Ferdinand Ulrich is a typographer and type history researcher. He designs publications in various formats for museums, academic institutions and publishers, he also frequently writes and translates for magazines and type foundries. He has taught graphic design and typography at Burg Halle, at UdK Berlin and elsewhere — currently in Salzburg. He studied visual communication in Berlin and Pittsburgh, and holds a PhD from the University of Reading.

Ferdinand has been invited to speak at universities in Boston, Nancy, New York, Palo Alto and Prague, and at conferences in Berlin, Faenza, Los Angeles, Montréal and Turin.

Selected design projects

Verbindungsstücke つなぐモノ語り Tsunagu Mono Gatari
Bilingual art catalog, collaboration with Toshiya Izumo for Goethe-Institut Kyoto, published by Wasmuth Verlag, 2022
Bronze Cube, ADC New York, 2023
Best-in-Show, Communication Arts, 2023
50 Books of the Year, AIGA, 2023
STA 100: Judge’s Choice, STA Chicago, 2022

Nach dem Tagebuch. Das Schicksal von Anne Frank und der anderen Untergetauchten aus dem Hinterhaus by Bas von Benda-Beckmann, Secession Verlag, 2021

Werner Düttmann. Nachdenken über Architektur for Akademie der Künste Berlin, edited by Sibylle Hoiman, published by Wasmuth Verlag, 2021

Mythische Konstruktionen. Kult- und Geisterhäuser Papua-Neuguineas by Michael Hirschbichler, Wasmuth Verlag, collaboration with Julie Heumüller, 2021

Wider das Verschwinden der Dinge. Die Erfindung des Denkmalinventars by Matthias Noell, Wasmuth Verlag, 2020

Bauhäusler 5: Fred Forbat, Sibylle Hoiman ed., Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, with typesetting by Lunia D’Ambrosio, 2019

Tipoteca Series, curation of three expressionist typeface revivals by Ulrike Rausch, with Adobe Fonts and p98a, 2019

Handliche Bibliothek der Romantik, Secession Verlag, book series, with p98a, 2019

Bauhaus Series, curation of five typeface revivals with Typekit and p98a, 2018

Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, special edition newspaper, collaboration with Norman Posselt and p98a, 2018

Hesse Antiqua, FontShop/Monotype, typeface revival with Gudrun Zapf and Bernd Volmer, 2017

Weiterbauen, weiterdenken. Neue Häuser für Martin Luther, Matthias Noell ed., Stiftung Luthergedenkstätten, architecture catalogue, 2017

Burg-Enzyklopädie ed. by Matthias Noell, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, encyclopedia, 2015

Bauhäusler 1–4, Sibylle Hoiman ed., Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, publication series, 2012–2016


Digital Type, Pre-PostScript
Beyond Tellerrand. Capitol Theater, Düsseldorf, Germany
14 May 2024

Post-PhD reflections: Q&A with Gerry Leonidas (online)
Department of Typography, University of Reading, UK
14 February 2024

Hand in Hand: Contemporary multi-script typography
(with Toshiya Izumo)
Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, Germany
24 January 2024

New environments of discourse in early digital type design technologies → video available soon
Face/Interface. Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA
2 December 2023

Travelling in typographic affairs (online)
University of Applied Sciences Salzburg, Austria
25 January 2022

Digital type systems (online)
Seminar: Type Design, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
29 November 2021

Cast Away: Nebiolo’s matrices in Darmstadt
Symposium: “Nebiolo Type Foundry 1869–1978: new critical assessments”, Castello del Valentino. Turin, Italy
17 September 2021

Matrices Reloaded vol. II
Type Thursday, Buchstabenmuseum. Berlin, Germany
12 August 2021

Pre PostScript (virtual lecture)
Seminar: “Interface of Things”, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
11 June 2021

Type designer’s tools (online)
→ video available on academy.martinaflor.com
Summer program: “Letter & Co.”
Oktober 2020

Typografische Qualität definieren (online)
Seminar: “Design Basics”. Berlin University of the Arts, Germany
13 July 2020

Matrices Reloaded
“Show & Tell”. Studio Zwölf, Berlin, Germany
9 January 2020

Last man casting
Type Tuesday: “Type now. Eye 98 live”. St. Bride Library, London, UK
4 June 2019

TypoFoto (with Norman Posselt)
UMPRUM, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague, Czech Republic
23 May 2019

Fanfare, the expressive blackletter Grotesk from Berlin (closing talk) → video on Vimeo
Symposium: “Gotico Antiqua”. ANRT Nancy, France
26 April 2019

Zapf Centennial Symposium → video on Vimeo
(with Robert Bringhurst, Ferdinand Ulrich, Julian Waters), The Grolier Club. New York City, USA
20 March 2019

Post-digital letterpress
(with Erik Spiekermann and Flavia Zimbardi)
Adobe MAX 2018. Convention Center, Los Angeles, USA
15 October 2018

