Henri Friedlaender

Biography

Jewish. Typographer, type designer, teacher. Born 15 March 1904 in Lyon, France, to English mother and German-Jewish father. In Berlin by the age of six, he later studied there at the Mommsen Gymnasium followed by study with the printer Willi Simon, and self-study of calligraphy, particularly at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Leipzig. 1925: began his master class in hand-composition at Leipzig’s Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe and studied typography and lettering with Hermann Delitsch. 1926-7: compositor for Jakob Hegner, Hellerau. 1927-8: compositor, supervised by Max Dorn, for Gebr. Klingspor in Offenbach a.M. where a memorable task was his printing of Rudolf Koch’s Die Apostolischen Schriften (1928). 1928: compositor for Hartung, Hamburg; now considered himself a designer rather than simply a compositor. 1929-32: worked at the famed printer Haag-Drugulin, Leipzig. May 1932: Friedlaender left the increasingly threatening politics and he and his wife Maria settled in Holland. He established himself as a book designer and calligrapher, working for firms such as the printer N.V. Mouton & Co., where he was art director, and publishers Allert de Lange, Boucher, Stols, Elsevier and Querido. He taught from 1936 and, in 1937 won a silver medal at the Paris World Exhibition. In 1939 Friedlaender produced Typografisch ABC, a history of writing, published by L.J.C. Boucher, Den Haag. During the war years he was hidden by his wife in their Wassenaar attic, yet managed to produce various projects, to continue his study of Latin, Greek and Hebrew calligraphy, and design a new Hebrew typeface. He published translations from the Bible and texts by Martin Buber (Zijn Einde, De Overweldiger) in his private press, ‘Pulvis Viarum’. He remained hidden for 1018 days, lettering a card of thanks when it was over. After the war he continued to freelance, designing logos and book jackets, and taught evening classes in typography and calligraphy in Amsterdam and The Hague. 1950: won the Duvaer Prize of the City of Amsterdam. 1950: emigrated to Israel to become head of the Hadassah Apprentice School of Printing, Jerusalem, retiring in 1970 although he continued to teach at the Bezalel Academy of Art and at the Kiryat Noar Printing School. Awarded the prestigious Gutenberg Prize, 1971, by the city of Mainz and the Gutenberg Gesellschaft; Roll of Honour, Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 1971. Designed the typeface Hadassah, issued 1958, Aviv, Hadar and Shalom (IBM). Friedlaender died 15 November 1996 in Motza-Illit near Jerusalem.

Writings by

  • ‘Die Buchbinderinnen Dorothea und Katharina Freise’, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., May 1932, pp. 227-32
  • ‘Moderne holländische Druckschriften’, Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen (journal), to 1951. See also Typographische Monatsblätter . , Aug. 1948, pp. 336-9 (brief Eng. summary pp. 359, 361)
  • Philobiblon, 1933, p. 1 (self-advertisement)
  • Typografisch ABC, Den Haag, 1939 (written for apprentices at Mouton)
  • ‘Hoe bereikt men aesthetisch verantwoord zetsel op de zetmachine?’, Kerstnummer Drukkersweekblad, Winter 1948
  • ‘Toward a Modern Hebrew’, Printing & Graphic Arts, Feb. 1959, pp. 49-56
  • ‘Modern Hebrew Typefaces’, Typographica 16, 1959, pp. 4-9 ‘The history of numerals’, Typographica 1, 1960, pp. 48-53
  • Über Buchstaben und Ziffern, Jerusalem: Hadassah Printing School, 1960
  • Formen des Buches, Jerusalem: Hadassah Printing School, 1962
  • ‘Modern Hebrew lettering’, Ariel: A quarterly review of the arts and sciences in Israel, no. 4, 1962, pp. 6-15
  • Print, Jan./Feb. 1964, p. 81 (Typography – USA’ seminar)
  • ‘Training by production’, Penrose Annual, 1965, pp. 167-73
  • ‘Die Vorbilder der Mediäval und der Antiqua’, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., 1927, 10/12, pp. 726-30
  • Die Entstehung meiner Hadassah-Hebräisch (The Making of Hadassah Hebrew), Hamburg: Sichowsky/Christians, 1967
  • Von dem Möglichkeiten und den Notwendigkeiten künftiger Buchgestaltung (HF as participant in a symposium with Jan Tschichold and others), Hamburg: Sichowsky/Christians, 1970
  • The Making of Hadassah Hebrew, Jerusalem: Typophiles Keepsake, 1975
  • (with Gideon Stern) ‘People of the Book: Franzisca Baruch’, Israel Bibliophiles newsletter, no. 4, 1984, pp. 1-4
  • ‘Laudatio auf G.W. Ovink’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1984, pp. 14-17
  • contribution to Richard von Sichowsky, Typograph, 1985
  • ‘Typographie oder Gebrauchsgraphik?’, Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen (journal), to 1951. See also Typographische Monatsblätter . , June 1948, pp. 257-64

