Birth and Education

In the studio of Johannes Wehlisch in Frankfurt/Oder Günter Gerhard Lange starts a three year apprenticeship as advertising designer
Günter Gerhard Lange works as poster painter at the Bensberg Department Store in Frankfurt/Oder from 1938 to 1939

Günter Gerhard Lange is born on 12th April 1921 in Frankfurt/Oder in Eastern Brandenburg, Germany.


Aged 14, Günter Gerhard Lange starts a three year apprenticeship as advertising designer in the studio of Johannes Wehlisch in Frankfurt/Oder.


Günter Gerhard Lange works as poster painter at the Bensberg Department Store, Frankfurt/Oder.


GGL works as poster painter at the Gustav Zeeck fashion house in Kolberg.

Caesura: World War II


The German invasion of Poland on 1.9.1939 starts World War II in Europe.


GGL registeres as military volunteer and is drafted.


After serious injury, resulting in a leg amputation, Günter Gerhard Lange is released from the army.


Prof. Walter Tiemann (1876–1951) | Photo: Klingspor-Museum
Prof. Georg Belwe (1878–1954) | In: Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Heft 7/9 1914
Prof. Hans Theo Richter (1902–1969) | SLUB Dresden, Deutsche Fotothek, Margot Schaal

GGL starts his studies at the Staatliche Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe (State Academy for Graphic Art and Book Trade) Leipzig. Studying calligraphy and type design, type setting and printing with Professor Georg Belwe (1878-1954), as well as drawing, painting, etching and lithography with Professor Hans Theo Richter (1902-1969). He graduates with distinction.


Freelance work as painter and graphic designer, type designer and typographer in Leipzig. In addition, Günter Gerhard Lange is assistant to Prof. Walter Tiemann.


In October, Günter Gerhard Lange moves to West Berlin. Further studies at the Academy for Fine Arts in Berlin with Prof. Paul Strecker.

An etching by Günter Gerhard Lange from 1947 | Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider
Brush drawing by Günter Gerhard Lange, 1948 | In: Philipp Luidl [Ed.]: G.G.L., 1983

H. Berthold AG

“[…] At that time I joined Berthold with the intention of creating typefaces as good as the Monotype. This caused stark consternation. The director shouted, “Have you got any idea what you are talking about? Monotype is a world power!” […]

Günter Gerhard Lange, novum 09/08, 2008

Günter Gerhard Lange in Berlin, 1953

First contact and freelance work with H. Berthold AG, type foundry and brass line factory, Berlin.


In parallel with his work for H. Berthold AG, Günter Gerhard Lange is lecturer for type design at the Meisterschule für Graphik Druck und Werbung, Berlin.


The first photo typesetting machine “Diatype” by H. Berthold AG is shown at the Drupa.


Günter Gerhard Lange is appointed Artistic Director at H. Berthold AG, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich. From January 1961 in salaried employment.


After relocation of the production departments of H. Berthold AG to Stuttgart, GGL lives and works there for five years.


From 1965 at Taufkirchen, near Munich. As Authorised Signatory and Art Director, GGL is responsible for the entire font programme in lead and photoset of H. Berthold AG.

Günter Gerhard Lange and Bernd Möllenstädt in the Berthold Atelier in Taufkirchen, undated
Günter Gerhard Lange in Brentford, Middlesex at Heidelberg UK, October 1983

The teacher


He teaches typography at the Fachschule für Industriewerbung und Absatzförderung (College of Industrial Advertising and Sales Promotion) in Kassel.


GGL is guest lecturer at the Kunstschule (Art School) Alsterdamm, Hamburg.


GGL is lecturer of Visual Communication at the Werbefachliche Akademie, Munich.


For 32 years Günter Gerhard Lange works as Lecturer of Visual Communication at the U5, the Academy for Graphic Design in Munich.


Lecturer in Vienna, University for Applied Art, Master class Prof. Lürzer, focus on advertising, teaching subject typography.

