Rudolf Kochwas a leading German calligrapher, typographic artist and teacher, born in Nuremberg. He was primarily a calligrapher with the Gebr. Klingspor foundry. He created several typefaces, in both fraktur and roman styles. Fritz Kredel studied under Koch at the Offenbach School of Design.
Koch’s formal education ended when he finished high school in Nürnberg, Ger. He moved to Hanau, where he attended evening art classes while serving as an apprentice in metalworking. After an unsuccessful effort to become an art teacher, he moved to Leipzig, an important printing centre, where he freelanced as a graphic designer. In 1906 he joined the Klingspor Type Foundry in Offenbach (near Frankfurt am Main) as a type designer and spent the rest of his working life there. Beginning in 1908 he also supervised the lettering course at the revitalized Technical Educational Institution of the City of Offenbach A.M. (now the College of Design). In the early part of his career he was particularly interested in manuscript books, and he produced a number of impressive examples, including several Gospels. He designed his first typeface, Maximilian, shortly before World War I. (He served in the war as an infantryman.) He eventually designed about 30 typefaces for Klingspor, the best known being Neuland (1923) and Kabel (1927).
Koch wrote a book containing 493 old-world symbols, monograms and runes entitled The Book of Signs (reprinted in 1955, in the Dover Pictorial Archive Series). He had also a column in the magazine Die zeitgemäße Schrift, a magazine of design published by Heintze & Blanckertz.