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abc litera

Four of the five associates of abc litera met at the school of design in St.Gallen. After completing Jost Hochuli’s workshop on Typographic Design in St.Gallen, the three young designers Dominik Hafen, Bernhard Senn and Roland Stieger founded TGG Hafen Senn Stieger, a studio specialized in the fields of typography and visual communication. Contact between them and Jost Hochuli continued and led to a close collaboration when TGG started digitizing Hochuli’s hand-drawn artwork for the Allegra type family.

When Jonas Niedermann joined TGG, he worked on the digitization of Allegra, and subsequently graduated from the MA course in Typeface Design at the University of Reading, UK. Finally, in early 2014, the five friends founded abc litera GmbH. Following the already released Allegra, Roland Stieger’s sans-serif typeface Alena and a further, seriffed, type family by Jonas Niedermann, called Caligula, will soon be available from abc litera.

Jost Hochuli (designer of Allegra)
Born 8 June 1933, in St.Gallen. 1952–1954 Kunstgewerbeschule St.Gallen, training as graphic designer. 1954–1955 work experience with Rudolf Hostettler at the Druckerei Zollikofer & Co. AG, St.Gallen. 1955–1958 training as compositor at Zollikofer and in the composition class at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich. 1958–1959 Ecole Estienne, Paris (course with Adrian Frutiger).
Since 1959, own studio for graphic design (focus on industrial and institutional graphic design) and book design, in St.Gallen. 1979 co-founder of the VGSVerlagsgemeinschaft St.Gallen; since then president and designer of this small publisher.
Teaching: 1967–1980 as successor to Walter Käch, also taught lettering and subsequently basic formal training of graphic designers at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Schule für Gestaltung), Zürich, with six-month break in 1968 for study in England. 1980–1996 also taught lettering at the Schule für Gestaltung, St. Gallen and ran the ‘Typographical Designer’ day-release course. Since 1976, lectures and seminars in Switzerland and abroad. 1988 appointment as Professor for Lettering, with focus on typography, at the Universtät-Gesamthochschule Essen; appointment not accepted.
Exhibitions: 1983 (with Gerrit Noordzij) in the Ignaz-Günther-Haus, Stadtmuseum München, 1989/90 in Warsaw, Cracow, Thorn and Poznan, 1991 in Stuttgart, 1996 in London, 1997 in St.Gallen, 1998 in Mainz (exhibition of the Typotron booklets at the Gutenberg-Museum), 1999 in Leipzig. In 1993, curator and designer of the exhibition ‘Book Design in Switzerland’, shown in various countries in Europe and in the USA and Canada.
Awards: Icograda prize of honour at the IBA international book art exhibition, Leipzig, 1989. Gutenberg prize of the city of Leipzig, 1999. Numerous books selected for the ‘Schönste Schweizer Bücher’ and ‘Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt’ exhibitions.
Member of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). Honorary member of the Double Crown Club, London. Honorary Fellow of the International Society of Typo graphic Designers (HonFSTD).


Foundry details

  • Location:
    abc litera
    Obere Berneggstrasse 66
    St. Gallen, 9012