Christian Mengelt (b. 1938, St. Gallen, Switzerland) is a graphic designer, type designer, and teacher. He studied graphic design under Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder at the School of Design, Basel. In 1964, he set up his own graphic design studio together with different partners, and has cooperated with various design and advertising agencies, such as GGK (Gerstner, Gredinger und Kutter) Basel, Switzerland, and Mendell&Oberer Munich, Germany. With Karl Gerstner and Günter Gerhard Lange, he was briefly involved in the Gerstner program at H. Berthold AG. Early type designs include Univers Compugraphic (1972, Compugraphic) and Cyrillic Gothic (1974, Compugraphic), both realized in cooperation with André Gürtler. From 1972 until 2001, he taught graphic and type design at the Basel School of Design, which he headed from 1986-2001. With André Gürtler and Erich Gschwind, he formed Team 77 in Basel and became deeply involved in most aspects of letterform design and application, which led to these type designs:
- 1976: Media (Bobst Graphic, Autologic).
- 1977: Avant Garde Gothic Oblique (ITC).
- 1978: Signa (Bobst Graphic, Autologic).
- 1974-1980: Haas Unica (Haas Type foundry, Linotype, Autologic). In 2012-2014, Christian revived this digitally as Unica 77 at Lineto, one year before Toshi Omagari published Neue Haas Unica at Linotype.
- After a long hiatus, with the help of the Linotype staff, he created Sinova in 2011, a versatile humanist sans type family in ten styles, which has broad language support.
- Mengelt Basel Antiqua (2014, Linotype). A relaxing Venetian text typeface family based on the Basel book typefaces from the 16th century. Linotype, its publisher, writes: The first edition of the anatomy atlas De humani corporis fabrica came out nearly 500 hundred years ago. It was published in 1543 in Basel by Andreas Vesalius. The work was published in multiple volumes and is extraordinary not only for its content and design, but also its typography. It excites philologists and typographers to this day. De humani corporis fabrica was printed in the workshop of Johannes Oporinus, who was considered one of the major printers and publishers in Basel in his time. He used one of the Venetian Antiqua-inspired fonts for the typesetting. This is a genre of fonts which was much loved by the Basel printers. The printer Johann Amerbach brought it to Switzerland from Italy a few centuries earlier. [Note: Is this a misprint?] The American philologist Daniel H. Garrison provided the initiative for Mengelt to explore the Basel Antiqua fonts from the 16th century. He is working on a re-edition of the De humani corporis fabrica and is looking for a fitting print font which has historical references, but the technical characteristics of a modern font. Mengelt takes on the challenge and designs his Mengelt Basel Antiqua font on the basis of the original Basel prints.
- He received an Honorable Mention in the Latin category for Newline in 2016 at the Morisawa Type Design Competition 2016.
Typedia link. MyFonts link. Linotype link. Behance link. Interview by Linotype. FontShop link. Klingspor link.
Klingspor Museum page
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type design in Switzerland ⦿
Venetian or antiqua typefaces ⦿
Cyrillic type design ⦿
Photo and film type era ⦿