Paul Renner

Paul Renner was born in 1878 in Wernigerode. After studying architecture and painting and a period as production manager with the publisher Georg-Müller in Munich he and Emil Pretorius founded the »Munich School for Illustration and Book Trade«. This was subsequently merged with the »Drebschitz School for Free and Applied Art« and continued under the name Münchner Werkstätten. In 1925 Renner followed a calling as Director of the Class for Advertising Graphics and Typography to the Frankfurt Art College (Städel). During this period Renner came into contact with Walter Drexel and Ferdinand Kramer, whose work for the Frankfurt Structural Engineering Department he greatly admired. In an article for the magazine Form two years later he acknowledged the architect as exemplary designer. Kramer’s house typeface designed for the City of Frankfurt, the »Kramer Grotesk«, seemed to impress him above all and inspired him to develop his »Futura« typeface. Already some years previously the publisher Jakob Hegner had asked him to develop a functional typeface based on fundamental geometric forms, as »typeface of our time«. In 1928 the first cuts of »Futura« appeared in the Bauersche Giesserei (foundry) in Frankfurt. Renner became Head of the Graphic Occupational Training Colleges of the City of Munich, which he also affiliated with the Master College for Germany’s Printers. In 1933 he was relieved of all offices due to the accusation of degenerate art and went into exile in Switzerland, where he again worked as painter. Paul Renner died in 1956 in Hödingen, Lake Constance.