Herbert Thannhaeuser was born in 1898 in Berlin. He completed an apprenticeship as a painter of porcelain and then worked as a display artist at Ullstein. He next worked as a graphic designer at various Berlin studios and in 1925 started to work as an artistic advisor at the firm Max Krause and several other printing houses. From 1933 to 1940, he worked as an artistic advisor to the type foundry Schelter & Giesecke in Leipzig. He became the artistic director at VEB Typoart in Dresden in 1951. Thannhaeuser died in Kleinmachnow in 1963.