«Typographic Summer Program» with Dafi Kühne is an intense 2 week summer program in Switzerland for international graphic design students and professionals. It started in 2016 with one summer session over 2 weeks and established over the last 3 years to a 2 session summer program. The workshop’s goal is to bridge the gap analog design and production tools and professional contemporary typographic posters. The participants will go through a number of analog tasks to experience the layout qualities of simple type-only layouts. All the experiments and layout exercises will be realized with traditional letterpress printing presses and physical type. Through this very slow but accurate analog process, the participants will learn to put emphasis on concept and micro typography. This program is a great opportunity for students to see and learn first hand from one of the few internationally successfull contemporary letterpress poster designers. Besides of a lot of process results, sketches and small experimental prints, the participants will collaborate to produce each a letterpress printed typographic poster printed with a variety of possible production tools like physical type (wood & metal type), chipboard, lasercut mdf, linoleum, handcast ludlow type lines, and many more… Every aspect of the design process that is taught and intensely trained with the tutors in the analog way will be easy to translate to the contemporary design practice for the students future career.

Skills trained:
+ Conceptual design work, critical analysis of content
+ Handtypesetting, kerning, linespacing, rags
+ Handling of letterpress proofing presses and other printing equipment
+ Analog typographic design iterations to produce a typographic poster layout
+ Full analog production of a poster, print form making, printing in several color-runs, quality control, presentation

The workshop will be held in english.

Dates/Schedule 2019

Session 1: From June 16th until June 29th 2019.
Session 2: From July 28th until August 10th 2019.

To be able to offer the program to a total of 24 students (12 per session) and to accomodate for different universities summer breaks we offer 2 sessions in 2019. Both sessions will have a similar program schedule. Get in is on a Sunday evening and weʼll finish up two weeks later on a Saturday around noon. The program consists of a total of 11 fully coached workshop days. We begin at 8.30am and work until 6.30pm, with a 1 hour lunch break. On some evenings there are talks, films or discussions. The workshop is meant to use the time as efficient as possible, loaded with as much educational information as we could – having as much fun as possible. Please be aware, the program is ambitious and intense: but it doesnʼt require any specific typographic knowledge or experience with letterpress equipment. All we need is a motivated group of students.

See a provisional PDF schedule for session I, 2019.
See a provisional PDF schedule for session II, 2019.


Dafi Kühne
is a graphic designer + letterpress printer. He studied in Zürich in the Visual Communications Department of Zurich University of the Arts. During his studies he did an internship with Hatch Show Print in Nashville TN, focusing on letterpress printed posters with wood type. After learning the very traditional approach of letterpress printing during his internship he focused on the more contemporary methods and explored the potential of the laser cutter in combination with the old traditional printing equipment. His diploma project «Woodtype Now!» systematically investigated and documented new opportunities in production and printing letterpress printing blocks.

Since 2009 Dafi Kühne has built up his studio and workshop «babyinktwice» (www.babyinktwice.ch) in Näfels, straight in the Swiss Alps, specializing in posters, invitation cards, brochures and magazines for music, art, architecture, theatre, and film projects. Every project he produces somehow gets processed through at least one of his number of printing presses from the 1960s. His posters won awards, got published in books and are documented in several international poster collections. In 2016, his monograph «True Print» got published by Lars Müller Publishers (www.lars-mueller-publishers.com)

Besides his working practice, Dafi has been giving lectures in Europe and the USA and teaching short seminars and full semesters at different universities in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Dafi Kühne is organizing and coaching the whole program with a main focus on the poster design process and the final letterpress printing production.

Dafi Kühne in his studio in Näfels, 2015

Prof. Rudolf Barmettler
is a long-standing faculty member of the Visual Communication Department of Zurich University of the Arts, and was Head of the Department from 1999 until 2008. He studied in Lucerne (Grafikfachklasse) and undertook an internship at Georg Staehelin (Pentagram Design Zurich). Upon graduating, R. Barmettler carried out several research projects with Hans-Rudolf Lutz. Later Barmettler worked in Paris for Jean Widmer. He also taught as assistant at the Department of Architecture (Swiss Federal Institute for Technology). And he graduated in documentary film at (HFF) in Munich. Since 2005 he is the Head of the CAS/MAS Typedesign and Typography at Zurich University of the Arts (www.typetypo.ch). He is an expert in type history (www.swisstypedesign.ch), fine typography and layout. He also teaches evening classes in typography and layout at his letterpress workshop in Zurich.
Rudolf Barmettler is confirmed to be teaching 2 input days in the first week. One day is concerned with microtypography; the second is concerned with macrotypography. Each of these days are evenly divided between theory sessions, and hands-on typesetting sessions. During the second week Rudolf Barmettler will give one day of individual feedback on the participantʼs projects.
Trueprint1 Prof. Rudolf Barmettler at his typelab in Zürich, 2013

Evening Talks
During the two weeks, we will have two evening talks by guest lecturers. This year we will have Niklaus Troxler (www.troxlerart.ch) visiting us. Troxler made himself a name with his famous posters for Jazzfestival Willisau that he initiated and organized from 1975–2000. In the second week, Erich Brechbühl (www.erichbrechbuhl.ch) will be giving a presentation on his poster work. Besides his studio work, Erich has been a co-organizer of the Weltformat Poster Festival (www.weltform.at) since itʼs begin in 2008. Former guests of Typographic Summer Program: Lars Müller (www.lars-mueller-publishers.com in 2017/2018)

Excursion to Zurich Design Museum
The Poster Collection of Zurich Design Museum (www.museum-gestaltung.ch) is one of the most extensive and important archives of its kind in the world. It hosts over 350'000 posters, 120'000 of them researched and invetoried. Curator Dr. Bettina Richter is confirmed to be giving the class a private tour through the archive of the Poster Collection of Zürich Design Museum.