Designing digital type before 1984
Summer course: “TDi 2018”. Department of Typography, University of Reading, UK
19 July 2018

Hidden treasures: Bauhaus
(with Céline Hurka, Luca Pellegrini, Ferdinand Ulrich, Hidetaka Yamasaki, Flavia Zimbardi)
Adobe Typekit. Ramscale Studio, New York City, USA
12 June 2018

Exploring post-digital letterpress (closing talk)
→ video on Vimeo
Kerning Conference 2018. Cinema Teatro Sarti, Faenza, Italy
8 June 2018

Typographic affairs
Lecture series: “Designpositionen”. University of Applied Sciences Konstanz, Germany
8 May 2018

An introduction to tools and shapes before PostScript
(preceded by a panel discussion on Tools and shapes, moderation: Gerry Leonidas)
TYPO Labs 2018. Auferstehungskirche, Berlin, Germany
13 April 2018

Zapf & Stauffacher: collaborations between type designer and typographer
UK Fine Press Book Fair 2018. Kassam Conference Centre, Oxford, UK
25 March 2018

Post-digital letterpress
Department of Typography, University of Reading, UK
21 February 2018

Hierarchien und Rasterstrukturen in der Gestaltung von Formularen und Fahrplänen
Seminar: “Interface design”, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany
19 January 2018

Der Greif: Ein Werkzeug zum Walzenstellen
Berliner Typostammtisch #70, Berlin, Germany
26 October 2017

The 1983 ATypI working seminar at Stanford
ATypI 2017. Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
15 September 2017

Type design systems presented at the 1983 ATypI working seminar in Stanford
Summer course: “TDi 2017”. Department of Typography, University of Reading, UK
20 July 2017

Typografie von Alltagsdrucksachen
Seminar: “Kompaktwoche Typografie”. Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Germany
29 May 2017

Das Werk von Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse in Auszügen und Anekdoten
Exhibition opening “Die Schrift- und Buchkünstlerin Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse”. Frankfurt Goethe Museum, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
30 March 2017

Archivierung von Alltagsdrucksachen
Seminar: “Kompaktwoche Typografie”. Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Germany
22 June 2016

Bucheinbände, Schriftentwürfe, Schriftblätter und Malerei
Schriftenfest 2016. Offizin Haag-Drugulin, Dresden, Germany
18 June 2016

Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse: Ein Leben für die Schrift
(with Norman Posselt, closing talk) → video available
TYPO Berlin 2016. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
16 May 2016

20 bemerkenswerte Schriften aus der Werkstatt p98a
Typostammtisch #54. Berlin, Germany
31 March 2016

Schrift im Archiv
Seminar: “Theoretisch und Angewandt”. Berlin University of the Arts, Germany
25 November 2015

Gestaltungspraxis heute: Welche Bedeutung hat Qualität im Design?
(with Friedrich Forssman, Stefan Guzy, Regina Kehn, moderation: Bernard Stein)
Panel: Design im Wandel. Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, Germany
16 September 2015

Einige Schriften der Elementaren Typografie
2. Walbaum-Wochenende. Pavillon-Presse, Weimar, Germany
12 September 2015

Die 100 besten Plakate der Burg: Handschrift vs. Satzschrift (exhibition tour)
Galerie im Volkspark. Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Germany
18 February 2015

Hunt Roman: A journey
Design the Future Lecture Series. School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
10 September 2014

Hands-on computing in type design: Some examples of early font production on the verge of analogue and digital
Tangible Media Group. MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, USA
5 September 2014

Typefaces and their stories
Lunchtime Lectures. Continuum Innovation, Boston, USA
4 September 2014

Comenius, Zapf Book & Marconi: Three typefaces from 1976
Herb Lubalin Lecture Series. The Cooper Union. New York City, USA
18 March 2014

Hermann Zapf’s beginnings in the United States and the Hunt Roman project
The New York Typophiles. New York City, USA
12 March 2014

The Hunt Roman genealogy
Seminar: “History of Type”. School of Visual Arts, New York City, USA
3 September 2013

Hunt Roman: Touching type
TYPO Berlin 2013. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
17 May 2013

Typografie an der Ittenschule, Berlin 1926—1934
Typostammtisch #18. Hamburg, Germany
17 January 2013

Hunt Roman: Eine außergewöhnliche Schrift Typostammtisch #33. Berlin, Germany
27 September 2012

Hunt Roman: A unique typeface
Lecture series: Brainfood. Edenspiekermann, Berlin, Germany
23 August 2012

Genealogie und Anthologie der Schrift Hunt Roman
Media Theory graduate ceremony. Berlin University of the Arts, Germany
10 July 2012

The Itten College: A modern art school during the 1920s and 1930s in Berlin
AIGA Pecha Kucha Night. Pittsburgh, USA
13 November 2009

Published articles

Some essays written for FontShop (2013–17) can be retrieved here and here.

