Born in Versec, Hungary, in 1900, Imre Reiner was a Hungarian Jew, although he lived most of his life in Switzerland. He was educated at the Staatliche Bilhauerschule Zalatua (scipture school), and continued his studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt (School of Arts & Crafts). This early training encompassed sculpture, painting, graphic and industrial design.
From 1921 he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart, where he studied under Professor F. H. Ernst Schneidler. He continued to learn from Schneidler as a masterclass student of his at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart until 1927. It was Professor Schneidler who introduced him to type design. Schneidler worked for the Bauer Type Foundry in Stuttgart, and Reiner followed in his footsteps, producing his early type designs for the same foundry. Pepita was based on his own handwriting.
Between 1923 and 1925, he worked as a graphic designer in London, Paris, New York and Chicago. However from 1931 he was based in Ruvigiliana, near Lugano, in Switzerland. There he worked as a painter, graphic designer and literary illustrator. He died aged 87 in Lugano.
[LC, December 2009]