Gerard Unger Scholarship for Young Type Designers

Gerard Unger Scholarship for Young Type Designers

In memory of the late Dr Gerard Unger, renowned Dutch type designer and educator, and in celebration of what would have been Unger’s 77th birthday in January, TypeTogether font foundry has opened the call for entries for the Gerard Unger Scholarship, previously the TypeTogether Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme. 

Unger Bio

Dr Gerard Unger (1942–2018) was a Dutch graphic and type designer, writer, and lecturer. He was Professor of Typography at Leiden University, The Netherlands, from which he also received his PhD in 2013. Until his death, Unger taught as visiting professor at University of Reading, UK, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication. Unger created many typefaces over the years, such as Coranto, Gulliver, Swift, and Vesta. He also designed stamps, coins, magazines, newspapers, books, logos, corporate identities, annual reports, and many other objects. His four final typeface families were developed and released with the independent font foundry TypeTogether. Dr Gerard Unger passed away in his home in Bussum, The Netherlands in late 2018.

Unger and TypeTogether

TypeTogether started the Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme in 2014 as an initiative to help promising typeface design students develop their careers. Dr Gerard Unger, who taught José Scaglione and Veronika Burian, the cofounders of TypeTogether, and inspired many more generations of young type designers, was an avid supporter of the Incentive Programme from the start. He had a lifelong interest in education that manifested in his various teaching engagements, his research, and the practical as much as theoretical texts and books he wrote. Unger had a keen eye and a meticulous sense for detail, mixed with much wit and a kind of cheekiness — all characteristics which shaped not only his work philosophy, but also his outlook on life in general, and which encouraged his students to do more and do better.

Dr Unger was full of anecdotes and curiosity for people, with each project exploring fresh ideas that could solve the design problems at hand. He would often sit with his students, chatting about life, travels, history, projects, and of course typography.

Scholarship Renaming

Several years prior to Unger’s death in 2018, TypeTogether began discussing with him how to honour him after his passing. “He was too kind a man to ever answer straight, so we have taken it upon ourselves,” said Burian and Scaglione. “We would like to honour Dr Gerard Unger as the mentor and teacher who always generously shared his knowledge, so we are proud to announce that we are renaming our Typeface Publishing Incentive Programme as the Gerard Unger Scholarship.”

Scholarship Purpose
The annual Gerard Unger Scholarship will continue to offer guidance and support to at least one selected post-grad recipient, with the aim of enabling exceptional designs started during a course of study to be finalised and published commercially upon their course completion. The recipient receives mentoring to complete the project, a publishing contract, and funding to complete the project.

For details or to apply before 31 March 2019, visit this webpage.

Photo by Maurice Boyer