This week and next we have a screenprinting and a letterpress workshop. Before that we have been given two designers to research, one of them being Dafi Kühne.
Dafi Kühne is a graphic designer and letterpress printmaker from Zürich, Switzerland. Since 2009 he has been working full-time in his studio babyinktwice designing and printing posters, invitation cards, brochures and magazines for music, art, architecture, theatre and film projects. Since 2011 he has also been teaching everything from short workshops to full semesters in various universities in Europe and the United States.
Dafi Kühne took a rather circuitous route to becoming a graphic designer. He first fell in love with design during the year he spent studying architecture in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. When he decided that wasn’t a good fit, he dropped out of the program and spent a year working as a bricklayer before applying to Zurich University of the Arts’ visual communications program.
Kühne learned traditional letterpress printing through an internship at Hatch Show Print, in Nashville, and typography has remained at the heart of his work. “I work mostly with type and simple graphic elements. I like how you can transport a mood with the style, layout, and appearance of type” he says.
“In my studio I combine contemporary graphic design with old techniques. I use, along with my computer, primarily four letterpress proof and production presses from the ’60s, old lead and wood type, new lasercut wood, plexiglas or lino blocks, photopolymer plates, handcut lino or cardboard and so on…It’s not all about letterpress – I am not a luddite or a romantic retro fanatic, haha. It’s just about finding the right tool for producing my designs. And in my case, my printing presses are an important tool even for the process of design. When it comes to printing I want have full control over the whole process and the power to make all the decisions, such as choosing the colours and the paper, mixing the ink, setting the amount of pressure and ink, according to my design concept. That’s why for me it makes perfect sense to use letterpress! And of course the quality! Yes.”-Dafi Kühne speaking on his website