About

Petra Rüth With a classical background in graphic design, I am now focusing on type. I am a researcher, a teacher, a designer, a calligrapher — I care about letters.
My goal is to deepen my knowledge of the history of writing; I am researching the relationship between Fraktur, Kanzlei and Current scripts.
My passion is working with blackletters. I like to read about their history, spend time getting familiar with their beautiful letter shapes and broadening my skills in formal penmanship (with quills).

I enjoy working in a team, which I think is important to achieve excellence. I am interested in things that have passed and things that will come. I like to be challenged.

I am currently doing a post graduate study for artists called „Meisterschülerstudium“ at HGB Leipzig. The idea is to continue to work with Roßbergs Systematischer Anleitung, which I researched in my diploma already. I now started to learn Python to program his mathematical letters and bring them to life as a usable font – hopefully a variable one. Once I defined his approach in implementable formulas, I would even like to go a step further: How would Roßbergs system look like, applied to contemporary letter shapes?

I am also working as a freelance designer, researcher, teacher and calligrapher. In my research, I concentrate on the correlation between Fraktur, Kanzlei and Current scripts while exploring writing masters of past centuries. As part of this line of study, I am also cultivating my calligraphic skills. I am fluent in various historic models, mainly writing with quills prepared by myself.

Work history

After I left school in 1996, I completed three years of vocational training to become a drafts­person. I worked in this job for four years, three of them in Atlanta, USA. I enjoyed the detailed work, but everything was specified by DIN Norms. As time went by I found that I prefer to do more creative work, so I decided to go into graphic design.
I studied in Cologne, Germany, to get my bachelor’s degree. After moving to Frankfurt, I worked as a graphic designer for over a year. As Junior Art Director I was responsible for all steps of a design process from concept to final printed work.
I spent one year in Helsinki, Finland, working as a graphic designer for Activeark Ltd. There my projects involved web sites, print materials and high-end interactive presentations for major clients, primarily Nokia Siemens Network, but also Hartwall Jaffa and others.
Back in Germany, I was employed by an international publishing house called S&S Media Group. Five years in the design department I created logos, layouts, artworks and infographics for both print and online media.
In February 2019 I graduated at HGB Leipzig (Type Design). In my final thesis I was researching about C. G. Roßberg, who published his stunning instructions on how to write fast and beautiful in the late 18th century, titled Systematische Anleitung zum Schön- und Geschwindschreiben. In this project I studied his manual about mathematical letter shapes in detail and rebuild his sophisticated constructions. I demonstrated that – using nowadays technology – his parametric approach to Type Design can be interpreted as a Variable Font.

Education

since October 2019, ongoing
Meisterschülerstudium (post graduate studies for artists)
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany

Diplom Bildende Kunst, Fachklasse Schrift
(Degree in Visual Arts specializing in Type Design)
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany

Bachelor in Graphic Design
Kölner Design Akademie, Köln, Germany

Apprenticeship as Draftsperson (Mechanical Engineering)
WIKA Alexander Wiegand GmbH & Co. KG, Klingenberg, Germany

Work experience

Freelance work
since 2017, ongoing

Lecturer – Typography and Calligraphy
Designschule / Macromedia Akademie, Leipzig, Germany
2018 – 2020 (3 semester)

Graphic Designer
• Software & Support Media GmbH, Berlin, Germany
• Software & Support Media GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
• Vollblut GmbH & Ko. KG, Wiesbaden, Germany
• Activeark Ltd., Helsinki, Finland
• Transparent Design Management GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany

Technical Draftsperson
• WIKA Instrument Corporation, Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA (3 years)
• WIKA Alexander Wiegand GmbH & Co. KG, Klingenberg, Germany

For more detailed information, please contact me by email.

Portrait photos by Jitka Ludvikova.

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