“[…] There is a hidden talent in every human being. As a teacher it is my task to spot that. Even if a hundred people are saying, he or she can’t do anything, got bad marks or dropped out of school – that’s not important. This is point zero, let’s get to work. […]”

Günter Gerhard Lange, novum 03/06, 2006


Günter Gerhard Lange receives the Frederic W. Goudy Award of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)


Günter Gerhard Lange officially retires. He still gives numerous lectures and is active as lecturer and consultant. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Typographische Gesellschaft München (tgm) GGL is made an honorary member.


GGL is made an honorary member of the Art Directors Club, Germany.


H. Berthold AG files for bankruptcy. One year after the company is liquidated in 1993, company documents and a large number of objects from the areas of lead and photostat setting are given to the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin.


GGL is made an honorary member of the Allianz deutscher Designer (AGD).


Günter Gerhard Lange becomes Art Consultant for the Berthold Types Ltd., USA, and receives the Medal of the Type Directors Club.


The city of Munich honours Günter Gerhard Lange with the Design Award.


On 2.12.2008 Günter Gerhard Lange dies at Großhesselohe near Munich, aged 87.

What remains


The Typographische Gesellschaft München (tgm) stages “TDC and GGL – Vernissage and Exhibition of the 55th TDC Show, dedicated to Günter Gerhard Lange.” The GGL Soiree took place on Friday, 24th July 2009, presenting short statements and memories about Günter Gerhard Lange.


Through mediation by Kirsten Solveig Schneider, the artistic legacy of Günter Gerhard Lange goes to the Technikmuseum in Berlin.


The “Berthold Library” from the estate of Bernd Möllenstädt (1943–2013), Günter Gerhard Lange's successor at H. Berthold AG, goes to the Technikmuseum Berlin.


“100 years GGL”: Günter Gerhard Lange’s 100th birthday.

The “8daw”: - Ramblings through Change #30 special newsletter of April 11th, 2021 is dedicated to Günter Gerhard Lange.

The website “” will be published in his honor on his birthday on April 12th, 2021

The Typographische Gesellschaft München (tgm) honours him with a blog post and hosts a Zoom birthday party on April 12th, 2021 at 7pm.

Günter Gerhard Lange, a short biography

Günter Gerhard Lange (12.4.1921-2.12.2008) was one of the world’s leading type designers of the 20th century. 1941-45 GGL, as he was known for short, studied calligraphy and type design, typesetting and printing with Georg Belwe at the Staatlichen Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe Leipzig, as well as drawing, painting, etching and lithography with Hans Theo Richter. After graduating with distinction he worked in Leipzig from 1945-1949 as freelance painter and graphic designer, as well as being assistant to Walter Tiemann. In October 1949 Günter Gerhard Lange moved to West Berlin and continued his academic studies with Prof. Paul Strecker at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (Academy for Fine Arts) in Berlin.

1950 GGl started working for H. Berthold AG, a career that was to span four decades: first as freelancer, when he designed lead casting fonts for hand typesetting, among them Derby, Solemnis, Boulevard, Regina, Champion and Arena. As early as 1952 the H. Berthold AG started the gradual transition from lead type to photo typesetting. Günter Gerhard Lange championed the transfer of the type heritage of the lead type era to the new technologies of photosetting, later to digital techniques. In 1960 he became Art Director of Berthold AG, from 1961 in a salaried position.

During this period he created nearly 100 original fonts with reference character, e.g. the Concorde, the Akzidenz Grotesk Buch and the Imago, as well as a series of photoset compatible and later digitalised adaptations and new interpretations of historic font styles, e.g. the Garamond, the Walbaum-Antiqua, the Caslon and the Bodoni Old Face.

Besides his work with H. Berthold AG he taught, among others, in Berlin, Kassel, Munich and Vienna and gave numerous lectures at home and abroad. His style of delivery, often rather provocative, and his drastic rhetoric earned him the nickname of “Gutenberg’s Machine gun”.

