacher is quite OK, too. I certainly enjoyed reading it, and finally bought a copy a few months ago. On right now, you can get a copy for less than $20. The author translated a number of texts from German to English himself.

Other excellent English-language sources are the Rudolf Koch chapter in Letters of Credit, as well as the two Fleuron articles that touch on his work… an article about Karl Klingspor, and another about Koch's work itself. Both Fleuron articles were written while he was still alive. But I doubt that either of them covers work like the Haggadah.

dan_reynolds's picture

>There are a loot of literature available of Rudolf Koch - I think, he is the most commented and documented type designer of Germany.

…well, aside from Hermann Zapf and Erik Spiekermann, I guess :-)

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

shapeau my friends.
interesting fact is mentioned by Henry Friedlander, the designer of the Hadassah type:

"מרודולף קוך למדתי את הערך האנושי ואת כוח הביטוי הגנוז בכתב, מידות שאינן קשורות ליופי פורמאלי, כי אם מצויות אפילו בצורות מכוערות לפי מושגים מקובלים." [מקור - הספר "אות היא לעולם", ישראל. משרד החנוך והתרבות. האגף לתרבות תורנית]

(rough translation)

"from Rudolf Koch i have learned the human value and the hidden expressive strength in type- measures which has nothing to do with formal beauty, but are existent in even the ugliest forms by common standarts".
[Henry Friedlander, taken from "ot hi leolam" book, israel, dep. of education and culture]

Syndicate content Syndicate content