Following a decade of independent professional involvement in the areas of type design, typography and digitization, Veronika Elsner and Günther Flake founded the company Veronika Elsner, Günther Flake GbR in 1985. Their goal was to build their own library of digital typefaces. With this in mind, the then team of ten filled a large number of digitization orders from companies such as H. Berthold AG, Linotype and the International Typeface Corporation (ITC). They also had a multi-year Joint Venture contract with the URW Unternehmensberatung Karow Rubow Weber GmbH covering the production, exchange and conversion of IK formats. Today, the Elsner+Flake Digital Typeface Library consists of more than 2500 cuts for Macintosh and Windows® from a variety of manufacturers and license providers. The creation of a worldwide net of dealers as well as their type sales program via the internet www.fonts4ever.com, guarantee fast and actual availability for even the newest products. When it concerns standards of quality and quantity of forms, the Elsner+Flake Digital Type Library can take its rightful place among traditional European and American type providers. Their typefaces, if they have not been produced directly in the Elsner+Flake studio are licensed, as possible or necessary, from original sources. They are digitized under full consideration of visual and typographic standards and adjusted to contemporary font technologies. The bandwidth of the library reaches from exclusive type creations of artistic designers to the classic faces from the libraries of ITC, Letraset, ATF and Bauer to the grunge faces of the “Beasty Bodies” from the 1990’s. Contemporary type designs constantly extend the offerings. Foreign languages have been gaining in importance. In addition to the Central European complements (Europa Plus for the setting of 59 languages), Elsner+Flake also offers Greek, Cyrillic and Hebrew typefaces. The Hebrew library consists of more than 60 cuts from 12 families and was developed with consideration of traditional aspects under the leadership of Dr. Ittai Tamari.

In addition to its own library, Elsner+Flake offers extensive customer services in the area of type, including artistic and technical consultation for all related areas from the pre-press process to the design and digitization of house typefaces, signets and logos. The concentration of its services today centers on the consultation and servicing of corporations, agencies and design firms for their work with Corporate Identity projects.

The Elsner+Flake Concept
Behind the two conceptualists, Veronika Elsner and Günther Flake, there are two sets of contents and company responsibilities with distinctive aims which, however, in their combination, have a logical end result: the Elsner+Flake Designstudios functions as the actively formative and creative element, and the Elsner+Flake Digital Typeface Library completes the whole with information and distribution services.

Veronika Elsner and Günther Flake see themselves primarily as the link between type design and font production technology. Their professional specialization evolved in a time which was influenced by the greatest upheaval which creative and technical visual communications professionals had ever had to deal with. The thinking processes of analog design practices were displaced by the new principles of digital thinking.

Equipped with and based on the traditional knowledge of a type designer, Veronika Elsner and Günther Flake began as early as 1977 with experimental processes in the area of type and typography. The use of the still rarely available systems for graphic data manipulation and the collaboration with the then leading provider of these systems, Rubow Weber GmbH in Hamburg, systematically led to completely new ways of thinking in the area of conceptualization, design and production of typefaces and logo types. Based on the experimental use of digital tools, a new form language came into being which found acceptance only 15 years later after the use of personal computers for graphic design had been introduced.

Experience in these two worlds put its stamp on the beginning of Elsner und Flake and is visible in the creation of its own type library. 30 years ago, the work of Elsner and Flake was highly influenced by the pervasive mood of change and the arguments with traditionalists, but today, in the age of infinite digital possibilities, the most important aspect of their work centers on the preservation of typographic quality.

Veronika Elsner – Biography
Fachhochschule Hamburg, 1973 - 1977, Degree in Communications Design. Areas of concentration: Type and Typography. Specialization in type design concepts, calligraphy and free form writing. Graphic design freelance work for with the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk). Freelance work in the areas of type design and consultation. Organization and production of diverse projects using the typographic production software IKARUS of the URW Unternehmensberating Karow Rubow Weber GmbH. Speaking engagements and training on this software for leading type producers in Germany and abroad, among others in the USA, Russia and Japan. 1985, founding of Elsner+Flake Designstudios. Digital conversion of many customer-specific typefaces advertising and corporate uses. Creation of and customer service provision for a worldwide distribution network for the Elsner+Flake Digital Library as well as servicing the local and foreign license providers and users.

Günther Flake – Biography
Apprenticeship as typesetter. Fachhochschule Hamburg, 1974 -1978, Degree in Communications Design. Areas of Concentration: Type, Photography, Screen Printing.
1978 – 1991 Freelance work as Project Manager and Manager of Type Production for Unternehmensberatung Rubow Weber GmbH, Hamburg. Training programs in the area of “Digital Design” for diverse type producers within Germany and abroad. 1985 Founding of Elsner+Flake Designstudios. Concept and production for a variety of text and headline typefaces in traditional and experimental forms. Re-design and original design of 13 Hebrew type families based on historic sources and in collaboration with Dr. Ittai Tamari, Tel Aviv.
1994-1997 a variety of project seminars, teaching positions and guest lectures among others at the Hadassah College in Jerusalem and as a lecturer at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Hamburg. Design and re-design of many customer-specific house typefaces, signets and logotypes for advertising agencies and publishing houses.

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