Hans Eduard Meier

Hans Eduard Meier, renowned typographer and creator of Syntax, died on July 15, 2014 at the age of 92. Read our obituary here.

“I was born on December 30, 1922 in Switzerland, in Horgen on Lake Zurich. I spent my youth in a large house with a big garden and a lot of leisure time on the lake, sailing, canoeing, swimming and fishing. Drawing and painting were my favorite pastimes since my early childhood.

After school I completed an apprenticeship as a typesetter. Then I attended a class specializing in typography and the professional course in graphic design at the School of Design in Zurich. Calligraphy, which I learned from the excellent teachers Alfred Willimann and Rudolf Käch, formed the basis for my subsequent script designs.

After graduation I worked in Zurich and in Paris as a graphic artist in various studios and I also worked for UNESCO.

From 1950 to 1986 I taught writing, typography and constructive drawing at the School of Design in Zurich. I also had time for my own work for industry, publishers and cultural events.

In 1959, Graphis Press in Zurich published my trilingual educational booklet “The Development of Script and Type”. The eleventh edition was published in 1995 by Syndor Press, Cham. The teaching materials have been distributed worldwide.

From 1968 to 1972 my font Syntax appeared, first at the type foundry Stempel in Frankfurt. Today, it is gaining in popularity. Syntax is the modern interpretation of the Renaissance Antiqua, a typeface with humanist character. There are now five styles, but there will soon be 12; I am currently working on them with Fontographer.

In 1978, I lectured about my teacher experiences in Providence, Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 1991, I lectured about my type design on the computer in Boston and Montreal.

The collaboration with the Institute of Computer Systems at ETH in Zurich started in 1984. I design fonts there using the computer. This work resulted in the print fonts Barbedor, Syndor, Oberon and the designs for Barbetwo, Syntax Letter and Lapidar as well as various fonts with mathematical symbols for use at the Institute.

Since 1996 I have been working at home in Obstalden, high above Lake Walen, on new fonts, all with the Fontographer program.”

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