Born in Náchold-Beloves, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now the Czech Republic), Josef Tyfa studied graphics at the Rotter School in Prague. He was the art director of the Centrotex export company. During his working life, he devised logos, posters, postage stamps, and book covers as well as typefaces. He won numerous awards, including Best new typeface for book composition in a 1960 Czech competition and a prize in the 1st Biennale for Graphic Design in Brno in 1964. His work was twice honoured with the Best Book of the Year award, in 1972 and 1975.
The eponymous Tyfa typeface was originally a metal face that he designed for Linotype and which was released in 1959. ITC released a revised version, ITC Tyfa, which he produced in collaboration with František Štorm. Tyfa was a big influence on Storm, and they worked together until Tyfa was in his nineties.
A typographer, graphic artist, type designer, and respected advertising and exhibit designer, he died aged 93.
[LC, December 2009]