Born in Auerbach, Germany in 1882, Arno Drescher studied at Dresden's Kunstgewerbeschule (arts trade school). As well as working freelance as a designer, he was also employed by the Staatliche Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe (academy for graphic art and the book trades). Between 1940 and 1945, he was the Academy's director.
Alongside his typography work, he was a prolific painter and illustrator. He designed posters for the East German government, including one celebrating the veterans' contribution to the Second World War. His paintings are still on sale today. He was one of an active group of typographers working in East Germany, and his designs include Arabella Pro, Drescher Grotesk, Manutius Antiqua, and Energos. Drescher Grotesk was the most widely used lead-type sans-serif substitute for Futura in East Germany. It enjoyed a revival after his death, when Nicolai Gogoli won the 1999 Kurt Christians Award for his treatment of it.
In 1960 he moved to Braunschwieg, and died there 11 years later, aged 89.
[LC, October 2009]