Summer 2020

Dafi Kühne: By his own hand

Swiss designer Dafi Kühne works wholly in traditional letterpress techniques with entirely contemporary results [EXTRACT]

Working in Näfels, eastern Switzerland, Dafi Kühne is a pioneer in reviving and updating letterpress techniques, combining what he calls ‘true printing’ with digital technology and hand-cut 3D plate elements. Like most Swiss designers of his generation, Dafi Kühne started studying with a digital practice in mind. Having enrolled in Interaction Design at the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts), he soon realised that being a digital designer was not what he was looking for. He decided his vocation was to control every aspect of production, including typesetting with metal and wood type, instead of preparing files for a streamlined industrial process…

Poster announcing a concert by singer-songwriter Sophie Hunger at Studio Foce in Lugano, Switzerland. The dark violet areas were printed on top of the letterpress text in the same colour using a relief of torn sheets of chipboard as printing plates.
Top. Letterpress-printed ‘manifesto’ that came with the limited edition of his book True Print (Lars Müller, 2016).


Jan Middendorp, designer, writer and author of Dutch Type, Berlin

Read the full article in Eye no. 100 vol. 25, 2020


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.


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