About URW

URW has established itself in the graphic design industry by continually developing and marketing innovative font and software products.
Based on our technical font production skills, we are particularly successful in the area of corporate type development and production as well as a supplier of so-called world or global fonts for OEM customers.
Additionally, we distinguish ourselves by a comprehensive non-Latin font offering. Many of our popular Latin font designs are available in full WGL4 character set including Eastern European glyphs, Cyrillic as well as Greek! On top of that, we feature a fair variety of Japanese, Chinese and Korean fonts (CJK) as well as Indic Devanagari fonts. URW employs both Japanese and Chinese native speakers, and enjoys long-lasting partnerships in Tokyo and Shanghai. 
We are well equipped to meet the growing demand in the OEM and Corporate Company market for so-called Global Fonts resp. World Fonts.

In addition to the development of URW software and type products, we have a strategic partnership with the Dutch Type Library (DTL), DT ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

DTL stands for ultra high-quality digital type designs. We are very proud to be DTL’s exclusive distribution partner in Germany. Based on our long-lasting friendship with DTL, we are developing the DTL Font Master Utilities together with Frank Blokland, president and founder of DTL. DTL Font Master was released in 2002 and is marketed to type designers successfully.

The URW Film: The Cutting Edge of Type Technology on Youtube (full version)

Mission Statement

We see ourselves, above all, as highly skilled technical font manufacturers and software engineers. Besides the production and marketing of our font library, we continually develop our IKARUS font design and production software tools. We want to make sure that we meet the technical font requirements of our markets at all times in order to serve our customers in the best possible way.

Our target is to become a global font player offering OpenType fonts with global Unicode based character sets responding to the growing demand for such world fonts!


- Volker Schnebel -

Since 1995 the new URW was founded, Volker Schnebel is our type director and chief type designer. He has joined old URW much earlier, already in 1977 after he had finished his studies of fine arts at the HfbK in Hamburg. IKARUS was than brandnew and Schnebel started out helping with the development. He quickly became an expert and, after IKARUS was installed worldwide as the standard software for producing digital typefaces, also held trainings about the use of IKARUS in companies like LinoType, Berthold, Compugraphic, Xerox, ministry fo book creation in Moscow, Morisawa, Ryobi and others.  In 1981 he was consultant at Compugraphic, where he developed 800 bitmap fonts for DEC. 1985-1989 he digitized together with his team »Digital Type Company« around Fritz Renzo Heinze, Gerd Kunis and Evert Bloemsma the 50 basic type families of Monotype, including Arial and Times and various other classical fonts and developed from 1990 to 1993 about 1000 fonts for engraving for Scripta in Paris.


In its time as URW typedirector he could, partly also through closed collaboration with other designers like Kurt Weidemann, G. G. Lange, Bernd Möllenstädt, Hans-Jürg Hunziker, Erik Spiekermann and many others further improve his creativity and artistic skills and has like this created a great number of new designs for a great variety of purposes and companies - mainly CorporateFonts, but also a number of new own fonts have formed over the years. As an overview we have tried to collect some of the more interesting ones in that website. Please take your time to scroll through the various projects, press, speaches and fonts.

Please note that the following link opens a website for which we are not responsible and to which our privacy policy does not apply.

An overview of his work and projects can be found on his website.

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