December 10, 2009
The Miracle Maker, Charles C. O’Connell, Talbot Press, 1960
Rícheol agus Rómánsaíocht, Gearóid Mac an Bhua, FNT, 1963
A History of Ireland, J.J. Feeney, Educational Company of Ireland, n.d.
Cosmhuintir, Liam Ó Murchú, FNT, 1975
When I first came across Karl Uhlemann’s name I assumed that he was yet another talented Dutch designer who found himself working in Ireland in the 1950s. In fact he was born to a German father and Irish mother sometime around 1910. Although I can’t confirm that he was Irish born we do know that he was educated at Synge Street CBS and went to work at Colm Ó Lochlainn’s Sign of the Three Candles press upon leaving school. He is probably best known for drawing the initial sketches for the Colum Cille typeface (1936) which Ó Lochlainn developed with Stanley Morrison at Monotype.
Above are four examples of Uhlemann’s book cover work – 2 three colour designs from the early sixties and 2 later two colour designs. His illustration style is hard to pin down as it varies widely over these four covers yet he achieves a very pleasing design with each one. I particularly like the lettering on the title of The Miracle Maker.
The few biographical details I could find come from Dermot McGuinne’s excellent book Irish Type Design: A History of Printing Types in the Irish Character. Karl Uhlemann passed away in 1992.