The studio in Näfels, Switzerland is a 220m2 (2300 square feet) light flooded factory floor. Each student will get a space at a working desk in the main room. Equipment available for possible use in the project: 3 FAG letterpress proof presses, ~20 full cabinets of metal and wood type, a Ludlow hot metal line caster, a pantograph to cut wood sorts, a 80W 60x90cm (23.5x35.5 inches) laser cutter, a photopolymer processor and many powered and manual tools.

Although students get access to all the equipment in the studio, there is no guarantee to get trained on all the different tools. We try and choose the different tools and techniques as they fit the assigned design projects to find appropriate way to reproduce the developed concepts.

Past Workshop Posters
In the past 8 years Dafi Kühne has organized several workshops at his studio for different schools and university classes. Here you find some fotos of comparable workshop situations at the studio in Näfels.

Besides of the workshops at the studio in Näfels, Dafi also has been teaching classes and workshops at different universities and art colleges like Écal Lausanne (Switzerland), Schule für Gestaltung SfG Basel (Switzerland), F+F Zürich (Switzerland), HBKSaar Saarbrücken (Germany), VCU Richmond VA (USA) and Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago (USA). Here you see a selection of some of the students posters printed at Dafi Kühneʼs workshops.

The workshop will take place in Näfels, in the beautiful region of Glarus, Switzerland. This is straight in the Swiss Alps at the foot of some beautiful surrounding 2900MASL (9000FASL) mountains. Accommodations is on the participants own expense. It makes sense to find something direct in Näfels itself, since we begin quite early in the morning and some evening programs might take a little longer. We provide a list of possible hotels in Näfels. Weʼre on the countryside, so please do not expect any 5* hotels... If you have any problems or need help with booking, contact us and we see what we can do for you.

If you’re planning to book something else than any of these accommodations in the list, please contact us so we can give you some information on distance and how easy it is to get there. (The studio is located in a mountain valley—so not everything that looks straight on a map is actually straight!). We are happy to help.

Hotel Schwert, Näfels
This hotel is only in 6 minutes (450m) walking distance from the studio. Weʼve had groups staying at Schwert before. It is plain but comfortable. Some rooms have shared showers at a lower fee. TV and Wifi in all rooms.
Single room: 86CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 140-154CHF (Incl. breakfast)
3 bed room: 211CHF (Incl. breakfast)
4 bed room: 238CHF (Incl. breakfast)

Hotel Schützenhof, Näfels
This hotel is in 7 minutes (550m) walking distance from the studio. All rooms have their own toilets and showers, &TV & internet.
Single room: 95CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 166CHF (Incl. breakfast)

Sports & Recreation Center, Näfels
This accommodation is about a 14 minutes walk (1.1km) from the studio. It has a few single, some double and some family (4 person) rooms. The whole center has been renovated only a couple of years ago, so might be more up to date than some other hotels in this list – but maybe a little less authentic... The rooms have their own toilets, showers, TV & Wifi. With the hotelroom, you get free access to the indoor swimming pool.
Single room: 97CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room: 164CHF (Incl. breakfast)
3 pers. in 4 bed room: 174CHF (Incl. breakfast)
4 pers. in 4 bed room: 184CHF (Incl breakfast)
(They also have mass accommodations (rooms up to 24) for much lower fees, check out their webpage)

Hotel Löwen, Mollis
This hotel is the farthest from the studio. It is a 15 minutes walk (1.2km), but you can do it in 10 I guess. I guess this could be the most comfortable in the list, but still very plain. Some rooms have shared showers*, but most have their own toilets and showers**. TV & Wifi.
Single room*: 75CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Single room**: 95CHF (Incl. breakfast)
Double room**: 145CHF (Incl. breakfast)

Studio-Näfels, Näfels
This is an appartment with a little kitchen. It is a 2 minutes walk (0.2km) from the studio. It is the most expensive on the list – but it also offers the most privacy. TV & Wifi, kitchen and bath.
Apartment: 100CHF (no breakfast)

The studio fee for the 2 weeks is CHF 1750 per participant, to be paid in full via electronic transfer upon receipt of acceptance and in advance of the course. This fee includes 11 fully coached workshop days, all the instruction and working materials (paper, inks, use of type, the production of photoplates etc), the talks, guest professor, excursion and guided full access to the studio during scheduled workshop time. Travel costs, food and accommodation are not included.

The program’s target audience are design students (undergrads and graduate students), professional designers and teaching design faculty with a strong interest in typography and poster design. All the tasks are designed to work for both, students and professionals of any level but require a strong motivation from the studentʼs side. Many of the trained skills will be practiced in analog letterpress technique. However all of the acquired typographic knowledge is also meant to be applied in the daily digital practice. The number of participants per session is limited to 12, with a minimum set at 8 students. Applications for both sessions are open until March 29, 2019. Application requirements: Curriculum Vitae and a one page letter of motivation. No portfolio needed. Please send the two documents as a PDF to:

(Please give us your full name and address with your application and donʼt forget to mention which session you are applying to.)

All applications will be assessed by the tutors with notification sent in the first week of April 2019.

If you have any further questions, donʼt hesitate to write us:

Typographic Summer Program
Dafi Kühne
Mühlhäusern 2
8752 Näfels

+41 79 545 21 02

Last Update: January 3, 2019