1924–27: studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Offenbach under Rudolf Koch. Then trains as a goldsmith in Pforzheim. 1929–33: teaches at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Offenbach and from 1930–33 at the art school in Frankfurt am Main. Designs commemorative reports, trademarks, posters, book covers and typefaces. 1932: meets Stanley Morison. 1935: emigrates to England. 1935–40: works for Ernest Ingham’s Fanfare Press. 1941–75: designs c. 1,500 book covers for the publishers Faber & Faber. 1955: takes part in the international Liber Librorum bible project. 1959: made a Royal Designer for Industry. 1968: given an honorary doctorate by the Royal College of Art in London. Wolpe taught at the Camberwell College of Art (1948–53), at the Royal College of Art in London (1956–75) and at the City & Guilds of London School of Art (from 1975 onwards).
Fonts: Hyperion (1931), Albertus® (1932–40), Tempest (1936), Sachsenwald (1937), Pegasus (1938), Decorata (1950), Johnston’s Sans Serif Italic (1973).
Publications include: "Schriftvorlagen", Kassel 1934; "Marken und Schmuckstücke", Frankfurt am Main 1937; "A Book of Fanfare Ornaments", London 1939; "Renaissance Handwriting", (with A. Fairbanks), London 1959; "Architectural Alphabet. J. D. Steingruber", London 1972.
* TYPOGRAPHY – An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott (Editor), Bernard Stein, published by Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.