The institute


The Plantin Institute of Typography organizes Expert classes on Typography and related design.

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 Plantin Institute of Typography addresses a broad intake of motivated students who want to learn more about typography: designers, publishers and other professionals from the book trade, technicians and executives active in the graphics sector, audiovisuals media and the ICT world.

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/Prentenkabinet UNESCO World Heritage site in Antwerp.

1951 -1974 

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.

More about the history of the Plantin Society can be found in the text written by the founder, Albert J. Pelckmans, for the Liber Amicorum H.D.L. Vervliet.

Typographical developments post-1945 in Flanders and the Netherlands are described by Jan Middendorp in the contribution ‘Twee werelden, grafisch ontwerpen in Vlaanderen en Nederland na 1945’.


Albert Pelckmans ‘De uitgebreide geschiedenis van het Plantin Genootschap’Jan Middendorp ‘Twee werelden, grafisch ontwerpen in Vlaanderen en Nederland na 1945’Ger SchmookGerrit W. OvinkHendrik D.L. VervlietJan Van KrimpenSem L. HartzHuib Van KrimpenGerrit NoordzijBerthe Van RegemorterAugust KulcheFrank van den WijngaertJozef CantréAntoon HerkenrathGerard GaudaenJaak GorusLeo MarfurtMark Severin.


Françoise Bausart, Jean-Pierre Berth, Frank Blokland, Lode Coen, Jo De Baerdemaeker, Marc De Mey, Antoon De Vylder, Jan Dries, Didier Haazen, Philippe Heesterbeek, Gerd Horsten, Vladimir Ivaneanu, John Lane, Stan Lemmens, Jan Middendorp, Marc Mombaerts, Goran Proot, Fons Put, Hugo Puttaert, Hubert Scheir, Koos Staal, Johan Swinnen, Peter Tielemans, Marcel van den Boogert, Johan Van Looveren, Stijn Van Rossem, Maarten Van Steenbergen, Rudy Vanschoonbeek, Chris Vermaas, Paul Verrept, Misjel Vossen, Heidi Waem.

  • Erik Michiels, Chairman of the Plantin Society, Director of Companies
  • Marc Mombaerts, Vice-Chairman of the Plantin Society, Graphics Expert
  • Dr. Barones Francine de Nave, Secretary-Treasurer of the Plantin Society, Honorary Director of the Museum Plantin-Moretus/Prentenkabinet UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Herbert Binneweg, President of the Education Committee of the Plantin Society, Designer, Emeritus Professor at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Honorary Director Stedelijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten Berchem & Instituut Roger Avermaete
  • Paul Adriaensen, Public relations manager Agfa nv
  • Luc Demeester, Managing Director of publishing house Lannoo nv
  • Antoon De Vylder, Book Typographer
  • Philip Heylen, Alderman for Culture, City of Antwerp
  • Kiki Douwes, Graphic Designer
  • Em. prof. dr. Ludo Simons, Honorary President, Em. Prof. University of Antwerp and K. U. Leuven
  • Luc Tessens, Former Managing Director of the Flemish Booksellers Association
  • Louis Van den Eede, Typographer
  • Thom Pelckmans, Eindverantwoordelijke uitgeverij Pelckmans
  • Ernest Van Buynder, Vast secretaries Universiteit Antwerpen

Prof. dr. Pierre Delsaerdt, Mevrouw Pascale De Groote, De heer W. Geldolf, De heer J. Van Elewyck, Mevrouw Leona Detiège, De heer Patrick Janssens

  • Herbert Binneweg, President of the Education Committee, Designer,
Em. Lecturer at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Honorary Director Stedelijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten Berchem & Instituut Roger Avermaete
  • Antoon De Vylder, Typographer
  • Misjel Vossen, Graphics Expert, Lecturer at the Artevelde Hogeschool, Artesis Hogeschool
  • Jo De Baerdemaeker, Multi-script typeface designer, typographer & academic researcher
  • Johan Van Looveren, Graphic Designer, Lecturer in Typography Sint-Lukas Brussels