Louis BrailleInventor of the universal writing system for the blind and visually-impaired1809-1852
In 1820, the eleven-year-old Louis Braille learned the system of so-called night writing for the first time. It was one of the first ever embossed type systems of writing and was invented by Charles Barbier, a Captain in the French army, and Braille immediately understood its potential.
Ulrich BräkerA reading farmer in Switzerland1735-1798
The day worker, farmer and cotton maker, Ulrich Bräker, from the Toggenburg district in the East of Switzerland, had a special passion: reading and communicating his conception of the world and reading culture.
Bertolt BrechtPlaywright and radio enthusiast1898-1956
Bertolt Brecht was still a young author when he was commissioned to write his first educational play, entiteld Lindberghflug (Lindbergh’s Flight), for the Kammermusikfest (chamber music festival) of Baden-Baden in 1929, but he was also an established one thanks to the popularity of his The Threepenny Opera (1928). Inspired by the previous year’s Atlantic crossing by the American Charles Lindbergh, Brecht used the play to express his ideas about the democratic use of new radio technology.
Friedrich Arnold BrockhausThe founder of the most famous German encyclopaedia1772-1823
Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus was not the inventor of the encyclopaedia, but he had such competent command of the business of publishing encyclopaedic dictionaries that he was able, initially in Altenburg and from 1817 onwards in Leipzig, to turn the Conversationslexikon mit vorzüglicher Rücksicht auf die gegenwärtigen Zeiten, acquired from Renatus Gotthelf Löbel on a visit to the Leipzig book fair in autumn 1808, into the foremost general German encyclopaedia.
Neville BrodyUnconventional graphics influenced by punk*1957
As a young London-based designer, Neville Brody caused a stir in the typographical landscape of the 1980s, primarily through his work for the British lifestyle magazines The Face (1981-1986) and Arena (1987-1990). He developed the sans-serif typeface Industria for The Face, and also designed a string of album covers for alternative music labels, including designs for renowned pop acts such as Depeche Mode and Cabaret Voltaire.
Vannevar BushVisionary of human-computer interaction1890-1974
After studying and completing a doctorate at Harvard University, the American Vannevar Bush joined the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1919. As professor of electrical engineering he began developing several calculating machines in 1923. Initially they were used to solve differential equations and handle large amounts of data.
Flavius Magnus Aurelius CassiodorusMonastery founder dedicated to the written word490-583
The Roman statesman, scholar and writer Cassiodorus contributed greatly to the preservation and transmission of the written and educational lore of antiquity to the Latin-speaking Occident.
Jean-François ChampollionA linguistic genius deciphers the code of the Pharoahs1790-1832
Jean-François Champollion, the linguistic child prodigy from southwestern France, had a profound ability to learn ancient languages with incredible ease, going on to master at least ten in his lifetime. When he was twelve, a member of Napoleon’s Egyptian expeditions showed him the first hieroglyphics.
Nicolaus CusanusThe scholarly Cardinal 1401-1464
Nicolaus Cusanus was one of the most productive scholars of the 15th century. Born Nikolaus Cryfftz in the town of Kues along the River Mosel, he studied in Heidelberg and Padova, acquiring an extensive knowledge of virtually all established fields of study.
Todd DeverBizarre typography for personal use*1962
Born in 1962 in California, Todd Dever arrived in the typography industry after an initial career in music video production. In the mid-1990s, after searching in vain for a suitable font for former Frank Zappa guitarist Mike Keneally, Dever spontaneously decided to implement his own vision.