»Typographie kann unter Umständen Kunst sein.«

– Kurt Schwitters, Thesen über Typographie, 1924 –


Once I participated in a course called “Typo-Regeln”, which loosely translates as typographic rules. The course was a collaboration with the University HTWK in Leipzig, and its goal was to create 6 identical handmade books which deal with typographic manifestos from famous typographers and likeminded organizations in an unconventional way. The texts were given to us by our teachers, as well as some basic ground rules like the size of the book and the number of copies. 

I have to admit that my classmates had some great ideas and I enjoyed every minute of this course. A bunch of typo-afficionados talking about all those nifty details in our works – it felt like heaven on earth. I decided to take a pseudo-analytical approach to this work, and created some statistics where I compared the texts with each other on various different levels. I based my data on search-engine algorithms and started to compare the texts on their length, number of words, amount of theme-related technical terms (keywords), nature of the topic, etc. 

Whilst designing the book, I decided to start each manifesto with a bunch of graphs and lists that provide the reader with an abstract, simplified and data-driven overview of the content. 

In order to give the reader the opportunity to compare the texts visually in a non-linear way, I decided not to bind the book, and instead use a paper-fastener to hold the pages together. I also omitted the pagination, as it would defy the concept of non-linear reading. Instead I used indexes to organise the pages thematically.

Cover and interior view of the register

Technical Data

Title: ›TypoSynThesen‹
Status: university project
Medium: handmade books
Year: 2010
University: HBK Braunschweig
Cooperation: HTWK Leipzig
Mentoring: Prof. Ulrike Stoltz, Prof. Christian Ide

Fig. distribution between the sexes

Fig. distribution between the sexes

[Regel 2] Zweck jeder Typographie ist Mitteilung (deren Mittel sie darstellt). Die Mitteilung muss in kürzester, einfachster, eindringlichster Form erscheinen.
— Iwan Tschichold, Elementare Typographie, 1925


Layout: Klaas van Kreis
Font: ITC Officina Serif by Erik Spiekerman, 1989, ITC.
Format: 160 × 240 mm
Pages: 56 pg
Print: 4C digital laserprint
Binding: paperback, paper-fastener
Paper: 80 g/m² Recyconomic Trend White by Schneidersöhne
Edition: 1st edition, 2010. Printed in Germany.
Amount: 6



Layout: Klaas van Kreis
Texts: © by (JEJakob Erbar, (PR) Paul Renner, (EL) El Lissitzky, (KS) Kurt Schwitters, (KT) Karel Teige, (IT) Iwan Tschichold, (KW) Kurt Weidemann, (FT) Forum Typografie, (SB) Stiftung Buchkunst
Preface: Prof. Ulrike Stoltz
Epilogue: Klaas van Kreis


I uploaded the whole book to issuu. Feel free to flick through the pages or browsing the charts.