The institute


The Plantin Institute of Typography organizes different programs around typography.
As an independent organisation with a unique vision it offers an exclusive combination of theoretical insights, historical backgrounds, up-to-date technical know-how and practical skills. The key words during the training courses are typography and design in the most general sense of the word; from the historical, aesthetic and functional aspects of the letter and its design to the gamut of processes that determine today’s graphic communication, from design to finished product. The program puts a lot of emphasis on professionalism, discernment and quality assurance.

The institute is named after Christoffel Plantin, the foremost printer-publisher of the second half of the 16th Century, famed for his spirit of enterprise and for the scrupulous attention to content and equipment in his publications. The Plantin Institute of Typography shares the roof and works in close cooperation with the Museum Plantin-Moretus, UNESCO World Heritage site in Antwerp.


The Plantin Society, Higher Institute for Printing, was founded in Antwerp on 8 March 1951. The Board of Directors included: L. Craeybeckx (Lord Mayor), K.C. Peeters (Municipal Clerk), H.F. Bouchery (Conservator Museum Plantin-Moretus), J.-L. Somers (lawyer, Alderman for the Arts), A. Pelckmans (Director of publishers De Nederlandsche Boekhandel) as Director and H.D.L. Vervliet (Assistant Conservator Museum Plantin-Moretus) as Secretary of the Institute. The objective was, among other things: ‘by organizing courses, lectures and exhibitions the Plantin Society aims actively to improve the typographical care of printing in Belgium’’, and further: ‘in a unique atmosphere the students are given the opportunity not only to hear the great contemporary masters of the graphics world, but also to make contact with them and to develop in an unforced dialogue or an open discussion’.

A selection of these ‘masters’ is included in the catalogue Magistraal, Meesters van het Plantin Genootschap 1951−1974, with such names as:
Ger Schmook, Gerrit W. Ovink, Hendrik D.L. Vervliet, Jan Van Krimpen, Sem L. Hartz, Huib Van Krimpen, Gerrit Noordzij, Berthe Van Regemorter, August Kulche, Frank van den Wijngaert, Jozef Cantré, Antoon Herkenrath, Gerard Gaudaen, Jaak Gorus, Leo Marfurt and Mark Severin.