Modular typefaces as a design tool

Workshop 2
Dates to be confirmed

Manuel Krebs


Register before April 5, 2021

Between DOG and WOLF. Accept the unexpected.

When the day ends and the night begins, there is the moment when it is not clear which of the two it belongs to. In French this moment is called ‘entre chien et loup’, between dog and wolf. In a way, this moment also exists in typography, the writing is the day and the image is the night.

And exactly so there is the flowing border between the graphic designer and the type designer, because from when on is the graphic designer a type designer and the type designer a graphic designer?
This workshop is about these grey areas.


The workshop focuses on the development of modular fonts. An inventory of modules that allow—in combination—the creation of letters, will be developed. The modules are the molecules of the project. To apply the modules, tools will be developed to create and reproduce them. The aim is to have control over the entire production process (literally) in one’s own hands.


Thus, conventional working processes will be questioned and the direct influence of the tools on aesthetics will be made clear. The process is determined by the pairs of opposites experiment/curiosity, vs. order/structure.

Manuel Krebs


Manuel Krebs (*1970, Bern, Switzerland) studied graphic design at the School of Applied Arts in Biel-Bienne. Established together with Dimitri Bruni the graphic design studio NORM in 1999, in 2007 Ludovic Varone joins the studio. Norm focuses on designing and publishing books and typefaces. Book design includes self-commissioned research in the field of type and graphic design, the most relevant being ‘Norm: Introduction’ (2000), ‘Norm: The Things’ (2002) and the recent ‘Dimension of Two’ (2020).


Commissions include numerous collaborations with museums (MoMA, Tate Modern, Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Triennale Milano, Kunsthaus Zurich, Museum for Gestaltung Zurich) and artists (Fischli & Weiss; Simon Starling; Christian Marclay; Kelley Walker; Shirana Shahbazi).

Examples for type design include the ‘Simple’ typeface for Cologne/Bonn airport (2003), the corporate typeface for OMEGA watches, the typeface ‘Replica’ (2008,, the corporate typeface for Swatch (2010) and the typeface ‘Riforma’ (2018,


Norm are regularly teaching at art and design schools such as ECAL in Lausanne. Norm have received numerous awards such as the Swiss Confederate Design Award 2000 and 2002, the Design Award Switzerland and the Jan Tschichold Prize in 2003. In 2011, Norm was awarded the Grand Prix Design by the Swiss Government.

Keywords Experiment / Curiosity / Order / Structure

Practical information

Who can apply
Graphic & Type Designers
(the good, the bad, the ugly)


All levels

Standard tools for digital work.
The school will supply the necessary drawing materials, though the participants are welcome to bring their own.

Workshop price
625 €
Manuel is fluent in English, French and German.
20 hours, 5 days.
4 hours per day,
from 10 am to 2 pm
Number of participants
A maximum of 25 participants.
A minimum of 12 is required to do the workshop.
If you sign up for more TypeJuly workshops, the price of the second and subsequent ones will be 530 euros.
Elisava Alumni Bold 15% discount.
Special offer
Participants who wish to register for the MDV, MDE or MADD master programmes will have a discount equivalent to the workshop price.
More TypeJuly 2021 Workshops