Günter Gerhard Lange received a number of awards, among them the “Frederic W. Goudy Award” (1989), the “TDC-Medal” of the Type Directors Club New York (2000), the Design Prize of the City of Munich (2003), and was honorary member of numerous professional associations (AGD, BDG, tgm).

Further reading

G.G.L.: Günter Gerhard Lange (1983)

The annual gift of the Typographic Society Munich (tgm) was compiled and edited by the then chairman, Philipp Luidl and dedicated to Günter Gerhard Lange. With contributions by companions such as Stefan Heym, Manfred Klein, Roswitha Quadflieg, G. W. Ovink, Arnold Ihlenfeldt und Hermann Zapf.

Typografische Monatsblätter, special edition GGL (2003)

In this special edition, dedicated to Günter Gerhard Lange, the long-time companion Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin conducts an interview with GGL. With 48 richly illustrated pages this is the most extensive and current publication about Günter Gerhard Lange’s life and work.


  1. Philipp Luidl [Ed.]: G.G.L.: Günter Gerhard Lange. Zusammensgestellt, herausgegeben und Günter Gerhard Lange gewidmet von Philipp Luidl. Munich: Typographische Gesellschaft München, 1983..

  2. Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin: “Gelebtes Leben ist gelebte Schrift”. In: Deutscher Drucker, Nr. 17, 2. May 1991. pp.g34 – g36.

  3. Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin: “Ein azyklischer Geburtstagsgruß”. In: vier Seiten, Mitteilungen der Typographischen Gesellschaft München e.V., Ausgabe 17, March 2002. pp.1–2.

  4. Typografische Monatsblätter, 71. Jahrgang, Heft 2. Special edition Günter Gerhard Lange. Zurich, 2.2003.

  5. Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin: “Schrift, die spröde Geliebte – verlassen”. In: vier Seiten, Mitteilungen der Typographischen Gesellschaft e.V.,Ausgabe 39, March 2009. pp.1–3.

  6. Wolfgang Beinert: Lange, Günter Gerhard. In:, Das Lexikon der Typografie. Online available, accessed on march 31 2021.


  1. Frankfurt (Oder), City View. Photo: Trinks und Co. GmbH Leipzig, 1921

  2. Letterhead Atelier Johannes Wehlisch. Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider

  3. Postcard Kaufhaus Bensberg in Frankfurt (Oder). Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider

  4. France, first aid for wounded, June 1940. Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-054-1531-11

  5. Die Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe Leipzig. In: Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Heft 12/1937

  6. Prof. Walter Tiemann. Source: Klingspor-Museum Offenbach

  7. Prof. Georg Belwe. In: Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Jahrgang 1914, Heft 7/9

  8. Prof. Hans Theo Richter, 1959. Photo: SLUB Dresden, Deutsche Fotothek, Margot Schaal

  9. Etching by Günter Gerhard Lange, 1947. Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider

  10. Brush drawing by Günter Gerhard Lange, 1948. In: Philipp Luidl [Ed.]: »G.G.L.«, 1983

  11. H. Berthold AG Company Entrance. In: H. Berthold [Ed.]: 100 Jahre Berthold, 1958

  12. Günter Gerhard Lange in Berlin, 1953. In: Philipp Luidl [Hrsg.]: »G.G.L.«, 1983

  13. Günter Gerhard Lange and Bernd Möllenstädt in the Berthold studio in Taufkirchen, undated. Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider

  14. Günter Gerhard Lange in Brentford, Middlesex at Heidelberg UK, October 1983. Collection Kirsten Solveig Schneider

  15. Günter Gerhard Lange 1991. Photo: Werner Hiebel, alphapress

  16. Günter Gerhard Lange in his studio flat in Neubeuerner Straße, 2003. Photo: IMAGO/HRSchulz

  17. Günter Gerhard Lange’s library in Neubeuerner Straße, 2006. Photo: Kirsten Solveig Schneider