Typography reading list, in History Today, vol. 74, #5, London, May 2024, p. 99.

Tools and shapes, in The Arizona Type Specimen, Berlin: Dinamo Editions, 2022. [ISBN 978-3-910551-00-8]

Ikarus between the worlds, in Footnotes, issue D, Geneva: La Police, 2022, pp. 156–173.

Ephemera studies: collection-based research, in A. Berkenbusch (ed.): Every day. Design for people, Halle/Saale: Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design, 2022, pp. 264–269. [ISBN 987-3-86019-160-6]

Global type tour (review of ‘Typographics 21’ with G. Leonidas et al.), in Eye magazine, vol. 27, no. 102, London, 2021, pp. 48–61. → Eye blog here and here.

Fanfare. The expressive blackletter grotesk from Berlin/La linéale gothique expressive de Berlin in T. Huot-Marchand, C. Kirchstetter, J. Knebusch (eds.): Gotico-Antiqua, Proto-Roman, Hybrid. 15th-century types between gothic and roman, Nancy: ANRT and Frankfurt/Main: Poem, 2021, pp. 181–208. [ISBN 978-2-37896-226-5] → abstract

Typeface review: ABC Whyte, ABC Whyte Inktrap, typographica.org, 19 January 2021.

함민주 Minjoo Ham, 둥켈산스 Dunkel Sans. Ode to darkness, in Eye magazine, vol. 25, no. 100, London, 2020, pp. 64–65. → Eye blog

Typeface review: Phase, typographica.org, 16 December 2019.

Handsatz, Schriftentwurf (separate entries), in P. Eisele/I. Naegele/M. Lailach (eds.): Moholy-Nagy und die Neue Typografie, Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2019, pp. 44, 62–63. [ISBN 978-3-86206-753-4] → PDF

Last man casting, in Eye magazine, vol. 25, no. 98, London 2019, pp. 76–72. → Eye blog

Die Schriften Alfarn, CarlMarx, Joschmi, Reross, Xants, in Bauhaus, no. 10, vol. 8, Dessau: Stiftung Bauhaus, 2018, pp. 134–137.

Typeface review: Bitcount, typographica.org, 18 October 2018.

Zapf and Stauffacher. Collaborations between type designer and typographer, Bath/UK: The Old School Press, 2018. [ISBN 978-1-899933-35-8]

Post-digital endeavours at p98a.berlin, in Parenthesis, The Journal of The Fine Press Book Association, no. 34. Cambridge 2018, pp. 28–29.

A brief overview of developments in digital type design, in Yearbook of type, vol. 3, Karlsruhe: Slanted, 2018, pp. 414–417. [ISBN 978-3-9818296-2-4] → republished on Medium

Hesse Antiqua zum 100. Geburtstag, in Die TeXnische Komödie, vol. 30, no. 1, Heidelberg 2018, pp. 57–65.

Futura and its environment (with E. Spiekermann), in: P. Eisele, A. Ludwig, I. Naegele (eds.): Futura. The typeface, London: Laurence King, 2017, pp. 478–490. [ISBN 978-1-78627-093-1]

From punch cutters to number crunchers, in: Eye magazine, vol. 24, no. 94, London 2017, pp. 36–41. → Eye blog

Typeface review: Dunbar, typographica.org, 5 July 2017.

Крат­кая ис­то­рия гео­мет­ри­че­ских гро­те­сков в не­мец­кой куль­ту­ре (translated and edited by E. Yukechev and A. Minasova), typejournal.ru, 15 February 2017.

Futura und ihr Umfeld (with E. Spiekermann), in: P. Eisele, A. Ludwig/I. Naegele (eds.): Futura. Die Schrift, Mainz: Hermann Schmidt, 2016, pp. 478–490. [ISBN 978-3-87439-893-0] → PDF

Book review: Der Typograph Hermann Zapf. Eine Werkbiografie, in: Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte, vol. 18, Stuttgart 2016, p. 201. [ISBN 978-3-515-11604-6]

Typeface review: Neue Demos, typographica.org, 9 May 2016.

Cooper Hewitt: The Typeface (review), in: L. Kudrnovská (ed.): 365 typo. 365 stories on type, typography and graphic design, Paris 2015, p. 201 [ISBN 979-10-95254-00-3]

Plastiktüte: God bless America, in: A. Berkenbusch, S. Fricke, L. Petersen, L. Sievertsen (eds.): Mitteilungen aus dem Zettelwerk, vol. 1, Halle (Saale) 2015, pp. 46–49. [ISBN 978-3-86019-119-4]

8 separate entries in: M. Noell (ed.): Die Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, alphabetisch geordnet. Eine Hochschulenzyklopädie, Halle/Saale 2015. [ISBN 978-3-935053-85-3] → PDF

Type vs. Lettering. Schrift auf den 100 besten Plakaten, in: A. Berkenbusch (ed.): 100 beste Plakate der Burg Giebichenstein, Halle/Saale 2015, pp. 13–15. [ISBN 978-3-86019-115-6]

Typeface review: Cooper Hewitt, typographica.org, 19 March 2015.

