Max Dorn


Printer; designer of books, jackets. Born 14 July 1887 in Mitterfelds, Nieder-bayern. Early training as compositor in Munich and Stuttgart. Studied under Cissarz at the Stuttgart Kunstgewerbeschule. From 1919: worked for the Klingspor Brothers Typefoundry, Offenbach a.M., receiving training from Ernst Engel, director of the in-house private press, soon assisting him in the printing class at the Kunstgewerbeschule. 1926: Dorn took over Engel’s responsibilities when Engel left to found his own private press. Dorn continued the tradition of designing and printing Klingspor’s exquisite type specimen books and other in-house publications; particularly memorable are Worte über Schönheit und Wert der Schrift, 1931, ABC Kästchen, 1934, a little box of typographic gems, and, with Willi Harwerth, the famed Klingspor calendars. His productions showed the highest professionalism, often humorous where need be, and always tasteful. Later formed the Max Dorn Presse in Offenbach, and designed occasional books for Klingspor at least until 1963. Died 13 July 1974 in Offenbach a.M.

Writings about

  • Rudolf Koch, ‘Die Offenbacher Haggadah’, Philobiblon, Oct. 1928, pp. 193-4
  • Wilhelm H. Lange, ‘Bibliographie der Klingspor-Drucke’, Philobiblon, 1938, pp. 263-76 (Karl Klingspor special no.)
  • Julius Rodenberg, ‘Die Hausdrucke und Kalender’ (Klingspor’s in-house productions and calendars), In der Schmiede der Schrift, Berlin: Büchergilde Gutenberg, 1940, pp. 134-52
  • Die Weltkunst, 15 July 1957, p. 10 (70th birthday)
  • Der Polygraph, 20 July 1957, p. 601 (70th birthday)
  • Georg Kurt Schauer, ‘Gedenken, Gruss und Dank’, Imprimatur, 1956/7, pp. 199-200
  • GKS, 1963, p. 141
  • GKS, 1978
  • HAH, 1991
  • Jerry Kelly, ‘Klingspor calendars’, Matrix, Winter 2003, pp. 148-54.
  • Traugott Schalcher, ‘Private prints [press] of the Klingspor Typefoundry’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1938, pp. 46-53


  • Klingspor Museum, Offenbach a.M.