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Hans Eduard Meier

Swiss Type designer Hans Eduard Meier (b.1922), known by his former students as ‘Type-Meier’, died on 15 July in his 92th year of life at Horgen near Zurich, Switzerland.

Hans Eduard Meier Photo: Hans Eduard Meier with son Christoph, Nov. 2013. © Erich Alb, Cham/Switzerland

He died comfortably and peacefully, surrounded by his wife Elisabeth, two daughters and a son, grand- and great-grand-children.

Meier was a typographer and graphic designer, trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich. He taught in the same school for more than 30 years. In 1955 he began work on the design of a new Sans (Grotesk) typeface, which was named ‘Syntax’ after production from 1968–72 at Stempel Type Foundry.

Meier’s design idea was based on the principles of the humanistic types of the Renaissance. (At the same time Adrian Frutiger designed his ‘Univers’ in Paris, whereas Hoffmann/Miedinger designed ‘Neue Haas Grotesk’ in Basle. Neither of those designers had contact with the others.)

Hans Ed. Meier designed 16 typefaces. Well known names are ‘Linotype-Syntax’, ‘ITC-Syndor’, ‘Syntax-Letter’ and many others, including the SNB-Alphabet for Swiss National Bank on current Swiss Bank notes, ‘ABC-Basis-Schrift’, a school type for Primary schools in Switzerland, etc. One of Hans’ last types is called ‘Meier Capitalis’. It was designed in 2012 and finished just a few eeks ago. It was released by Elsner&Flake, Hamburg.

With Meier's well known ‘Syntax’ he gave birth to many successors (not to say copies) with a similar form. They also have reached world wide usage.

www.hilti.comNext to type work Meier designed a number of posters and created a famous logo (branding name) in the 1950s for the worldwide company Hilti.

Hans Meier was a very quiet, soft and gentle person, his type unique in style. One of the last of this generation. He was a shining example to many of us. God bless him.

Erich Alb

Cham/Switzerland