Why letterpress today, in: Print Magazine, vol. 69, no. 1, Cincinnati 2015, pp. 38–39.

“Halle-Neustadt hat eine gewisse Art von Schönheit” (with A. Berkenbusch), in: J. Reuter (ed.): Wie wollen wir leben? 50 Jahre Halle-Neustadt. Positionen und Reflexionen aus Kunst und Design, Halle/Saale 2014, pp. 58–69. [ISBN 978-3-86019-107-1]

The Prototype. What we can learn from one of Hermann Zapf’s last metal typefaces, in: The Journal of the Printing Historical Society, new series, no. 20, London 2014, pp. 5–24. → excerpt

Der “Kulturbotschafter”. Hermann Zapfs Anfänge in den Vereinigten Staaten und das Projekt Hunt Roman, in: Journal für Druckgeschichte, vol. 19, no. 3, Ostfildern 2013, pp. 25–27. → PDF

The Hunt Roman Quadriga. How four printing workshops rescued an almost forgotten typeface, in: Parenthesis, The Journal of The Fine Press Book Association, no. 25. Chicago 2013, pp. 14–18.

Hunt Roman: friendship, collaboration, philosophy, in: A. Schmidt, P. M. Sommer (eds.): Typoversity. Projekte und Diskurse zur typografischen Ausbildung an Hochschulen, vol. 2, Hamburg 2013, pp. 56–67. [ISBN 978-3-939028-35-2]

Typeface review: Hunt Roman, typographica.org, 22 July 2012.

Press features

Connecting a collection (“Verbindungsstücke” feature) by John L. Walters in Eye magazine #105, 2023 → Eye blog.

Books received #54 (“Verbindungsstücke” feature), 21 August 2023.

Interview about “Verbindungsstücke” in Communication Arts, Typography Annual 13, vol. 64, no. 6, 2023, pp. 56–57 (read it online here).

Vice versa (“Verbindungsstücke” feature) by Antje Dohmann in Page #08, 2022, pp. 92–94.

Adobe Bauhaus feature in 日本経済新聞/Nikkei, 8 Dec. 2019, p. 11.

美しい書体こそ、デザインの原点だ (interview about Adobe Bauhaus) in Pen Magazine #471, 2019, pp. 46–47.

Adobe Bauhaus feature in Page #10, 2018, pp. 75–79.

30 Gestalter unter 30 in Page #11, 2016, p. 36.

At work with Ferdinand Ulrich (interview), FontShop.com, 16 Dec. 2015.

Remembering Hermann Zapf (interview), Creative Characters #94, MyFonts.com, June 2015.

Hunt Roman feature in Novum #10, 2013, pp. 30–31.

Hunt Roman feature in Typoversity #2, 2013, pp. 56–65 → sneak peek here

は、元々 (Hunt Roman review) by Toshiya Izumo, TypoTalks.com, 19 May 2013.

Vier Fragen an Ferdinand Ulrich (interview), TypoTalks.com, 28 March 2013.

Teaching and research

Spring 2024 · Guest professorship: Communication Design, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

Spring 2024 · Lecturer with Toshiya Izumo: Multi-script typography, Weissensee Academy of Art Berlin

since Fall 2023 · Lecturer: Experimental Typography, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

2016–2023 · PhD candidate (supervised by Gerry Leonidas and Sue Walker): Department of Typography, University of Reading

Winter 2019/20 · Interim professor (for Uli Schwarz): Design Basics, UdK Berlin

Spring 2019 · Lecturer: Modular Type Design, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle (invited by Andrea Tinnes)

Summers 2017+2018 · Guest lecturer, TDi summer course, Department of Typography, University of Reading (invited by Gerry Leonidas)

Winter 2017/18 · Lecturer: Information Design class, UdK Berlin (invited by David Skopec)

Spring 2015–2018 · Visiting lecturer: Design Basics, UdK Berlin (invited by Uli Schwarz)

Spring 2016 · Lecturer: Typography Fundamentals, Potsdam University of Applied Sciences

2012—2015 · Associate lecturer: Editorial Design (with Anna Berkenbusch), Typography Fundamentals, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle

Fall 2011 · Visiting scholar: School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh/PA (invited by Terry Irwin)

2010—2012 · Tutor: Information Design class, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK)


Typographic affairs → @ferdinandulrich
Elsewhere → Academia, GitHub, Medium, Vimeo
Member of Bauhaus Archive and Letterform Archive