Writings about

    1947-89: Paul Standard, ‘Henri Friedlaender’, Print, 1947, no. 2, pp. 15-27 Israel Soifer, ‘Henri Friedlaender: New approach to type’, Publishers’ Weekly, 1 July 1968, pp. 74-5 ‘Henri Friedlaender: Gutenberg Prize Winner’, Israel Book World, no. 5, Sept. 1971, pp. 9-11
  • G.W. Ovink, Die Gesinnung des Typografen (with Friedlaender’s Dankwort : speeches by Ovink and Friedlaender at the Gutenberg Prize presentation, 1971), Mainz: Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 1973
  • I. Soifer, ‘Henri Friedlaender: Book designer’, Ariel: A Quarterly Review of Arts and Letters in Israel, Jerusalem, no. 33-4, 1973, pp. 131-48
  • Henri Friedlaender: Typography and Lettering, Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1973
  • Ernst Zahler, ‘Über das niederländische Buchschaffen’, Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen (journal), to 1951. See also Typographische Monatsblätter . , Feb. 1949, pp. 85-92
  • ‘Wer ist wer?’ (photo and brief biog.), Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen (journal), to 1951. See also Typographische Monatsblätter . , July 1949, p. 321
  • Stephen Lubell, ‘Henri Friedlaender – In Memoriam’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1997, pp. 348-9
  • W. Remy, ‘Henri Friedlaender und das Hohelied’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1984, pp. 42-55
  • Kurt Löb, ‘Drei deutschsprachige graphische Gestalter als Emigranten in Holland’, Philobiblon, Sept. 1989, pp. 177-207 (includes Paul Urban)
  • 1990-present: Kurt Löb, ‘Die Buchgestaltungen Henri Friedlaenders für die Amsterdamer Exil-Verlage Querido und Allert de Lange 1933-1940’, Philobiblon, Sept. 1990, pp. 207-17
  • I.J. Tamari, ‘“Kusari-Hebräisch” – der Anfang einer Druckschrift von Henri Friedlaender und Paul Koch’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1992, pp. 309-18
  • Kees Broos and Paul Hefting, Dutch Graphic Design, London: Phaidon, 1993, pp. 126, 127, 146
  • Kurt Löb, Exil-Gestalten. Deutsche Buchgestalter in den Niederlanden 1932-1950, Arnhem: Gouda Quint, 1995 (the work of Friedlaender and Paul Urban
  • biographies, bibliographies
  • see esp. p. 108)
  • ‘Henri Friedlaender – In Memoriam’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1997, pp. 348-9
  • I.J. Tamari, ‘Nachruf auf Henri Friedlaender’ (obituary), Wolfenbütteler Notizen zur Buchgeschichte, Jg. 22, H. 1 (?1997)
  • Susanne Heynemann, ‘Henri Friedlaender’, in Jelle Kingma (ed.), Susanne Heynemann, Typografe (exh. cat.), Den Hague: Museum van het Boek/Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum, 1998
  • Anton Maria Keim, ‘Gutenberg-Preis. Preisträger 1971’: www.gutenberg-gesellschaft.uni-mainz.de.
  • Gideon Stern, Printing, Books and Gideon Stern, Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2004 (includes photo of HF)
  • Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein, Typography – when/who/how, Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998., 1998
  • Ernst Fischer and others, Buchgestaltung im Exil 1933-1950. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Exilarchivs 1933-1945 Der Deutschen Bibliothek. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003. Very comprehensive. , 2003, pp. 38, 40, 95, and biog. pp. 160-61
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 2005. See also (for history of HF’s Hadassah type) William C. Fontaine, ‘The Hadassah type at Dartmouth’s Graphic Arts Workshop in Baker Library’ on the Internet at www.dartmouth.edu…, and other references to Friedlaender, many in Dutch.

Exhibitions

  • Paris, 1937
  • Book Prize, City of Amsterdam, 1950
  • Milan Triennale, 1954
  • Internationale Buchkunst, Leipzig, 1959
  • Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1973
  • Tel Aviv, 1985.